Cauliflower is so versatile! As mentioned at the end of my last blog post, there is a plethora of ways to prepare cauliflower which includes:

  • steamed
  • mashed
  • riced
  • fried
  • made into pizza crust
  • made into gnocchi
  • eaten raw
  • stir fried

And to add to the list – breaded and air-fried!

This recipe is inspired by the sesame chicken you get from Chinese take-out – it’s aromatic from the sesame oil and tangy from the rice vinegar! It also utilizes the air fryer – one of my favourite kitchen appliances. But don’t worry, if you don’t have an air fryer I’ve also included an alternative method to cook the cauliflower in the oven.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

Crispy Cauliflower

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk (I used oat!)
  • ¼ – ½ cup water
  • 1 – 2 cups whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • Cooking spray

Sesame Sauce

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup tamari
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp corn starch

Directions

Crispy Cauliflower

  1. Steam the cauliflower until it just begins to become tender, then remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients then add the non-dairy milk and ¼ cup of water.
  3. Whisk together until a batter forms – the consistency should be thinner than pancake batter. If the batter is too thick, add the additional ¼ cup of water and whisk until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, measure out the panko breadcrumbs.
  5. Dip the cauliflower into the batter, allowing excess batter to drip off before transferring to the bowl of breadcrumbs. Use your other hand to coat the exterior of the cauliflower with breadcrumbs, then place on the air fryer basket or a lined baking sheet if using an oven. Repeat until the basket or baking sheet is filled.
  6. Spray the cauliflower lightly with cooking spray. If using an air fryer, cook at 400oF for 15 minutes, removing halfway through to flip them over. If baking in the oven, bake at 425oF for 15 minutes, removing halfway through to flip them over.
  7. Repeat steps 5 & 6 until all of the cauliflower is battered.

Sesame Sauce

  1. In a bowl, mix together the vinegar, honey or maple syrup, tamari, water and sesame oil. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and garlic and cook until the garlic begins to brown.
  3. Turn down the heat, then add the contents from the bowl into the pan along with the sesame seeds. Heat the sauce for 3-5 minutes.
  4. To thicken the sauce, combine the corn starch with some cold water in a separate bowl, stirring to create a slurry and remove lumps. Add the slurry to the sauce, stirring constantly. Continue to heat the sauce until it thickens to your desired consistency, then remove from heat and serve with cauliflower.

Now that you’ve made your crispy sesame cauliflower, what will you eat it with? I’ve paired mine with some brown rice and spiralized carrots, but these would also make the perfect appetizer, or go great with noodles.

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