I decided to make this vegetarian Orange Cauliflower recipe after I made General Tso’s Chicken and thought, wouldn’t it be great to make something like this for my vegetarian daughter?
She eats a lot of tofu and I thought about using that, but cauliflower is her favorite vegetable. I was certain it would taste amazing fried up and coated with an Asian sauce. And boy did we love it.
Ok, maybe my husband wasn’t too keen on it. But that’s only because he tries to avoid vegetables whenever possible.
The cauliflower is deep-fried and coated in a sugary sauce so it is far from a healthy vegetarian meal. But if you’re looking for a vegetarian Chinese-style meal and the options at your local take-out restaurant aren’t up to par, try this recipe. It really is delicious.
The cauliflower florets are coated in a cornstarch, soy sauce, and egg mixture and fried until golden. Really watch the fry time because the cauliflower florets can get over-soft if you cook them too long.
The sauce has plenty of sweetness from fresh orange juice and sugar. Hoisin sauce, some tomato paste, and fresh ginger give it layers of flavor.
Add some white or brown rice and you have yourself a scrumptious vegetarian meal.
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- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- ⅓ cup, plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- Peanut oil
- green onions
- Combine all sauce ingredients except cornstarch and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and water. Add to sauce and simmer 2 minutes. Keep warm.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil, and ⅓ cup cornstarch. Add cauliflower and toss to coat. Let sit 10 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch on top and mix in.
- Heat 1-2 inches of oil to 350 degrees in a Dutch oven or deep pan.
- Fry cauliflower in batches until golden brown, being careful not to fry it too long or it will get too soft. Drain on paper towel-lined plates.
- Serve cauliflower over rice and drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with green onions.