Kung Pao Cauliflower

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Kung Pao Cauliflower

This Kung Pao Cauliflower recipe features roasted cauliflower florets that are coated in a delicious Szechuan-style Kung Pao sauce.  Garnish with toasted peanuts and sliced green onions for a family-friendly dinner that will quickly become a favorite weeknight meal. 

Skip the Chinese take-out and make this delicious take-out-style meal at home.  Because we are using cauliflower rather than chicken, you are saving money and enjoying the benefits of a plant-based meal.   Trust me – you won’t miss the chicken!

Kung Pao Cauliflower is a modern plant-based version of the popular Kung Pao Chicken recipe.  Kung Pao is a spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish made with cubes of chicken, peanuts, vegetables and chile peppers. 

The classic dish in Sichuan cooking uses Sichuan peppercorns and Sichuan chiles.  But since this dish has been westernized, I used chili garlic sauce and chiles de Arbol to add heat to the dish.  Chiles de Arbol are Mexican chile peppers that are very similar to the Sechuan-style chiles and are readily available without having to visit a specialty grocery store.

You can find the Chiles de Arbol at Safeway in the international food aisle under the Badia brand.  You’ll want to pull off the stems of the peppers before you use them.   They are pretty spicy so I don’t actually eat the peppers, just flavor the dish with them – but if you like spicy, by all means, enjoy them!

 

Ingredients in Kung Pao Cauliflower

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or coconut aminos for gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar (sub red wine vinegar if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (Sambal Oelek)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or sub maple syrup or brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup chiles de Arbol, or Szecuan chiles (optional)
  • 1/3 cup peanuts
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • jasmine rice, for serving

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How to Make Kung Pao Cauliflower

Preheat the oven to 425° F. 

Place the cauliflower florets on a non-stick baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.   Roast the cauliflower for 25 – 30 minutes, until golden and caramelized. 

Meanwhile prepare the sauce by whisking together the soy sauce, sherry vinegar, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, honey, cornstarch, garlic and ginger.   Set aside. 

In a large non-stick skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat and add the chopped bell pepper and onion.  Saute for 2-3 minutes until soft.  Pour the sauce into the skillet and add the chiles if you are using them.  Heat the sauce over low heat until thickened. 

Once the cauliflower is roasted, toss with the sauce in the skillet until coated.  Add the peanuts and stir to coat.  Garnish with sliced green onions.  Serve over jasmine rice for an easy weeknight meal the whole family can enjoy.

To add more heat, use Thai chili peppers, jalapenos or extra chili garlic sauce in the sauce.  You can also garnish with sriracha, chili garlic paste or spicy mustard. 

 

Kung_pao_Cauliflower

Kung_pao_Cauliflower_recipe_closeup

Kung Pao Cauliflower

This Kung Pao Cauliflower recipe features roasted cauliflower florets that are coated in a delicious Szechuan-style Kung Pao sauce.  Garnish with toasted peanuts and sliced green onions for a family-friendly dinner that will quickly become a favorite weeknight meal. 
 
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Kung Pao Cauliflower
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red onion chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos for gluten-free
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar sub red wine vinegar if necessary
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce Sambal Oelek
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger grated
  • 1/2 cup chiles de Arbol or Szecuan chiles (optional)
  • 1/3 cup peanuts
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • jasmine rice for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Place the cauliflower florets on a non-stick baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.   Roast the cauliflower for 25 - 30 minutes, until golden and caramelized.
  • Meanwhile prepare the sauce by whisking together the soy sauce, sherry vinegar, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, honey, cornstarch, garlic and ginger.   Set aside.
  • In a large non-stick skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat and add the chopped bell pepper and onion.  Saute for 2-3 minutes until soft.  Pour the sauce into the skillet and add the chiles if you are using them.  Heat the sauce over low heat until thickened.
  • Once the cauliflower is roasted, toss with the sauce in the skillet until coated.  Garnish with peanuts and with sliced green onions.  Serve over jasmine rice or over noodles.
  • To add more heat, use Thai chili peppers, jalapenos or extra chili garlic sauce in the sauce.  You can also garnish with sriracha, chili garlic paste or spicy mustard.

Notes

recipe adapted from bon appetit
 
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Additional Cauliflower Recipes

Greek Spinach and Rice Spanakorizo Recipe with Cauliflower Rice

Roasted Cauliflower Tacos With Lime Green Chile Crema

Cauliflower Risotto With Asparagus and Mushrooms

Sriracha Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower & Red Pepper Soup

 

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You can get all the ingredients for this recipe at your local Safeway, which also offers curbside pick up and Safeway Home Delivery!

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