Asian-Style Orange Cauliflower

I know we have way too many cauliflower recipes on our blog but I’m afraid there are still quite a few to come. Cauliflower is one of our favourite veggies. So versatile it can be incorporated in many recipes to make them tastier, healthier and better.

Our Asian-style orange cauliflower is a vegan alternative to the classic Asian orange chicken. We bread and bake the cauliflower so it’s really crunchy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. The orange sauce is just amazing. Sweet, spicy and packed full of flavour from the fresh orange juice. We use a good amount of orange juice and reduce the sauce to pack in the flavour.

This recipe is a great choice when you are craving take-out food on a weekday. Making it a home is a healthier and cheaper option and it doesn’t take long to cook. While the cauliflower is baking in the oven, you can prepare the sauce and the rice.

Our recipe has chilli flakes to give it a bit of spiciness, but if you are making this dish for your little ones, skip this ingredient. They will love the sauce!

How to prepare the Cauliflower

For this recipe we use a whole cauliflower head. We always try to get a big, fresh and good looking cauliflower. You will need medium-size florets. If they florets are too small, they will cook too fast and they will be too battery.

Coat the cauliflower florets with a batter made out of all-purpose flour and plant-based milk. Then the cauliflower florets need to be breaded with breadcrumbs. To bread the cauliflower, use fine breadcrumbs. In our pantry, we always have “Quelitas”, local cracker crumbs that make your coatings crunchier and tastier. You can use any type of fine breadcrumbs, or just make your own with a food processor.

Now all you need to do is place the cauliflower on a baking tray and bake for about 40 minutes at 200C. We place a silicone baking mat on our tray before so the cauliflower doesn’t stick to the bottom and the tray doesn’t get dirty. You will need to flip the cauliflower halfway to ensure that it cooks perfectly on both sides.

How to prepare the Orange Sauce

While the cauliflower is baking, you can get the sauce ready. For our Asian-style orange cauliflower, we want a thick and deep in flavour sauce. We recommend using a cast-iron pan when possible for this part.

First, heat some sesame oil in a pan and add garlic and ginger paste. For this part, we use our garlic and ginger presser. You can finely chop them as well, but we find that you get much flavour from the paste. Add chilli flakes (skip this ingredient for a mild dish) and turmeric powder.

Add freshly squeezed orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, rice vinegar, light brown sugar and leave it simmering for a few minutes before adding the cornstarch dissolved in water to thicken the sauce.

Serving suggestion

When making Asian-Style Orange Cauliflower we normally save a little bit of the sauce to add right before serving.

Once the cauliflower is baked and the sauce is ready, coat the cauliflower with the orange sauce. We like saving a bit of the sauce to add right before serving.

One way to serve orange cauliflower is with basmati rice. On a serving bowl, add rice and the orange cauliflower on the top. Drizzle some extra sauce on the top and sprinkle sesame seeds and finely chopped spring onions.

Our top cauliflower recipes

If you love cauliflower as much as we do, have a look at our top recipes made with cauliflower.

Spicy Cauliflower Bites. We use the same batter than the one used in this recipe. Instead of coated with an orange sauce, the cauliflower bites are coated with hot sauce and served with dipping sauces. A must try for your next bbq!

Cauliflower and Walnut Bolognese. Cauliflower and walnut are a great mixture to make vegan minced “meat”. Check this lovely bolognese sauce rich in flavour and really nutritious.

Cauliflower Bites for Toddlers and Kids. Our toddler Luca is not the biggest fan of cauliflower (yet) but he loves these bites!

Asian-Style Orange Cauliflower

Orange Cauliflower is our delicious vegetarian version of the popular Asian orange chicken.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Orange Cauliflower
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

Cauliflower Bites

  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 cup plant-based milk unsweetened
  • 2 cups fine bread crumbs

Orange Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes optional for spiciness
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable stock
  • 3 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Orange zest from one orange
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoon water

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Cut the cauliflower into florets. In a big bowl, mix the flour, pepper, salt, coriander and cumin powder. Add the plant-based milk and whisk until you have a uniform batter.
  • Dip the cauliflower florets into the batter until they are fully coated. In a separate bowl, add the fine breadcrumbs and dip each cauliflower floret into the bread crumbs until perfectly coated. The results will be better if you do it one by one even if it takes a bit longer.
  • Place the cauliflower on a baking tray and bake for about 40 minutes. Flip the cauliflower halfway to ensure that it cooks perfectly on both sides.
  • To prepare the sauce, heat some sesame oil in a pan and add the garlic and ginger. We press from ingredients to form a paste before adding them into the pan. You can finely chop them as well, but we find that you get much flavour from the paste.
  • Add chilli flakes (skip this ingredient for a mild dish) and turmeric powder.
  • When fragrance, add freshly squeezed orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, rice vinegar, light brown sugar and leave it simmering for a few minutes.
  • In a small bowl add the corn starch and lukewarm water. Mix well and add into the pan to thicken the sauce. Bring the sauce to simmer and keep stirring until thickened.
  • When the cauliflower is ready, add into the sauce pan and mix well so all the cauliflower florets are coated with orange sauce.

Notes

  • Serve with steamed rice, sprinkled sesame seeds and chopped spring onions.
Orange Cauliflower

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