Think cauliflower is boring? Dress it up in a quick panko coating and sticky Asian-style sauce and I promise your mind will be changed! Sticky Orange Cauliflower, guys. It’s happening.
I’d forgotten just how terrible American Chinese food is. Like…wonderful terrible. Because we love it despite it being terrible.
I was poking around my grandpa’s fridge over the holidays and found some leftover sweet and sour chicken takeout, with the sauce packaged separately. Let’s just say the sauce could have been mistaken for strawberry jello.
Like, how is this something we’re still eating, guys?! Fortunately ever since I discovered how to make General Tso’s sauce (and subsequently sticky garlic sauce), I’ve been satisfying that hankering for wonderful terrible American Chinese food (with a whole lot less terrible thrown in).
In other news, I’m back in Europe! The flight back involved such events as: an unplanned landing mid-route to JFK, an asthma attack-inducing sprint through the airport, and (to top it off) me fainting in the aisle somewhere over the Atlantic.
Murphy’s Law was in full effect. Which is why the first thing I cooked when I arrived home was foolproof (I wasn’t about to push that bad luck any further!) And so, friends, I bring to you Sticky Orange Chicken!
- ½ head cauliflower
- ½ cup flour 60 g
- 2 large eggs whisked
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 50 g
- ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
Sticky Orange Sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil 15 mL
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
- ⅔ cup orange juice 160 mL
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar 60 mL
- ¼ cup honey 60 mL
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce 30 mL
- 2 Tbsp orange zest
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp cold water
- Prep: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Arrange workspace, placing flour, egg, and panko in separate bowls. Mix salt and pepper into panko.
- Shake & Bake: Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets. 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.