//Easy General Tso’s Cauliflower

Easy General Tso’s Cauliflower

Skip the takeout and whip up a vegetarian spin on the fastest, freshest recipe for Easy General Tso’s Cauliflower.

Easy General Tso's Cauliflower over white rice on blue plate with chopsticks

How Do You Make General Tso’s Cauliflower

When it comes to popular Chinese takeout dishes, it doesn’t get much better than General Tso’s, and specifically the sweet, tangy and oh-so-sticky sauce that makes it a fan favorite.

My easy General Tso’s Chicken recipe has been such a hit (hello, all 5-star reviews!), I knew a vegetarian take was essential. So how does one turn a humble vegetable like cauliflower into a rockstar takeout-fakeout meal? With the below lineup of ingredients!

Various sized glass bowls containing chopped scallions, minced ginger, cornstarch, vegetable oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, vegetable stock and cauliflower florets

A few pantry staples is all you need, plus my tips to ensure stir-fry success. And it all begins with coating the cauliflower in a simple mixture to ensure that essential crispy crust, which makes it the perfect sponge for the ultimate General Tso’s sauce.

Lightly fried cauliflower florets in slotted spoon over hot oil

Can You Bake General Tso’s Cauliflower

I’ve tried this recipe with both a baked and stir-fried cooking technique, and while baked may be a bit on the healthier side, you absolutely cannot beat the taste and texture of the stir-fried classic.

In order to prevent the coated cauliflower from soaking up too much oil (and losing its crisp texture), it’s important the oil is hot enough to quickly flash-fry the veggies. Test a single floret in the oil before adding a big batch. The cauliflower should bubble immediately once it hits the oil.

Slotted spoon with General Tso's Cauliflower

What Do You Serve with General Tso’s Cauliflower

When it comes to this vegetarian version of General Tso’s, you can enjoy it either as a meat-free main dish or as a side dish for a takeout-fakeout feast. Rice, noodles and veggie rice (yes, more veggies!) are all great options because they will all soak up that oh-so-addicting sauce.

Blue plate containing Homemade General Tso's Cauliflower, white rice and chopsticks
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Easy General Tso's Cauliflower over white rice on blue plate with chopsticks

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Easy General Tso’s Cauliflower

For the cauliflower:

  • 1/3
    cup
    cornstarch
  • 1/3
    cup
    all-purpose flour
  • 6
    cups
    cauliflower florets
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For the sauce:

  • 1
    Tablespoon
    cornstarch
  • 1/4
    cup
    soy sauce
  • 2
    Tablespoons
    vegetable oil
  • 1/4
    cup
    dried whole chilies
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    minced garlic
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    minced ginger
  • 1/4
    cup
    rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4
    cup
    hoisin sauce
  • 1/4
    cup
    packed light brown sugar
  • 1
    cup
    vegetable stock
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    sesame oil
  • Sliced scallions, for garnishing

Make the cauliflower:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and flour with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add the cauliflower pieces to the bowl, tossing to coat. 

Add 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil to a large heavy-bottomed stockpot set over medium-high heat. Line a plate with paper towels. 

Once the oil is hot, shake off any excess flour mixture from the cauliflower pieces and add them to the oil in batches. (See Note.) 

Cook the cauliflower in batches, turning as needed, until they golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked cauliflower to the paper towel-lined plate then make the sauce.

Make the sauce:

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and soy sauce to make a slurry. Set the slurry aside.

Add the vegetable to a large saucepan set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chilies, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden brown, about 1 minute.

Stir in the rice wine vinegar, hoisin, brown sugar, vegetable stock and sesame oil. 

Stir in the slurry, bring the sauce to a simmer and cook it until it thickens to the consistency of syrup, about 1 minute.

Return the cauliflower to the pan and stir to coat then serve.

Note:

You can test if the oil is hot enough by adding one piece of the cauliflower to the pan. If it bubbles and floats, the oil is the correct temperature.

★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition Facts

Easy General Tso’s Cauliflower

Amount Per Serving

Calories 324
Calories from Fat 108

% Daily Value*

Fat 12g18%

Saturated Fat 6g38%

Cholesterol 1mg0%

Sodium 1374mg60%

Potassium 529mg15%

Carbohydrates 51g17%

Fiber 4g17%

Sugar 22g24%

Protein 6g12%

Vitamin A 125IU3%

Vitamin C 73mg88%

Calcium 56mg6%

Iron 2mg11%

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

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