I’m not exaggerating when I say that this Baked General Tso’s Cauliflower tastes better than the Chinese takeout we all know and love (but without the frying or meat!)
Longtime readers might recognize this oldie, but I just had to bring it back from the depths of the blog. Partially because it was deserving of some fresh new photos, and mostly because I was having some serious Chinese food cravings. Some reasons why this Baked General Tso’s Cauliflower is so excitement inducing:
Because it tastes JUST like Chinese takeout. You know, the sticky, flavor-packed American-style Chinese takeout (huge deal for us expats who are hankering for a taste of home)
And because even though it’s 100% cauliflower, the texture and flavor is 100% delicious. And because I couldn’t stop eating this until the tulip-man had no choice but to roll me out of the kitchen.
Oh, and because it’s not fried but baked (panko breadcrumbs + baking make it perfectly crisp)!
“Thank you, this is the first time I have been to your site and tried a recipe (found you on Pinterest). I have to say well done, this was super tasty, even my meat loving husband rated it highly. And I loved that it was baked not fried. Well done!” —Cheryl
General Tso’s Cauliflower Ingredients
Cauliflower: Bite-sized cauliflower florets make up the base of this recipe, which cooks to tender perfection in the oven.
Breading: To create a crispy coating without frying, we’ll bread the cauliflower in flour, then egg, then panko bread crumbs. This goes quickly if you have a second set of hands to help you out!
General Tso’s Sauce: While the cauliflower cooks, we’ll whip up a quick sauce to coat the cauliflower. A combination of garlic, ginger, broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and tomato paste, which we’ll thicken with a cornstarch slurry. Feel free to spice it up with a pinch of red chili flakes!
How to make General Tso Cauliflower
Making this General Tso’s Cauliflower is so easy, friends, although I’ll admit it can take a little while to dredge the cauliflower. Here’s how to make it:
- Chop cauliflower into chunks
- Dredge the chunks in flour, then egg, then panko breadcrumbs
- Bake until crispy (in your oven or air fryer)
- Coat with General Tso’s sauce
This General Tso’s Cauliflower is best served over a pile of rice or quinoa. Pair it with something fresh, like these Vietnamese Spring Rolls!
After trying out a bunch of different air fryers, this is my favorite!
If you loved this recipe, be sure to try out Sticky Garlic Cauliflower and Sticky Orange Cauliflower! The base of the recipe is almost the same, with different sauces that taste like your other Chinese takeout favorites! Or try the tofu version, General Tso’s Tofu!
- ½ head cauliflower
- ½ cup flour 60g
- 2 large eggs whisked
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 50 g
- ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
General Tso's Sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil 15 mL
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
- ½ cup vegetable broth 120 mL
- ¼ cup soy sauce 60 mL
- ¼ cup rice vinegar 60 mL
- ¼ cup brown sugar 50 g
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste 30 g
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cold water 15 g
- Prep: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C)*. Arrange workspace, placing flour, egg, and panko in separate bowls. Mix salt and pepper into panko. Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
- Dredge: Working in batches, coat the florets in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Set on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crispy.
- Sauce: Set a small saucepan over medium heat and add the sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant, then add remaining sauce ingredients except the cornstarch mixture. Whisk to combine and bring to a simmer. While whisking, slowly pour in the cornstarch mixture. It should thicken quite quickly; if not, continue simmering until thick.
- Assemble: Drizzle sauce over the baked cauliflower and gently toss to evenly coat. Serve cauliflower over warm rice or quinoa.