We loved cauliflower before it became the alternative carb of choice amongst millennials – long before cauliflower gnocchi (which we do adore), rice and even pizza crust, there was the pure unadulterated roasted cauliflower! And while Aloo Gobhi (Indian potato cauliflower curry) is hands down our favorite, this Szechuan cauliflower is a VERY close second.
This recipe starts with roasted cauliflower with some oil and salt / pepper – roasting the cauliflower first gives it a great char that holds up against the tangy, spicy asian inspired sauce.
The sauce comes together by whisking sugar, vinegar, hot sauce, soy sauce and spices – the key is to add corn starch to your sauce so that when you add it to the veggies, you get a thicker, stickier consistency reminiscent of your favorite Chinese takeout! While we eat half of the cauliflower straight out of the wok, we love to serve this over a bed of brown rice or with chili garlic noodles – by pan frying noodles in oil simmered with crushed garlic and red pepper flakes. If you want to be healthier, this would also work great over a bed of spinach as a salad!
Tips and Tricks
- This sauce works great with eggplant or green beans – anyone obsessed with Chinese Spicy green beans? This sauce would SO work.
- We personally like to use brown sugar and then add a little honey to the mix. This will be similar in flavor to using maple syrup, but bring in a little bit of that brown sugar molasses taste, with the honey for sweetness.
- This recipe works for one medium sized head of cauliflower, you may have to adjust the sauce recipe depending on how much cauliflower you use.
- If you want to also add crispy tofu or other veggies, we would recommend doubling the sauce recipe as the tofu will soak up a lot of the sauce.
- If you use fresh cauliflower, you could pan fry instead of baking – if you are using frozen florets, definitely bake them thoroughly to get rid of the excess water and get the crispy roast before wok frying with sauce.
- Prep time: 30 minutes
- Cook time: 45 hours
- Yield: 3-4 servings (entree size)
- Baked Cauliflower
- Cauliflower, 1 head, cut into florets
- Avocado Oil (or other oil for baking)
- Szechuan Sauce
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari if gluten free)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (can use sambal oelek or sriracha)
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Set oven to 400F.
- Place cauliflower florets onto a large backing sheet (ensure there is enough room to bake and not steam).
- Coat cauliflower with a little oil, salt, and pepper.
- Bake cauliflower for 30 minutes, flipping/mixing half way through to evenly bake.
- For the sauce, combine ingredients in a container.
- Heat a wok or skillet set at medium to medium-high.
- Add a little sesame oil or oil of choice.
- Add baked cauliflower (if you don’t want to bake, you could pan fry them as well)
- As it heats up, add the Szechuan Sauce mixture.
- As you cook it, the mixture should thicken and end up coating the cauliflower well.
- I add a little honey to the mix based on your level of sweetness vs. heat.
- Serve over your carb of choice (rice, noodles, etc) or spinach (if you want to keep it Whole30) or eat as is!