Baked Vegan General Tso Cauliflower


You will love this Baked Vegan General Tso Cauliflower  – it is so quick and easy to prepare even on a weeknight and the flavor is just like from a Chinese restaurant or take-out joint!

overhead shot of two servings of vegan general tso cauliflower served on rice

Enjoy flavorful restaurant-style General Tso cauliflower at home for an easy weeknight dinner! These cauliflower florets are battered and baked, not fried. The crispy cauliflower is then coated in a deliciously sweet and sticky sauce that comes together is a cinch. You definitely won’t miss your take-out joint’s grub with this baked vegan General Tso Cauliflower recipe.

vegan baked general tso cauliflower served over rice and sprinkled with sesame seeds

The flavors in the sauce are spot on, with the perfect balance of sweet and salty but not so much that you feel like you need to drink a gallon of water afterward. This Chinese-inspired dinner was so delicious served on a bed of rice.

a fork digging into a serving of baked vegan general tso cauliflower served over rice

Let’s talk about the General Tso sauce for a second! Other than just a mix of ketchup, soy sauce and vinegar, which many restaurants use, we start this sauce from scratch – adding fresh bell peppers, garlic and ginger to really get a deep round taste. You will want to bottle this sauce and put it on everything.  Trust me!

side view of a bowl of general tso cauliflower

MORE VEGAN CHINESE RECIPES FROM THE BLOG:

Baked Vegan General Tso Cauliflower

You will love this Baked Vegan General Tso Cauliflower  – it is so quick and easy to prepare even on a weeknight and the flavor is better than anything from a Chinese restaurant or take-out joint! 

Prep Time20 mins

Cook Time40 mins

Total Time1 hr

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American, Chinese

Keyword: baked general tso cauliflower, vegan general tso cauliflower

Servings: 4

Calories: 218kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

For the Cauliflower

  • 1 Small head Cauliflower chopped into small florets
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) rice flour
  • 3 tbsp tapioca starch or use cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water

For the General Tso Sauce

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 cup Chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup Chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) soy sauce
  • 3-4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp or more sambal oelek or other Asian chili sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Instructions

  • Chop your cauliflower florets into equal sizes, and set them aside.

  • In a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients for the batter, until well combined, then mix in the cauliflower florets into the bowl, and toss well to coat. The batter is going to be a thick batter. It will continue to thicken as it sits. So if it’s thinner when you mix it, let it sit for a few minutes before adding the florets. You can also add in 1-2 tsp more rice flour as needed to thicken it. Toss the florets until all the batter coats them evenly. There is just enough batter to coat all of the florets.

  • Transfer the coated florets to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees F (205 c)for 30-35 minutes.

For the sauce

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the bell peppers, and cook until they’re starting to get golden on some edges.

  • Add in the garlic and ginger, and mix in for a few seconds, then add in the soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, sambal oelek, and salt, and mix in.

  • Cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, mix your cornstarch into the water until well combined, then add the cornstarch slurry to the skillet, and mix well. Bring this whole mixture to a good boil. Then simmer for another 2 minutes for it to thicken evenly. Let it continue to simmer for another minute if it hasn’t thickened enough.

  • Switch off heat, then add in your baked cauliflower florets, and toss gently to coat.

  • Top the cauliflower florets with sesame seeds, and green onion, and serve as is, or over rice.

Notes

  • You can use low sodium soy sauce to reduce sodium.
  • You can use onion powder instead of garlic powder for the batter.
  • Coconut sugar can be used instead of brown sugar. 
  • For even cooking, turn the baking sheet once after 20 minutes to allow for even browning on your cauliflower. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Baked Vegan General Tso Cauliflower

Amount Per Serving

Calories 218 Calories from Fat 54

% Daily Value*

Fat 6g9%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 943mg41%

Potassium 358mg10%

Carbohydrates 39g13%

Fiber 3g13%

Sugar 13g14%

Protein 4g8%

Vitamin A 652IU13%

Vitamin C 71mg86%

Calcium 39mg4%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Ingredients for Baked Vegan General Tso Cauliflower

 

ingredients for making sauce for vegan general tso cauliflower

  • Bell pepper, garlic, and ginger form the base of the sweet and sticky general to the sauce
  • soy sauce, as well as salt, makes this nice and salty
  • the sweet spiciness we love about this dish comes from a combination of sugar, mirin, and sambal oelek
  • some rice vinegar for acidity to balance out the flavor profile
  • sesame is a must-add ingredient and I not only like sprinkling the finished dish with sesame seeds but also add some sesame oil to the sauce
  • Cornstarch thickens the glaze to glossy-shiny perfection

ingredients for making baked vegan general tso cauliflower

  • Cauliflower – cut into equal-sized florets
  • We use a combination of rice flour and tapioca starch in the batter – it bakes up crispy and keeps the cauliflower moist.
  • Garlic powder salt and soy sauce are the seasonings needed for the breading

Tips & Substitutions

  • You can use low sodium soy sauce to reduce sodium.
  • You can use onion powder instead of garlic powder for the batter.
  • Coconut sugar can be used instead of brown sugar.
  • For even cooking, turn the baking sheet once after 20 minutes to allow for even browning on your cauliflower.

How to make Vegan Baked General Tso Cauliflower

cauliflower being tossed in rice flour for making general tso cauliflower

Chop your cauliflower florets into equal sizes, and set them aside.

ingredients for general tso breqading batter being mixed in a bowl

In a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients for the batter, until well combined, then mix in the cauliflower florets into the bowl, and toss well to coat. The batter is going to be a thick batter. It will continue to thicken as it sits. So if it’s thinner when you mix it, let it sit for a few minutes before adding the florets. You can also add in 12 tsp more rice flour as needed to thicken it.

batter for breading general tso cauliflower

Toss the florets until all the batter coats them evenly. There is just enough batter to coat all of the florets.

vegan breaded cauliflower on a baking sheet

Transfer the coated florets to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.

bell pepper cubes frying in a pan to make general tso sauce

For the sauce, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the bell peppers, and cook until they’re starting to get golden on some edges.

minced garlic being added to frying pan

Add in the garlic and ginger, and mix in for a few seconds, then add in the soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, sambal oelek, and salt, and mix in.

chili sauce and soy sauce being added to general tso sauce in skillet

Cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, mix your cornstarch into the water until well combined, then add the cornstarch slurry to the skillet, and mix well. Bring this whole mixture to a good boil. Then simmer for another 2 minutes for it to thicken evenly. Let it continue to simmer for another minute if it hasn’t thickened enough.

general tso sauce reducing in a frying pan

Switch off heat, then add in your baked cauliflower florets, and toss gently to coat.

breaded baked cauliflower getting tossed with general tso sauce

Top the cauliflower florets with sesame seeds, and green onion, and serve as is, or over rice.

general tso cauliflower being tossed in sweet and sticky sauce

Eat this right away as the cauliflower gets softer over time. I love this served over rice but it would also be great with quinoa, noodles or cauliflower rice.

two servings of general tso cauliflower served over rice

 



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