This Kung Pao Cauliflower is made with roasted cauliflower and is super easy to make. This recipe can be served as a main or as a side and is vegetarian/vegan!

roasted cauliflower with sauce topped with green onions in a blue bowl

A Kung Pao Cauliflower stir fry

This recipe for Kung Pao Cauliflower is a seriously tasty way to enjoy eating cauliflower. This recipe is similar to my Kung Pao Tofu, but has a slightly different sauce and ingredients.

The cauliflower in this recipe is first roasted in the oven, and then stir-fried with the Kung Pao sauce in a pan. This gives the cauliflower a ton of flavour!

You can also skip out on the stir-frying and just toss the cauliflower and sauce together in a bowl, but I find stir-frying helps to really get the sauce nice and sticky and well-coated on all the cauliflower.

What does kung pao taste like?

Kung Pao has a flavour that is sweet, sour and savoury. The sauce gets its unique flavour from using Chinese vinegar, which gives it that sour and tangy taste. If you can’t find Chinese vinegar, you can go ahead and use balsamic vinegar in this recipe which will give you a similar taste.

Kung Pao is also usually made with Sichuan Peppercorns. These are different from regular peppercorns and have a slight citrus taste and cooling/numbing effect on your taste buds. (This is a very slight effect, they won’t make your whole mouth go numb!) If you can’t find Sichuan peppercorns, you can go ahead and just use regular peppercorns. It will still be delicious 🙂

How to make this recipe

Toss the cauliflower florets with some olive oil and corn starch, then roast the cauliflower in the oven at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

Toss the cauliflower in and sauce together in a skillet until the cauliflower is evenly coated.

kung pao cauliflower in a clear mixing bowl

Serve on it’s own as a side or on top of rice and top it off with some green onions, sesame seeds or crushed peanuts.

roasted cauliflower in a blue bowl topped with green onions and wood chopsticks

Different ways you can prep the cauliflower

You can coat the cauliflower florets in a breading or some panko if you prefer to make cauliflower “nuggets”

To make a coating combine 1 cup flour (gluten-free if needed) to 1 cup almond milk and dunk each cauliflower floret into the batter. Let any excess batter drip off. Optionally dunk in panko after the batter.

Then roast the cauliflower at 425 for 25-35 minutes flipping halfway through.

Tips for making this recipe perfectly

  • Cut all the cauliflower florets to be about the same size so they all cook evenly in the oven.
  • If using a big cauliflower, double the sauce and add more as needed.
  • Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days and reheat in the oven at 400 degrees F.

More cauliflower recipes to try

kung pao cauliflower topped with green onions and sesame seeds

If you tried this Kung Pao Cauliflower or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!

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roasted cauliflower with sauce topped with green onions in a blue bowl

Kung Pao Cauliflower

  • Author: Jessica Hoffman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Kung Pao Cauliflower packs a punch! It’s loaded with a sweet and tangy flavour and can be enjoyed as a side, main, or served with rice!


Scale

Ingredients

Cauliflower

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp corn starch or tapioca starch 

Kung Pao Sauce

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (gluten-free if needed) 
  • 1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar (can sub balsamic vinegar) 
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce (gluten-free if needed) 
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar) 
  • 1 tsp sambal Olek (can sub sriracha)  
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Other

  • Sliced green onions 
  • sesame seeds or crushed peanuts 
  • (optional) rice to serve 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 420 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil and corn starch then spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
  3. Prepare the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients together.
  4. Pour the sauce into a skillet on medium-high heat and let it cook for about 1 minute until it gently bubbles. 
  5. Add the cauliflower and toss together until evenly coated. 
  6. Top with sliced green onions, sesame seeds or crushed peanuts.  

Notes

Cut all the cauliflower florets to be about the same size so they all cook evenly in the oven.

If using a big cauliflower, double the sauce and add more as needed.

Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days and reheat in the oven at 400 degrees F.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 130
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 2g

Keywords: Kung Pao cauliflower, asian cauliflower recipe, stir fry cauliflower