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This Kung Pao Cauliflower is flavorful, has tons of texture and just a little bit of spice. It’s coated in a sweet and sticky glaze and topped with cilantro, scallions and crushed peanuts.
OH MY GOSH, if you’ve never made Kung Pao Cauliflower, now’s your chance. I’m not even lying when I say that this recipe will be on rotation in our household. Often, kung pao sauce is used to coat meat (think: chicken or shrimp), but it’s really tasty on cauliflower too. This kung pao cauliflower is delicious on its own, but also a really great side dish.
Last week on Instagram, I asked readers to vote on which recipe from Molly’s cookbook they wanted me to make, and the cauliflower won by ONE vote. Whether you voted for the cauliflower or not, you won’t be disappointed because this may or may not be my new favorite way to eat cauliflower.
WHY THIS KUNG PAO CAULIFLOWER IS SO GOOD
- It’s a quick recipe–ready in about 15 minutes
- It’s SO flavorful–the sauce is sticky, sweet and a little spicy
- It’s topped with all the goods like peanuts, cilantro and scallions, so the texture is incredible
HOW TO MAKE KUNG PAO CAULIFLOWER
Make the sauce: Start by whisking all of the sauce ingredients together; that way, the sauce will be ready to go when you need it.
Sear the cauliflower: You’ll want to sear the cauliflower on both sides until it’s golden brown, which will enhance the flavor. This is also a lot faster than roasting it in the oven–the cauliflower should be completely seared in under 6 minutes!
WHY YOU NEED TO BUY ‘EAT MORE PLANTS’
- It features tons of easy and creative ways to eat vegetables
- The recipes use minimal ingredients (yes really!)
- The photographs are stunning
OTHER DELICIOUS CAULIFLOWER RECIPES
- Chimichurri Cauliflower Steak
- Roasted Cauliflower Crustless Quiche
- Buffalo Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs
Kung Pao Cauliflower
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp chili-garlic sauce
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium head cauliflower cut into florets
- Salt as needed
- Black pepper as needed
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro coarsely chopped
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, agave, hoisin sauce, ginger, cornstarch, sesame oil, chili-garlic, and red pepper flakes until combined. Set aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower in an even layer, season it with a pinch of salt and pepper, and sear the cauliflower, undisturbed, for 2-3 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Flip the cauliflower and sear for 2-3 minutes, until it is golden brown on the opposite side.
- Add the sauce and reduce the heat to medium. Toss the cauliflower in the sauce to coat and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until sauce thickens and the cauliflower is tender.
- Add the sesame seeds, scallions, peanuts, and cilantro and stir to combine. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if desired and serve.