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Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

close up overhead shot of a plate of Sticky Sesame Cauliflower garnished with green onions and sesame seeds
Whenever you’re craving a meal that's big on taste, this sticky sesame cauliflower will be the perfect flavorful choice.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian, Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 611 kcal



  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
  • cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • cups buttermilk
  • vegetable oil, for frying


  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • tablespoons rice vinegar
  • cup ketchup
  • cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • tablespoons cornstarch
  • 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.


Calories: 611kcalCarbohydrates: 120gProtein: 15gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 982mgPotassium: 866mgFiber: 6gSugar: 49gVitamin A: 601IUVitamin C: 76mgCalcium: 212mgIron: 5mg