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Kung pao cauliflower served in a white bowl with some noodles in the background

Kung Pao Cauliflower

Kung Pao cauliflower is a delicious and very easy to make Vegan Asian recipe. It can be enjoyed as a starter or served in the main course with rice or noodles.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3 people
Calories 292kcal


Ingredients for baked cauliflower florets

  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 4 tbsp corn starch
  • 5 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt adjust as per taste
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 7 tbsp water adjust the quantity to make a thick batter

Ingredients for sauce

  • 2.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar/ white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine optional
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tbsp water for cornstarch paste
  • 1 cup water for the sauce

Ingredients for stir-frying

  • 4-5 dried whole red chilies
  • ½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns/ normal black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp peanuts/ cashew nuts both can be used too
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 inch piece of ginger crushed
  • ¼ cup finely chopped scallion
  • 1 tbsp any cooking oil of your choice


Baking cauliflower florets

  • In a bowl mix all the ingredients of batter and dip the cauliflower florets into it. Spread the florets on a nonstick baking tray.
  • Bake the cauliflower florets in a pre-heated oven for around 15 minutes at 200°C or until the cauliflower florets get cooked and turn golden brown.

Making Kung Pao Cauliflower

  • Heat oil in a pan, add red chilies and peppercorns. Break the chilies if you want your dish to be extra hot else keep them whole. Saute for a few seconds or until they become fragrant.
  • Add the nuts and saute until they start changing their color.
  • Add crushed ginger, garlic, and saute for a few seconds.
  • Next, add scallions and stir fry for a few more seconds.
  • In a bowl mix soy sauce, vinegar, rice wine, sugar, and salt. Add this mixture to the pan along with a cup of water. Cook for a few minutes or until the sauce starts bubbling.
  • Make cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch with around 2 tablespoons of water and add to the bubbling sauce. Stir for a few seconds and then cook for around 2-3 minutes or until the sauce becomes thick.
  • Add baked cauliflower florets to the sauce and mix everything until the sauce gets evenly coated on each floret. Cook for about a minute and then switch off the gas.
  • Garnish with chopped scallion and enjoy.


  • You can also use peanuts instead of cashew nuts.
  • For a gluten-free version use gluten-free bread crumbs or roasted chickpea flour. Also, replace the soya sauce with Tamari. 


Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1450mg | Potassium: 756mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 951IU | Vitamin C: 154mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 3mg