Fried cactus flowers, with Chinese five-spice and fried green shallot (gluten free)

Deep fried cactus flowers (曇花) , with Chinese five-spice and fried green shallot

The cactus in my garden flowered last night – strikingly beautiful with pink and pearl like colors. These one-night beauties are subjects of many ancient poems for their purity and uniqueness.

These flowers are great as cooking too. The Southern Chinese dries the flowers and use the them for soups. The older generations said the flowers could provide detoxing benefits, and could help with clearing lungs and coughs. The benefits are called ‘qing re’ (清热).

Fried cactus flowers, with Chinese five-spice and fried green shallot (gluten free)
Fried cactus flowers, with Chinese five-spice and fried green shallot (gluten free)

Ingredients

  • 2 fresh cactus flowers
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • some green shallot, sliced
  • cooking oil

Method

  • 2 cactus flowers, sliced into halves, lengthwise
  • Lightly beat one egg in a bowl, coast cactus flowers with egg
  • Mix corn flour with Chinese five-spice, salt and white pepper
  • Coat cactus in corn flour mixture
  • In a saucepan, bring some of cooking oil ((sufficient to submerge the cactus flowers) to 190c / 370f, deep fry the cactus flowers until golden and crispy, approximately 2-3 minutes; place the cactus flowers briefly on a few layers of kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil ; place on a cooling rack to cool.
  • In the same saucepan, bring the oil to approx. 170c; add green shallot, deep fried briefly (approx. 5-10 seconds); remove the green shallot with a sieve, shake and drain off excess oil.
  • Serve the cactus flowers topped with some green shallot.

Fried cactus flowers - method (compact)
DSC02150 #1

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