• Red curry cauliflower (Adam Liaw)Source: Adam Liaw

This cauliflower curry comes alive with a bounty of south-east Asian aromatics like lemongrass, makrut lime leaves, Thai basil, and star anise.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (8 votes)


  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into quarters
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper, to season
  • 400 ml can coconut cream
  • 250 g (1 cup) miso curry paste (recipe below) or your favourite red curry paste
  • 5 makrut lime leaves
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, pale ends only, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tbsp green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 tbsp grated palm sugar
  • 1 cup halved button mushrooms
  • 5 spears baby corn, halved
  • 1 small bunch water spinach (kangkung)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • lime wedges, to serve

Miso red curry paste

  • 50 g dried large red chillies, seeds and stalks removed, soaked in hot water
  • 10 large red chillies, seeds and stalks removed, roughly chopped
  • 10 coriander roots (including leaves, stems and roots), well washed, roughly chopped
  • 2 small brown onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, white part only, roughly chopped
  • 6 makrut lime leaves, roughly sliced
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 60 g (¼ cup) brown miso paste
  • 2 tbsp tamari

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. For the miso red curry paste, process all the ingredients together in a food processor. You can add a bit of the chilli soaking water if needed to bring it all together into a paste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  2. Preheat the oven to 240˚C. Place the cauliflower on a baking tray, drizzle with half the oil and season with salt. Toss to coat and roast for 30 minutes or until charred and tender.
  3. When the cauliflower is nearly ready, heat a large wok over high heat. Add the remaining oil and about half the coconut cream. Fry for a few minutes or until the coconut cream starts to "crack" and separate. Add the curry paste and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the lime leaves, lemongrass, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, palm sugar and about 700 ml water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  4. Add the mushrooms and simmer for a few more minutes, then add the remaining vegetables and bring to a simmer. Add the remaining coconut cream and adjust the seasoning.
  5. Place the vegetables on a serving plate, then put the cauliflower on top. Pour over the curry sauce and scatter with herbs. Serve with lime wedges.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.