Do you ever just CRAVE Chinese takeout?
Of course you do. It’s savory, sweet, universally loved, and straight up addictive.
Since the vegan days I haven’t gotten to enjoy that greasy, sticky Chinese chicken, I saw a few inspiration pictures of how to make it yourself around the internet and came up with this!
This General Tso’s Cauliflower is approved by my omnivorous husband, tastes great as leftovers, and completely cured all of my cravings. Although it still has a quite a bit of sodium from the soy sauce and some added sugar to give it that General Tso’s taste, it and has a FAR lower fat content (NO deep frying for this one) and much less salt and sugar than what actual Chinese takeout would have!
General Tso's Cauliflower
As easy vegan version of your favorite Chinese takeout
- 1 large head or 2 small heads of cauliflower For the sauce:
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger minced (or 1tbsp pre minced ginger)
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- Juice of one orange (or lemon or lime, if you don’t have citrus on hand, increase the rice vinegar to 1/3 cup)
- 1 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2-4 tbsp coconut sugar
- Optional: if you like it spicy can add 1 tsp Chinese chili garlic sauce or 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes! For the batter:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/ 3cup corn starch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup plant based milk
- Prepare the cauliflower by cutting florets into bite sized pieces and keeping the stems cut short so that it is easy to coat in batter
- In a large sauce pan or skillet, start the sauce. Turn the stove top to a medium heat and add the sesame oil. When the oil is warm, add the garlic, ginger, and tomato paste. Sauté until fragrant (approx 2 min)
- Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, orange juice, water, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally while you prepare the batter (approx 20 min).
- Pre heat your oven or air fryer to 400 degrees. Prepare the batter in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, dry corn starch, salt, and slowly add the milk, 1/4 cup at a time until the batter is watery to submerge the cauliflower but thick enough to stick! I find that 3/4 cup is usually the right amount.
- Dump your cauliflower florets into the batter and cover completely. Spray a baking sheet or a flat pan in your air fryer with a high smoke point oil like avocado, grape seed, or canola oil. Don’t use a mesh basket for this, you will need a flat surface for it to cook on! Lightly spray the cauliflower once on the sheet. Cook the cauliflower in the air fryer for 7 minutes on each side, or bake for 10 minutes each side in the oven. The batter will become lightly golden brown at the end and your cauliflower will be nice and soft in the middle. Remember to keep stirring your sauce! If you’re cooking rice and edamame, now is a good time to start making those as well.
- Add the corn starch/water mixture to the general tso’s sauce to thicken it. Continue to stir until the cauliflower is cooked. Once the cauliflower is done, add to the general tso’s sauce, turn off the heat, and toss to coat. I had some sesame seeds on hand so I sprinkled some of them in at the end as well! Enjoy!
Let me know what you guys think! Drop a comment below if you have any other takeout suggestions you want me to try to create!