Updated: Nov 5, 2021
Try this CRISPY GENERAL TSO STYLE CAULIFLOWER and you'll be immediately transported to a happy place!
Cauliflower could very well be one of my favorite vegetables.
If anybody would've told me several years ago that I would be this excited over cauliflower, I would've never believed them! But, even more since becoming a vegan, I've found that it is quite a versatile [and healthy] ingredient that works very well in a host of recipes.
I've used cauliflower in many recipes to make cauliflower wings, cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower 'steaks', cauliflower risotto... you name it!
Today, I bring you a new one: CRISPY GENERAL TSO STYLE CAULIFLOWER.
I remember since I was very young, when I visited Asian restaurants, General Tso's Chicken was one of my favorite dishes. The sauce in this traditional dish is quite addictive, but the dish itself is not the healthiest. The chicken is typically fried, and the sauce ingredients are packed with sodium and sugar.
For this recipe, I wanted to make it a bit healthier. So, I am baking (not frying) the cauliflower, and I modified some ingredients to lower the sodium and refined sugar content.
Let me tell you, the results are amazing!
The cauliflower is crispy and the sauce is on point!
You could add some heat to the recipe, if you want, by adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to the mixture that is used to coat the cauliflower, or add Chinese red pepper paste to the sauce base. But, I rather like it without the heat. It is truer to the original recipe.
I hope you enjoy it!
CRISPY GENERAL TSO STYLE CAULIFLOWER
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
For the cauliflower:
5 Tbsp cornstarch
6 Tbsp breadcrumbs
6 Tbsp water (plus more, if needed)
2 tsp Tamari (or sub with Liquid Aminos)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into florets
For the sauce base:
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp chopped cashews
4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
2 Tbsp green onion, chopped
3 Tbsp green pepper, finely chopped
5 Tbsp Tamari (or sub with Liquid Aminos)
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp Mirin (optional)
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 Cup water
2 tsp cornstarch
HOW TO MAKE IT:
Preheat your oven to 425°F. Cut the cauliflower into florets.
Mix the cornstarch, breadcrumbs and the rest of the cauliflower ingredients. Do this only after you have chopped your cauliflower because the mixture will thicken quickly. Let the mixture rest for about 10 seconds if it is not thick. Once it begins to thicken, quickly start to place the cauliflower florets in the mixture.
Shake off the excess mixture from your florets and place on a lined baking tray.
If the mixture gets too thick while working, add a teaspoon of water or more as needed to thin it out.
Bake the coated cauliflower florets for 30 minutes or until completely cooked (you can check by inserting a toothpick).
While the cauliflower bakes, begin on the sauce. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper flakes and cashews, and toss for a few seconds. Then, add the ginger and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low and keep cooking until the garlic turns golden - about 4 to 5 minutes - tossing ingredients in the pan occasionally.
Add the green onion and green pepper. Raise the heat to medium and cook for a minute longer.
Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl and add to the pan. Keep cooking until the sauce begins to boil and thicken - about 3 to 4 minutes.
Place the baked cauliflower florets on a shallow serving plate. Once ready to serve, pour the sauce over the cauliflower. Serve immediately.
Store any leftover cauliflower and sauce separately to keep the cauliflower crispy.
Let me know if you make this! Tag me by using @mindfulgrub or the hashtag #mindfulgrub when you share your creations on social media. I‘d love to hear how it went for you!
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