Kung Pau Cauliflower might make your Top 5 Favorites list for your favorite make-at-home Chinese meal. It’s big on flavor and it makes a fabulous appetizer or main dish as part of a light meal.
Instead of going out for Chinese this weekend, I decided to make a variation of restaurant favorite: Kung Pao Cauliflower. I had the ingredients on hand, so why not.
I love cauliflower and always look at people a little differently when they tell me they don’t like it. I know that’s a little judgey, but come on! How can you not love cauliflower?
This sheet pan Roasted Cauliflower and Tomatoes with Balsamic Glaze is just one way to enjoy this veggie.
If pasta is more your thing, you’ll love my Creamy Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Mushrooms. Ooo! And don’t pass up a chance to try Kimchi and Cauliflower Fried “Rice” with Poached Eggs. It’s a fabulous comfort food dish.
I had the idea to make Kung Pao Cauliflower a few years ago after meeting some friends for dinner. My husband and I were running a little late, but got to the restaurant and strolled up to the table just as our friends’ appetizers showed up. Score! Kung Pao Cauliflower was one of the delicious starters they shared with us.
Kung Pao Cauliflower is rich and spicy with a little sweetness to it, too. Don’t forget the cashews. Everything is better with cashews! As a testament to how good this dish is, I gotta tell you that it passed muster with my friend who I lovingly refer to as the Pickiest Eater in the World.
You could easily make a meal out of this dish (throw in some extra veggies if you’d like), especially if you serve rice on the side along with a green salad. It’s also a perfect Meatless Monday meal, too.
If you’re at home and looking for an easy, crowd-pleasing dish to make, give Kung Pao Cauliflower a try. You probably have all the ingredients on hand, but if not, wait for your next grocery run and make a plan!
Whether you’re looking for a fun and meatless appetizer or main dish to serve, give Kung Pao Cauliflower a try. It’s rich and filling and full of great flavor. Let me know how you like it!
Patricia Conte/Grab a Plate
Serves Serves 4
This is a fun and tasty take on a classic! You'll love it!
5 based on 3 review(s)
- 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
- 1/4 cup red onion, sliced thin
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red chile pepper, seeds removed, cut into thin rounds
- 1/4 cup cashew pieces
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha (more or less to taste), divided
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with the nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon Sriracha, and the cornstarch. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the cauliflower florets to the baking dish and spoon the soy sauce mixture over them. Toss to coat. Cook for about 20 minutes, tossing a few times as they cook.
- Just before the end of the cooking time, add the sesame oil and the vegetable oil to a skillet over medium heat.
- When hot, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until they soften. Reduce the heat a bit and add the garlic, chile rings, and cashews. Cook for a few minutes, tossing. Remove from the heat.
- Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, the hoisin, brown sugar, Sriracha, vinegar, and black pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Remove the cauliflower from the oven and pour the liquid mixture over them, and reserve 1-2 tablespoons. Toss to coat.
- Add the pan back to the oven for another 10 minutes or so, or until the cauliflower is soft. Toss a once or twice during this time.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Just before serving, add the reserved sauce over the top and garnish with a bit of black pepper.