This Spicy Chinese Cauliflower is a tasty, healthy side or vegetarian main.... better than take out!
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It is so easy nowadays to make a Chinese meal at home with all the different oriental sauces,seasoning and flavour packages available. Take is convenient - no doubt about that. And sometimes that is just what you need.
But... I often don't feel well after Chinese takeout. Too much deep fried, more batter than meat. I love it at the time but I pay a little bit for it. And don't even get me started on those all you can eat buffets.
The last (and only) time I went to the Mandarin, I thought I had exercised control. I had compared to my table mates for sure! But I was still so over-stuffed I just went into a Chinese coma! I literally just walked through the door and went to bed. I think it was 8 pm....
So I am a bit of a fan of making Chinese food at home. I often do a mixture of bought and home made. I love the crispy spring rolls from Costco! Rice, is easy to make. Fried rice is even tastier and a great way to use up leftovers. And it is really easy to make a Chinese meal gluten free by using corn starch to thicken sauces or 'bread' meat chunks.
Try any of these tasty recipes to round out this Spicy Chinese Cauliflower.
This recipe is quite versatile. You can add hotter chiles, more chiles to suit your desired 'heat factor'. As written, the recipe will by zesty, tangy but not burn-your-lips level. You can add in some peanuts or cashews to the sauce if you like. This is a good idea if you want to serve it as a vegetarian main course. You can add green onions as a garnish, toasted sesame seeds etc. It will serve 2 as main or 4 as a side. If you have lots of different dishes then you could even count it for 6.
Spicy Chinese Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Breading
- 5 Tbsps water
- 5 Tbsps corn starch
- 6 Tbsps bread crumbs (use GF bread crumbs to keep gluten free)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tsps soy sauce (use GF to keep gluten free)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 large head of cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or chinese red chiles, adjust heat to taste)
- ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1" chunk fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 2 ½ teaspoon soy sauce (use GF to keep Gluten free)
- 2 Tbsps rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Mirin (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted (optional)
- green onions for garnish (optional)
- ⅓ cup peanuts or cashews chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Wash and cut up cauliflower.
- Slowly mix the water into the cornstarch to make a paste. Add the bread crumbs cayenne, soy sauces sesame oil to make a batter.
- Toss the cauliflower florets in the batter to coat. Transfer florets to the sheet pan.
- Bake 30 minutes until tender. Check them with a fork. Try not to overcook so they don't get mushy.
- In a sauce pan heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the peppers and cook 1-2 minutes. Add nuts if using. Add the garlic and ginger and cook another 4-5 minutes. Make sure the garlic does not burn.
- In a separate bowl, add the soy sauce to the corn starch to make a paste. Add the rice vinegar and mirin (if using), sugar and water. Stir till well mixed.
- Add to the sauce pan and bring sauce to a boil. Stir until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes.
- To serve, drizzle sauce over cauliflower and add garnishes.