Recipe Review

General Tso’s Cauliflower Is the Ultimate Vegetarian Comfort Food

published Feb 19, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Pinch of Yum)

Kitchn’s Delicious Links column highlights recipes we’re excited about from the bloggers we love. Follow along every weekday as we post our favorites.

General Tso’s chicken is a Chinese-American restaurant classic. It’s so iconic it’s even been the subject of a whole documentary, The Search for General Tso, which you should definitely watch if you like history, food, or thought-provoking documentaries that dive deep into familiar dishes we eat every day. And if you’re looking for a vegetarian dish that checks all those sweet/crispy/spicy boxes, you should definitely check out this recipe for General Tso’s cauliflower.

This meatless version of General Tso’s chicken is not a quick-fix, 15-minute meal, but the sweet, crispy, and gooey dish will reward all the time you spend breading and frying cauliflower florets by hand. To make a batter that will fry up nice and crisp and not too heavy or bready, mix together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, eggs, and water until it’s thick enough to cling to the cauliflower, but loose enough that it drips off the vegetable when you lift it out of the bowl. You want it coated in batter, not encased.

Fill a heavy-bottomed pan with enough oil to cover the florets about halfway, and heat it over medium. When a drop of batter bubbles in the oil, the pan is hot enough to fry the cauliflower. Put the florets gently in the oil and let them fry for a few minutes, turning them occasionally so they cook evenly. When they’re golden-brown and look delicious, take them out and set them on a cooling rack over some paper towels, which will help them stay crispy.

The General Tso’s sauce itself is not very difficult to make. Sauté ginger and garlic in sesame oil until they are fragrant, then add broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, tomato paste, and some cornstarch to help it thicken. Whisk all the ingredients together and let it simmer until the sauce is thickened. Once the sauce is thick and the flavor is to your liking, toss the fried cauliflower in the sauce so it’s evenly coated, and serve it over rice, topped with sesame seeds and/or chopped scallions for color.

Get the recipe: General Tso’s Cauliflower from Pinch of Yum

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

More Delicious Cauliflower Recipes from Kitchn