Quarantine Recipes: Ed Harris' Cauliflower Stir Fry - Modern Farmer

Quarantine Recipes: Ed Harris’ Cauliflower Stir Fry

We're asking top chefs what they're making in isolation.

Cauliflower stir fry.
Photography courtesy of Chef Life Consulting

One thing that hasn’t changed during the COVID-19 pandemic is the need to eat. Staying home has encouraged some to perfect their culinary skills while others have cracked open cookbooks for the first time.

To provide you with some kitchen inspiration, Modern Farmer is asking top chefs what they’ve been cooking while staying isolated. This week we heard from chef Ed Harris, who shared his recipe for his cauliflower stir fry and what he is calling quarantine salad. The vegan chef was the winner of Season 4 of Food Network’s hit cooking show, “Chopped.”

Chef Ed Harris. Photo courtesy of Chef Life Consulting

Earlier in my career, I worked at Buddakan restaurant in New York City, where I developed a passion for Asian cuisine. During my 5 years there, I trained with a master dim sum chef and perfected the art of cooking dumplings as well as making Asian stir fry dishes. While being on quarantine, my family continues to be on a strict vegan diet. This cauliflower stir fry is quick, easy, tasty and healthy, while allowing me to tap into my Asian style of cooking. This is perfect lunch snack for the family.

Cauliflower Stir Fry

Cooking Time: 15 mins
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: About 10 mins
  • 2 whole cauliflower 
  • Vegetable oil as needed
  • 1/4 cup ginger (minced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1c onions (minced)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy 
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetarian oyster sauce (mushroom sauce)
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce 
  • 6 mint leaves (torn)
  • 8 Thai basil leaves (torn)
1. In a medium size sauté pan put enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and get the oil hot. Once hot, carefully put the whole cleaned heads of cauliflower in one at a time and sear until golden all sides. 
2. Removed from oil and let drain on paper towels. 
3. When cauliflower is cool enough to touch, cut into medium size pieces and put to the side. Will come back to it later. 
4. Remove excess oil and keep about 4 tablespoons in the pan. Bring the heat up over medium flame and caramelize the onions, garlic and ginger. Be careful not to burn them. 
5. Once caramelized, add to a mixing bowl with the soy sauce, sesame oil, mushroom sauce and sweet chili. Mix well. 
6. In a clean sauté pan, add sauce and over a high flame bring to a boil. Then add cut pieces of cauliflower and toss. Remove from heat and plate. 

7. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve.

Quarantine Salad

Quarantine Salad. Photo courtesy of Chef Life Consulting.

  • 1/4 cup Rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons Agave
  • 3 ounces Little Gem or romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 3 ounces baby Kale
  • 2 ounces radicchio
  • 1 Hass avocado—halved, and pitted
  • 1/2 cup oyster mushrooms, ripped into pieces
  • 1/4 cup red beets, roasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup tri color quinoa, cooked
  • Maldon salt, for sprinkling
  • Freshly ground pepper


Step 1    
In a bowl, whisk the vinegar, shallot, agave, beets and kosher salt. Whisk in the oils in a steady stream until blended.
Step 2    
In a large bowl, toss the lettuces, radicchio, mushroom, and quinoa. Toss with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette. Transfer to a plate and center avocado top with beets. Sprinkle with Maldon salt and pepper. Serve with the remaining vinaigrette.
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