General Tso’s Cauliflower

Oh hey. Let’s stuff our faces with General Tso’s Cauliflower and pretend it’s normal. K? Yes? We doin this?

cauliflower in a bowl with a spoon

Okay, maybe I’m out of line. I admit to the food-blogger cauliflower-loving weirdness today.

But guys. BE RATIONAL for two seconds, puhhlease. Obviously weird and delicious are not mutually exclusive, which means PARTY IN YOUR MOUTH! With General Tso’s Cauliflower!

I mean, think about what this recipe means. It means you’re going to fry up some golden brown fried bits of cauliflower and coat them in a luscious sweet and savory sauce. Ummmmright? It is the definition of BOTH weird and delicious. Weirdlicious? No. I’m sorry. We crossed a line there.

Just delete everything except the part about the delicious party in your mouth. THAT is THIS.


cauliflower close up with a spoon

Here’s the deal with this recipe. You’re probably not going to make it tonight because it’s a Monday and is it just me or are Mondays always a circus? So listen to me: don’t try to make it tonight. Is that un-helpful? Just… I feel like we’re the same on this.

This recipe was not created for the Mondays of the world, unless it would involve a restaurant or a takeout box or something that wasn’t YOU in your kitchen frying a battered-up batch of cauliflower florets while simmering a made-from-scratch sauce on the side. I’m having a vision of you doing this post-work, and going to the grocery store at 5pm and finally sitting down to eat this at 10pm after sweating it out for a few hours over a hot pot of oil and then facing an epic clean up situation, and truthfully, it is all kinds of wrong. (yum tho)

So no, not for Mondays. Life gives us enough on Mondays.


Fried Cauliflower

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a time and a place. As of last week, there is *always* a time and a place in my life for that saucy meets crunchy meets sticky General Tso’s Cauliflower. Like, always, as often as possible, yes more please.

This recipe was made for those nights when you have a little more time (think, like, Wednesday. Wednesdays are just nicer, aren’t they?), and you maybe already have a stocked kitchen, and you’re excited to try something new, and you are feeling little more ambitious than the usual MUST GET SUSHI IN MOUTH ASAP kinda thing.*

*To concerned parties: I really do eat food besides takeout sushi. Such as the most delicious ever homemade fried cauliflower coated with a savory sweet General Tso’s sauce because General Tso’s Cauliflower would be a totally regular thing to make for dinner. Totally. At this point these items are making up 90% of my life, so yes, I’m eating super well. Don’t be concerned.

cauliflower on a plate


If you like meatless.

If you like Asian-y flavors.

If you like your life to be a little quirky.

cauliflower on a plate with a spoon and a napkin

Find a way to make yourself some General Tso’s Cauliflower, because obviously. Life’s way too short to not.

General Tso's Cauliflower in a pan with a spoon.

General Tso’s Cauliflower


General Tso’s Cauliflower – golden brown crispy fried cauliflower tossed in a made-from-scratch savory-sweet sauce. Awesome vegetarian / meatless recipe.


For the General Tso’s Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 knob of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar (more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1-2 tablespoons of cold water

For the Batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 eggs
  • water as needed (about 1/2 cup)

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • a deep layer of oil for frying
  • scallions and sesame seeds for topping


  1. General Tso’s Sauce: Heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add the ginger and garlic and stir fry for a minute or two. Add remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Bring to a low boil; simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Add more sweetness, citrus, etc. to your taste.
  2. Cauliflower Batter: Whisk all the batter ingredients until a loose batter forms. The batter should be thick enough to cling to the cauliflower and cover it but stay loose enough to easily drip off (adjust thickness with water).
  3. Cauliflower Frying: Pour oil into a heavy bottomed skillet to make it deep enough so it will cover the cauliflower about halfway (probably ends up being a few cups). Heat the oil over medium heat. Drop a small bit of batter in the oil to test it – when it rises to the top and bubbles, the oil is ready. Dip cauliflower florets in the batter and let the excess drip off before gently setting in the oil. Fry for a few minutes on each side, then flip, repeating sides several times if necessary until you get a nice golden brown fried exterior. The additional frying time helps make it a little crunchier, which I very much like. Remove and set on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath (again, rather than putting it all on a plate or bowl with paper towels, this keeps it crispy vs. soggy).
  4. Serving: Toss the fried cauliflower with the sauce (enough just to cover) and sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds for serving. Serve with rice.


We tried this with sautéed (not battered and fried) cauliflower and it worked but wasn’t nearly as good.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: Asian-Inspired

Keywords: general tso’s cauliflower, fried cauliflower, asian cauliflower recipe

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This recipe inspired and advised by this article, this recipe, and the General Tso’s Chicken in this cookbook.

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