Chinese
General Tso's Cauliflower recipe

General Tso's Cauliflower is a delicious alternative to the classic General Tso's Chinese takeout chicken. It's crunchy, super tasty, vegetarian and vegan, and you might enjoy this recipe more than the chicken version!

Cauliflower: A Great Vegetarian Substitute

We were starting to think that cauliflower recipes were going out of style. Or maybe people had exhausted all the cauliflower recipes they could think of. (Cauliflower pizza dough, cauliflower sauces, cauliflower soup, etc.), but then again, that was never going to happen, right?

After all, cauliflower is the new kale.

Here is the recipe for General Tso's cauliflower.

The story behind all this is that a dear friend of mine invited us to his house for an Indo-Chinese dinner and raved that I would be “pleasantly surprised.”

Now the other twist is that my friend became a vegetarian years ago. He later became a committed vegan. I wasn't sure what to expect. I honestly hoped he wouldn't serve me alfalfa sprouts, beans, and lettuce.

I was pleasantly surprised when he served me delicious plates of noodles, rice, eggplant curry, and yes, General Tso's cauliflower! He jokes that we are obsessed with blogging, so I didn't disappoint him when I said, “I'll blog about it!”

I believe this dish is similar to the Indo-Chinese dish, Gobi Manchurian. We are not experts in the world of Indian Chinese cuisine, but we will have to try it when we come across Indo-Chinese restaurants!

I developed this version based on how I would make General Tso's Chicken. My recipe is different from my friend's because I decided not to blanch the cauliflower ahead of time and instead of shallow frying it, I opted for deep frying.

We use cornstarch in the marinade to keep the cauliflower moist. Coating the florets in rice flour mixed with sesame seeds gives them that crunch everyone loves in General Tso's Chicken!

General TSO's Cauliflower Dish

It's a meatless meal to serve to your vegetarian and vegan guests. And trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Here's to all you vegans and vegetarians who want to join in on the General Tso action. Enjoy!

General Tso's Cauliflower: Recipe Instructions

Cut the cauliflower into 2.5-5 cm florets.

cauliflower florets on cutting board

Mix the cornstarch, baking soda, salt, sesame oil, white pepper, water, and ¾ cup rice flour in a large bowl until a batter forms.

Add the cauliflower and stir until well coated. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup rice flour over the cauliflower and stir until everything sticks to the cauliflower.

There should be no batter left at the bottom of the bowl. If there is, add a little rice flour. If the batter seems dry or crumbly, add a teaspoon or two of water.

Then, sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds evenly over the cauliflower.

cauliflower battered with sesame seeds

Heat the oil to 375°F/190°C in a cast iron skillet or small saucepan. Fry the cauliflower in batches until lightly browned and crispy (about 3 minutes) and transfer to a baking sheet (you can line the baking sheet with paper towels if desired).

fried cauliflower on baking tray

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in your wok over medium heat. Add the minced ginger and sauté for 15 seconds. Add the garlic and dried red chilies. Stir for 10 seconds.

Add the Shaoxing wine and immediately after the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and water (or chicken broth). Lower the heat to low, allowing the entire mixture to simmer.

Gluten free?

You can make this recipe gluten-free by substituting gluten-free soy sauce and using a dry cooking sherry instead of the Shaoxing wine.

To make the cauliflower pieces extra crispy, re-fry them in batches for about 20 seconds or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Gradually add the cornstarch batter to the sauce, stirring constantly, and simmer for 20 seconds. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon.

Add the cauliflower and spring onions. Toss the entire mixture to coat everything with the sauce.

Serve General Tso's Cauliflower with lots of rice!

General Tso's Cauliflower on a White Plate
General Tso's Cauliflower

General Tso's Cauliflower

General Tso's Cauliflower is the vegetarian version of the beloved General Tso's Chinese American Chicken. It's just as crunchy and flavorful!

General Tso's Cauliflower Recipe

servants: 6

Instructions

  • Cut the cauliflower into 1- to 2-inch (3-5 cm) pieces. Mix the cornstarch, baking soda, salt, sesame oil, white pepper, water, and three-quarters of the rice flour in a large bowl until it forms a batter.

  • Add the cauliflower to the batter and stir until well coated. Sprinkle the remaining rice flour over the cauliflower and stir until everything sticks together. There should be no batter left at the bottom of the bowl. If there is, add just a little more rice flour. If the batter seems dry or crumbly, add a teaspoon or two of water. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds evenly over the cauliflower.

  • Heat the oil to 375°F/190°C in a cast iron skillet or small saucepan. Fry the cauliflower in batches until lightly browned and crispy (about 3 minutes), then transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in your wok over medium heat. Add the minced ginger and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Add the garlic and dried red chili pepper. Stir for 10 seconds. Add the Shaoxing wine and immediately add the sesame oil, light soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and water (or stock). Reduce the heat to low, allowing the entire mixture to simmer.

  • To make the cauliflower extra crispy, fry it a second time in batches for about 20 seconds or until golden brown, and drain on paper towels. Gradually add the cornstarch batter to the sauce, stirring constantly, and simmer for 20 seconds. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon.

  • Add the cauliflower and spring onions and toss until everything is well coated with sauce. Serve!

nutritional values

Calories: 350kilocalorie (18%) Carbohydrates: 33G (11%) Protein: 4G (8%) Fat: 23G (35%) Saturated fats: 2G (10%) Sodium: 660mg (28%) Potassium: 316mg (9%) Fiber: 3G (12%) Sugar: 6G (7%) Vitamin A: 20IU C vitamin: 46.9mg (57%) Soccer: 32mg (3%) Iron: 0.7mg (4%)

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