General Tso's Cauliflower Recipe using Trader Joe's Ready Sauce – Easy Meal

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General Tso’s Cauliflower Recipe using Trader Joe’s Ready Sauce – Easy Meal

Presenting a very quick and easy meal, General Tso’s Cauliflower, using Trader Joe’s General Tso’s Sauce. You just need some baked cauliflower florets and this amazing sauce. And there you have it, a quick meal ready to be relished as a snack or it can be served as a complete meal with rice!

 

Sometimes a quick meal is something we look forward to at the end of a tiring day. Or there are days when we might not be feeling too well or maybe sometimes too lazy to cook a complete home-cooked meal. The ready sauces many a times come to the rescue then.

I have been a fan of Trader Joe’s products from the very first day I visited the store. The store has such a warm and welcoming feel to it, that you can’t resist buying something from there, in fact, once you start using their products, you will never easily go back to any other brand.

Their General Tso’s sauce was one such discovery. On our date nights, me and my husband used to love ordering General Tso’s Chicken at Mainland China in India. And looking at the sauce here at Trader Joe’s in California, brought back all those memories.

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I have tried making General Tso’s Chicken also with this sauce, and that one is a success too. The sauce is really delicious and imparts a great flavor to the final dish. This time I tried using the sauce with Cauliflower, and definitely, it is a great quick meal option.

 

How to prepare General Tso’s Cauliflower

General Tso’s Cauliflower is a fairly easy to make recipe. Since there are not many ingredients to deal with, and the sauce I am using here is also store bought, so you can create a magic in the kitchen quickly!

Summarizing on the ingredients, these are the essential ones:

  • Cauliflower pieces (Bite sized)
  • Flour
  • Egg
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Salt & Pepper
  • General Tso’s Sauce (Ready or Homemade)

Recipe directions in a nutshell are as follows:

  • One by one, the cauliflower bites are first dunked in flour, then egg mixture.
  • Then these are coated with breadcrumbs.
  • Lastly, these coated cauli bites are baked to perfection in a hot oven at 400 Degree F, for around 20-25 minutes.
  • Finally, the sauce is prepared using the Trader Joe’s ready sauce and some other ingredients, and sprinkled on top of cauliflower bites.

DSC08276

 

General Tso’s Cauliflower – Tips

General Tso’s Cauliflower can be served as a snack, or it can also be served as a complete meal when combined with steamed rice. The choice is yours! I really love serving it with rice, so that it serves as a full meal. It is delicious as well as filling, so making a meal out of it is recommendable. For some parties or get-together, you can definitely use it as a dry snack, coating it with less sauce.

Trader Joe’s General Tso’s sauce is a mildly spiced sauce. Also, I have not added too much extra spice to this recipe. I have kept it mild since my daughter eats the same, so I kept it to a child-friendly spice level.

Another important point is that the sauce is too salty and especially, too sweet to be used directly, that’s the reason I have add more water and then created the cornstarch slurry. This is needed to balance the extra sweetness in the sauce. As I have mentioned in one of the steps, it is completely optional but you can add some sriracha and/or some balsamic vinegar to cut out the sweetness with spicy and sour flavors of each of these respectively. In the end, do balance the sauce flavor as per your taste liking.

Note: For those who want to skip using the egg, you can replace the two eggs mentioned in the recipe with half a cup of water. Instead of dipping the cauliflower bite into flour then egg, you can make a slurry by mixing water and flour, and dip the floret in the slurry before adding it in the breadcrumbs bowl!

The sauce can even be made at home. General Tso’s sauce is made of very basic ingredients like Soy sauce, Rice wine, Rice wine vinegar, Sugar, Cornstarch, Dried Red Chili Peppers and Garlic (Source: Wikipedia). So, if you have the ingredients available, there are tons of recipes on google to try making the sauce from scratch. I didn’t have all the ingredients, and had this ready sauce available, so went ahead to use the same for this recipe!

General Tso Cauliflower
General Tso’s Cauliflower

Also, continuing the tradition, here comes my 29th recipe under My Julie & Julia Project. For those who don’t know, I had started this project last year, under which I had planned to post 100 recipes from my kitchen by the end of the year 2019. But since I got busy with other priorities in life, I have planned to continue the tradition in 2020. So, this is the Recipe #29 for you all.

If you like this recipe, you might want to check out these recipes as well.

For now, lets get straight to the recipe of General Tso’s Cauliflower using Trader Joe’s Ready Sauce!!

general tso cauliflower and rice in a bowl

General Tso's Cauliflower Recipe - Using Trader Joe's Ready Sauce

Kanwaldeep Kaur
A very quick and easy meal, General Tso’s Baked Cauliflower, using Trader Joe’s General Tso’s Sauce. You just need some baked cauliflower florets and this amazing sauce. And there you have it, a quick meal ready to be relished as a snack or it can be served as a complete meal with rice!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 Cauliflower of large head, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper powder a sprinkle
  • 1/2 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Minced garlic you can use fresh chopped garlic as well
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe's General Tso's Sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups Water + 2 tbsp (for slurry)
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar optional
  • 2 1/2 tsp Sriracha Sauce optional
  • 1 tbsp Scallions/Spring Onions chopped, for garnishing
  • Sesame seeds a sprinkle, for garnishing

Instructions
 

  • Cut the cauliflower head into bite sized pieces. Wash the cauliflower pieces, drain and keep aside.
  • Take three bowls and put flour in one of the bowls. Add salt and pepper to the flour and give it a mix. Add breadcrumbs to the second bowl. To the third bowl, add in the eggs and whisk thoroughly.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Line a baking tray with foil.
  • Take one cauliflower bite and toss it in the flour mixture to coat it evenly. Take the same piece and dip it in the egg mixture. Now take it out of the egg mixture and dip it in the breadcrumbs bowl to coat it with breadcrumbs on all sides. Place it on the lined baking tray.
  • Repeat step number 4 for all the cauliflower bite pieces.
  • Bake the cauliflower bites for 20-25 minutes (I baked them for 25 minutes for that extra crunch). After they are done, remove them from oven and keep them aside.
  • To cook the sauce, heat oil in a pan on stove-top. Add fresh/minced garlic to it. After 10-15 seconds, add in the Trader Joe's General Tso's sauce.
  • Now add 1 1/4 cups of water to the pan and bring it to a boil. Now simmer the sauce.
  • (Optional) Adjust salt as per taste and add in sriracha sauce and balsamic vinegar (I have added this step because the Trader Joe's ready sauce is too sweet and the sweetness needs to be balanced).
  • In a bowl, mix in 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch to 2 tablespoons of water and make a slurry. Mix the slurry in the sauce and keep in on simmer for 5-10 minutes. Switch off the flame and add in the baked cauliflower bites.
  • General Tso's cauliflower with Trader Joe's sauce is ready to be relished. Garnish with chopped scallions and/or sesame seeds, and serve it hot with steamed rice!

Notes

  • For those who want to skip using the egg, you can replace the two eggs mentioned in the recipe with half a cup of water. Instead of dipping the cauliflower bite into flour then egg, you can make a slurry by mixing water and flour, and dip the floret in the slurry before adding it in the breadcrumbs bowl.
  • Because the Trader Joe’s ready sauce is too sweet, and the sweetness needs to be balanced, so I have added sriracha sauce and balsamic vinegar. But you can adjust the quantities of these as per your taste.
Keyword baked, cauliflower, dinner, easy, general tso, lunch, savory, trader joe's, vegetarian

Method (Step-by-step with pictures)

  • Cut the cauliflower head into bite sized pieces. Wash the cauliflower pieces, drain and keep aside.
  • Take three bowls and put flour in one of the bowls. Add salt and pepper to the flour and give it a mix. Add breadcrumbs to the second bowl. To the third bowl, add in the eggs and whisk thoroughly.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Line a baking tray with foil.
  • Take one cauliflower bite and toss it in the flour mixture to coat it evenly. Take the same piece and dip it in the egg mixture. Now take it out of the egg mixture and dip it in the breadcrumbs bowl to coat it with breadcrumbs on all sides. Place it on the lined baking tray.
  • Repeat step number 4 for all the cauliflower bite pieces.
  • Bake the cauliflower bites for 20-25 minutes (I baked them for 25 minutes for that extra crunch). After they are done, remove them from oven and keep them aside.
  • To cook the sauce, heat oil in a pan on stove-top. Add fresh/minced garlic to it. After 10-15 seconds, add in the Trader Joe’s General Tso’s sauce.
  • Now add 1 1/4 cups of water to the pan and bring it to a boil. Now simmer the sauce.
  • (Optional) Adjust salt as per taste and add in sriracha sauce and balsamic vinegar (I have added this step because the Trader Joe’s ready sauce is too sweet and the sweetness needs to be balanced).
  • In a bowl, mix in 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch to 2 tablespoons of water and make a slurry. Mix the slurry in the sauce and keep in on simmer for 5-10 minutes. Switch off the flame and add in the baked cauliflower bites.
  • General Tso’s cauliflower with Trader Joe’s sauce is ready to be relished. Garnish with chopped scallions and/or sesame seeds, and serve it hot with steamed rice!
General Tso Cauliflower
General Tso’s Cauliflower

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