Some of the most memorable and craveable Asian-American dishes feature a dichotomy of textures and flavors. Ingeniously inventive at the time of their debut, these salty-sweet, sour-spicy, savory-honeyed-tangy tastes and contrasting textures (crispy-soft, chewy-yielding) gained loyal support across the country until their place was secured in the Asain-American culinary canon and offered on nearly every Chinese or Thai carryout menu.
General Tso’s Chicken exemplifies this edible dichotomy perfectly. Crisp breading on the outside, soft and moist on the inside, coated in a sticky, salty, aromatic sauce that’s sometimes punctuated with bold scarlet chilis, we remade this iconic dish to give it a more modern flair. Instead of chicken, we used cauliflower florets (by all means use poultry if you wish; we’d recommend dark meat since it’s less dry), fried the breaded cauliflower in avocado oil (olive oil works well, too), and made a minimalist—though mighty tasty—sauce from honey and our No Soy Teriyaki Sauce. Breaded, deep-fried cauliflower may become your new favorite snack should you allow yourself the indulgence of sampling one of these golden babies, so just be aware that you don’t eat them all straight out of the fryer.
General Tso’s Cauliflower
Time: 40 minutes
For the batter:
- ½ cup Cassava Flour
- ½ cup Arrowroot Flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Umami Seasoning Blend*
Up to 1 cup of sparkling water
*Made with: kosher salt, dried porcini and white button mushrooms, dried onion, mustard seed, red and black pepper, and thyme. You can substitute ½ teaspoon onion powder and ½ teaspoon garlic powder if you can’t find this seasoning blend.
For the dredging flour:
- ¼ cup Cassava Flour
For the cauliflower:
- 2 bags cauliflower florets or 2 small heads cauliflower, broken and chopped into florets
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4–6 cups
For the sauce:
- 1 cup
- 1 tablespoon Beekeeper’s Natural Honey
For the garnishes:
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
- 1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
- A pot that’s at least 5 inches deep (a Dutch oven works well) Candy thermometer, ideally that can attach to the side of the pot
For the Lemon Cauli-Rice:
How to make the General Tso’s Cauliflower:
- Heat the avocado oil in a large pot until the temperature reaches 390ºF.
- Mix together the cassava flour, arrowroot flour, and seasonings in a large mixing bowl.
- Add sparkling water to the mix until you achieve a consistency similar to pancake batter.
- If you add too much water, don’t worry! Just add a little more cassava flour (one tablespoon at a time) until you get the desired consistency.
- Season the cauliflower with salt and pepper (to taste).
- Dredge the cauliflower in cassava flour.
- Working in batches, drop several pieces of cauliflower into the batter and stir to coat.
- Working in batches, fry battered cauliflower pieces in preheated oil until they rise to the top of the oil and float, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Carefully turn pieces over and continue frying until golden brown, about 2 minutes more.
- Remove cauliflower and place onto a paper towel-lined cookie sheet or large plate to drain off excess oil.
- Fry the remaining pieces of cauliflower.
- While the cauliflower is frying, add teriyaki sauce and honey to a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk the sauce to ensure honey dissolves into the teriyaki.
- When the sauce comes to a simmer, turn off the heat.
- Place fried cauliflower pieces in a large bowl. Pour over the sauce and toss well to combine.
- Serve with steamed rice or double the cauliflower power by serving on top of Lemon Cauli-Rice.
- Garnish with green onions, sesame seeds, and cilantro leaves.
How to Make the Lemon Cauli-Rice:
- Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add riced cauliflower to skillet. Season with salt. Stir to coat.
- Add 1/4 cup Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette and cook 10 minutes, stirring often.
Nutritional information (per serving)*:
Carbs: 63 grams
Net Carbs: 55 grams
Fat: 21 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Nutritional information calculated using Cronometer. *Includes 1 serving of Lemon Cauli-Rice.
You might also like these other cauliflower recipes from Primal Kitchen: