Korean Fried Cauliflower (Hawaiian style)

One of the biggest cravings I’ve had in my vegan journey has been Korean style fried chicken. In Hawaii it’s made crispy and juicy, tossed in an intense sweet garlic sauce. I thought I just had to give it up. But no worries! This recipe will satisfy every part of that craving. Trust me on this one.

First, cut up your cauliflower into bite size pieces.

When making the batter, it should be a thin consistency, but thick enough to coat the cauliflower lightly. If it’s too thick, it will be goopy and not crispy enough. It’s very similar to a tempura batter.

Deep frying is the only way to go to get this light crunchiness needed. Heat the oil up to 350 degrees and pick up each piece gently with a small tongs or chopstick, let excess batter drain for a few seconds over bowl, then place into oil. Don’t overcrowd. Occasionally turn cauliflower to brown evenly. It may take 2-3 batches. Set aside on a wire rack and keep warm if possible (although leaving it to the side is fine too).

Have the sauce ready and place the cauliflower pieces in a big bowl. Pour the sauce over and toss. You don’t have to do all the pieces at once. Use just enough sauce to have a nice glaze over it.

Sprinkle generously with toasted sesame seeds and chopped nori seaweed. Serve immediately with rice and sweet potato salad (or mac salad)!

Korean Fried Cauliflower

This will satisfy any craving you have for Hawaiian style Korean fried chicken!

Servings 4
Author James Rubio

Ingredients

Crispy Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (1" pieces)
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water (approx)
  • 1 quart peanut or vegetable oil for frying

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced fine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 stalks green onion, minced

Garnish

  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped nori seaweed

Instructions

  1. Heat oil to 350 degrees in a wok or heavy pot

  2. Whisk all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Keep aside.

  3. Whisk together cornstarch, flour, baking powder and salt

  4. Pour water into bowl and continue whisking. Add more or less water to achieve a thin consistency enough to thinly coat the cauliflower, but not so thick. It should resemble something like buttermilk or a tempura batter. See photo above.

  5. Dip cauliflower in batter and coat completely. Lift and let excess batter drain back into bowl for a few seconds. Place gently into oil. Don't overcrowd. You will need to do 2-3 batches.

  6. Fry until cauliflower is lightly brown, turning often, 7-10 minutes. Place on wire rack. Keep warm if possible.

  7. Put crisp cauliflower into a big bowl and toss with enough sauce to coat every piece lightly. Don't drown the pieces.

  8. Toss in toasted sesame seeds and chopped nori and mix again.

  9. Serve immediately with rice and sweet potato salad (or mac salad)!

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