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general tso cauliflower with rice on plate

Baked General Tso's Cauliflower - From Scratch

Kanwaldeep Kaur
Better than takeout, this version of General Tso's Baked Cauliflower is all you need for that quick lunch or dinner. The best part, the General Tso's sauce is made from scratch, so it is a complete homemade meal, which can be served hot with a bed of steamed rice. Also, it is great as a snack in itself too.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

For General Tso's Sauce

  • 2 1/2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 3 tbsp Rice vinegar
  • 1 cup Vegetable broth You can substitute it with water or chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Granulated sugar You can use jaggery powder or any other sugar substitute at hand
  • 1/2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp Water For making Cornstarch Slurry
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil I used Toasted Sesame Oil for the sharp flavor
  • 1 tsp Ginger minced, optional
  • 1 tsp Garlic minced, optional

For Cauliflower bites

  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Milk Substitute it with same quantity of water or 4 eggs
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Cauliflower Use 1/2 large cauliflower or 1 medium sized, roughly cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp Scallions chopped, for garnishing
  • Sesame seeds a sprinkle, for garnishing. I used Toasted sesame seeds here

Instructions
 

  • Cut the cauliflower head into bite sized pieces. Wash the cauliflower pieces, drain and keep aside.
  • In a bowl, mix the milk and all purpose flour together till you get a smooth batter. Add salt and pepper to the milk-flour mixture and whisk everything again. Add breadcrumbs to the second bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Add the cauliflower bites in the milk-flour mixture and coat them evenly.
  • Take one cauliflower piece and dip it in the breadcrumbs bowl to coat it with breadcrumbs on all sides. Place it on the parchment paper lined baking tray.
  • Repeat above step for all the cauliflower bite pieces.
  • Bake the cauliflower bites for 22-27 minutes (I baked them for 27 minutes for that extra crunch). Immediately move to next step after you put the cauliflower bites into the oven for baking.
  • Once the cauliflower bites are being baked, make the sauce. Take a bowl, and add tomato paste, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce, rice vinegar and granulated sugar. Mix everything together to form a smooth sauce.
  • Now, to cook the sauce, on medium heat, add sesame oil in a pan on stove-top. Add minced ginger and garlic to it and saute for few seconds. Add in the sauce mixture that was prepared in the last step. Now add vegetable broth (or water or chicken broth, as per what you are using) to the pan and bring it to a boil. Now simmer the sauce and keep it on low-medium flame. Adjust salt and/or sauces as per taste to balance the flavors. Also, adjust the spice at this point.
  • In a bowl, mix in 2 tbsp cornstarch to 2 tbsp 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 reserve it for later use.
  • Once the cauliflower bites are baked, remove them from the oven and add them to your serving bowl. Pour in the prepared sauce over the cauliflower bites and toss them gently to coat them evenly.
  • General Tso's Baked Cauliflower is ready to be relished. Garnish with chopped scallions and/or sesame seeds, and serve it hot with steamed rice!

Notes

  • For spicier version, add more sriracha sauce, or optionally, add some dried red chilies. This one is more of a child-friendly version of the sauce.
  • Serve immediately after you pour sauce over cauliflower, to prevent the cauliflower bites from going soggy.
  • I have used milk to mix it with the flour for making the coating batter, but feel free to use water or eggs. In my other version of the General Tso's cauliflower recipe which uses Trader Joe's sauce, I had use egg in place of milk to form the batter. The eggs seem to give a better glaze/crust. But you can use any of the three options for the coating.
Keyword asian, baked, cauliflower, dinner, general tso, lunch, savory, vegetarian