Korean Fried Cauliflower

Your weekend feast is sorted!



Over on Serious Eats there is J. Kenji López-Alt (@TheFoodLab), a fellow food blogger and recipe developer. He is not vegan, but for the past two Feburarys, he has went 100% vegan with The Vegan Experience. And wow, the recipes coming out of there are phenomenal. I think because it’s mainly food that “normal” people would want to eat. I think a lot of us are ALL about that! Sharing the love of a plant-based diet through GOOD FOOD and not politics (as long as we’re not provoked!). Now, I like a good quinoa and edamame salad just fine, but that is certainly NOT what I would serve to omnivorous guests. I want to get vegan food & hippie whole foods untangled from their perspective. Both are delicious, but not when I’m trying to impress the general public. ANYWAY, I think Mr. Kenji is doing an amazing job at doing just that. And here is some proof!

This is not my recipe. Original recipe found here and for the sauce, here. Go check out the other amazing food while you are there!
(Italics are my notes. Sorry I didn’t measure out most the metrics when I did this)

Korean Fried Cauliflower


  • 2 quarts vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) cold water
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vodka
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 recipe  Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce (below)
  • 4 to 5 Finely sliced scallions (spring onions)


  1. Preheat oil to 350°F (180C) in a large wok, Dutch oven, or deep fryer.

  2. Combine cornstarch, flour, baking powder, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, sesame seeds, and coconut in a large bowl and whisk until homogenous. Add water and vodka and whisk until a smooth batter is formed, adding up to 2 tablespoons additional water if batter is too thick. It should have the consistency of thin paint and fall off of the whisk in thin ribbons that instantly disappear as they hit the surface of the batter in the bowl.
  3. Add cauliflower to batter. Working one at a time, lift one piece and allow excess batter to drip off. Carefully lower into hot oil. Repeat with remaining cauliflower until wok or fryer is full. Do not crowd pan. (You’ll be able to fit about half of the cauliflower in each batch). Fry, using a metal spider or slotted spatula to rotate and agitate pieces as they cook until evenly golden brown and crisp all over, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season immediately with salt. Keep warm while you fry the remaining cauliflower.

  4. Toss fried cauliflower with sauce and serve immediately, sprinkled with extra sesame seeds and scallions.

    Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce

    • 1/4 cup gochujang (60 ml) (Korean chilli-miso paste)
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon rice wine vineger
    • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
    • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil


    1. Combine gochujang, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Gochujang can be inconsistent in its thickness. Add up to 2 tablespoons water until sauce is just barely thin enough to drop off a spoon with inverted.
    Seen here with spicy roasted Brussels sprouts and leeks, rice, and spring onion pancakes

Published by theveganronin

Chef Owner

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