September 25, 2023Review Recipe
Table of Contents
Sticky sesame cauliflower is a delicious vegetarian dinner that absolutely anyone will enjoy! Crispy fried cauliflower is tossed in a homemade Asian-inspired sweet sesame sauce and served over rice to create a flavorful main course dish.
Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Ingredients
This dish has a delightful combination of flavors that will have your taste buds dancing.
The cauliflower itself is cooked to tender perfection, while the sticky sesame sauce is made up of a delectable blend of soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil. The result is a dish that’s both sweet and savory, with just the right amount of crunchiness
For The Cauliflower:
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1½ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- ½ teaspoon of ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1½ cups of buttermilk
For The Sticky Sesame Sauce:
- ½ cup of low-sodium soy sauce
- 1½ tablespoons of rice vinegar
- ⅓ cup of ketchup
- ½ cup of honey
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- ¼ cup of light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon of ginger paste
- ½ cup of chicken broth
- 1½ tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1½ tablespoons of water
You can find sesame oil in two places at the grocery store. It can be found in the baking aisle in the oil section. You can also find it with Asian foods. It is usually cheaper if you pick the oil that is in with the Asian foods.
For The Garnish:
- 2 cups of cooked rice
- 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
- 5 green onions, sliced
Substitutions And Additions
RICE: This sticky sesame cauliflower recipe is also delicious when served with brown rice. You may also wish to cook the rice in a rice cooker instead of in a pot on the stove. Whichever cooking method you choose, just be sure to follow the directions on the package of rice for cooking.
CAULIFLOWER: If you’re not a fan of cauliflower or don’t have it on hand, you can substitute it with broccoli florets. The cooking time and method remain the same, ensuring a similar result.
SPICE: If you love to add some heat to your food, this is a great recipe for you. Try adding a dash of crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce. You might also enjoy a few dashes of sriracha sauce or another hot sauce.
SOY SAUCE: If you have a soy allergy or want a gluten-free option, you can use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. These alternatives offer a similar umami flavor profile without the gluten.
SESAME OIL: If you don’t have sesame oil, you can substitute it with peanut oil or another neutral cooking oil. While the sesame oil adds a distinct nutty flavor, other oils will still provide a good cooking base.
SESAME SEEDS: To add extra crunch and flavor, you can experiment with different types of seeds. Try using toasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds as a substitute for sesame seeds. They’ll bring their unique qualities to the dish.
GARLIC: If you’re not a fan of garlic or want a milder flavor, you can use garlic powder as a substitution. Keep in mind that the intensity of the garlic flavor will vary, so adjust the quantity according to your preference.
How To Make This Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Recipe
The cauliflower gets breaded and deep-fried before being smothered in the sticky sauce. Here’s how to make this dish.
STEP ONE: Cook rice according to the package directions, then set aside.
STEP TWO: In a medium saucepan, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, ketchup, honey, sesame oil, light brown sugar, garlic paste, ginger paste, and chicken broth. Whisk the sauce ingredients together and bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat.
STEP THREE: In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water and whisk until smooth.
OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS
The cornstarch slurry will help thicken up the sauce.
STEP FOUR: Slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the boiling sauce. Reduce the stove to low heat and simmer while you prepare the cauliflower, stirring occasionally.
STEP FIVE: Pour the vegetable oil into a large skillet to 2 inches in depth. Heat to 350°F over medium to medium-high heat.
It’s important that you test the temperature of the oil with a thermometer. If it’s too hot, it will burn the exterior of the cauliflower, and if it is too cool, the cauliflower won’t cook through and may end up being too oily.
STEP SIX: In a large bowl, combine the flour, cumin, chili powder, coriander, onion powder, and black pepper. Pour the buttermilk into a separate small bowl.
STEP SEVEN: Work in batches to cook the cauliflower in the following order: Dip the 1-inch cauliflower florets into the flour mixture, then dip them in the buttermilk, then dip them back into the flour mixture. Tap excess flour off of each piece of cauliflower and gently place it into the hot oil.
STEP EIGHT: Cook cauliflower on both sides for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the cooked cauliflower from the hot oil and place it on a paper towel-lined plate or sheet pan to drain off excess oil.
STEP NINE: When all the cauliflower is cooked, place it in a large mixing bowl. Pour the hot sesame sauce over the top of the cauliflower. Use tongs or a large spoon to “toss” the cauliflower with the sesame sauce until all of the pieces are coated.
STEP TEN: Serve over white rice and garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
How To Serve
Serve this delicious sticky sesame cauliflower dish on a bed of rice for a complete vegetarian meal. If you are planning a night of Chinese takeout recipes at home, try our orange chicken and fried rice to add to your plate.
If you’re looking for some greens, a simple side salad with a light vinaigrette will do the trick.
In this section, we’ll provide you with handy tips on storing this recipe to ensure you can enjoy its flavors even after it’s been prepared.
MAKE AHEAD: If you’d like to prepare the sticky sesame cauliflower ahead of time, you can follow these simple steps. After cooking the dish, allow it to cool completely. Once cooled, transfer the cauliflower to an airtight container or a resealable bag. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to serve, you can reheat it in the oven or on the stovetop to restore its deliciousness.
IN THE FRIDGE: To store any leftover sticky sesame cauliflower in the refrigerator, ensure it has cooled down first. Store leftover sticky sesame cauliflower bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
IN THE FREEZER: If you’d like to freeze the sticky sesame cauliflower for later use, it’s important to follow a few steps to maintain its taste and texture. Allow the cooked cauliflower to cool completely before freezing. Once cooled, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or a resealable freezer bag. Ensure the container is tightly sealed to prevent freezer burn. The cauliflower can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 months.
Whenever you’re craving a big flavor meal, sticky sesame cauliflower will be your new go-to recipe. The crispy battered cauliflower in the flavor-packed sticky sauce paired with tender rice makes for a great dinner any night of the week.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pick a head that is free from browning, wet spots, or “sunburned spots.” The cauliflower should be firm, and heavy for its size, with densely packed florets. The leaves should be fresh and vibrant green which is a sign that the cauliflower was recently harvested.
Fry only with oils that have a high smoking point. The smoking point is the temperature it takes for the oil to start to break down and smoke. Once it smokes, it’s not good for frying. Good oils to use are sesame oil, peanut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, or vegetable oil. Olive oil, on the other hand, is not a good oil to fry in.
The sticky cauliflower can be frozen in an airtight container for up to a month.
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Sticky Sesame Cauliflower
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1½ tablespoons rice vinegar
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1½ tablespoons water
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 5 green onions, sliced
- In a medium pot, cook the white rice according to the package directions.
- In a medium saucepan, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, ketchup, honey, sesame oil, light brown sugar, garlic paste, ginger paste, and chicken broth. Whisk together and bring to a boil.
- In a small separate bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Whisk until no lumps remain.
- Once the sauce is boiling, slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Turn heat to low and let simmer while you prepare the cauliflower. Stir occasionally.
- In a large skillet over medium, heat vegetable oil until it is about 2 inches deep. Turn heat to medium and let sit until the temperature reaches 350°F. It’s important that you test the temperature with a meat thermometer. If it’s too hot, it will burn the exterior of the cauliflower.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cumin, chili powder, coriander, onion powder, and black pepper. Whisk together. In a separate bowl, add the buttermilk.
- Work in batches to cook the cauliflower in the following order: Take the 1-inch cauliflower pieces and dip them in the flour mixture. Then dip them in the buttermilk. Then dip them back in the flour mixture. Tap the excess flour off of the cauliflower pieces and add to the hot oil.
- Cook the cauliflower on both sides for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the cauliflower from the oil and place it on a paper towel-lined plate.
- When all the cauliflower is cooked, place it in a large mixing bowl. Pour the hot sesame sauce over the top of the cauliflower. Use tongs or a large spoon to “toss” the cauliflower with the sesame sauce.
- Serve over white rice and garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
- You can find sesame oil in two places at the grocery store. It can be found in the baking aisle in the oil section. You can also find it with Asian foods as well. It is usually cheaper if you pick the oil that is in with the Asian foods.
- The cornstarch slurry will help thicken up the sauce.
- It’s important that you test the temperature of the oil with a thermometer. If it’s too hot it will burn the exterior of the cauliflower, and if it is too cool, the cauliflower won’t cook through and can end up being too oily.