It’s the ultimate cauliflower dish if you like spice.
Whether it’s griddled, baked, or even blitzed into “rice,” I’ve found a multitude of uses for cauliflower but none of them have quite had that “knock-yer-socks-off” effect that this one possesses. Gochujang may seem like a specialty ingredient but thankfully it’s now widely available in grocery stores. I guarantee this spicy Korean paste will soon become a staple—I like to dollop it into stews to boost flavor. Think of this as the ultimate cauliflower dish that’ll have you coming back for more.
Vegan Sweet & Sticky Cauliflower Florets
- 1 2/3 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 head of cauliflower broken into florets
- 1/2 cup gram (chickpea) or rice flour
- pinch of sea salt flakes
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ juice of lemon
- 2/3 cup soy milk
- 2 heaping tablespoons gochujang Korean red chili paste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cider or rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- scant 1/4 cup water plus extra if necessary
COOLING COCONUT DIPPING SAUCE
- 2/3 cup coconut yogurt
- 1 garlic clove minced
- grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- pinch of pink Himalayan salt or sea salt flakes
- ½ cucumber finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 475°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Place the ingredients for the coconut dipping sauce in a blender and blitz together until smooth (alternatively, vigorously whisk them together in a bowl until combined). Refrigerate until needed.
- To make the batter, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth.
- Place the panko bread crumbs in a food processor and pulse briefly to break up any large pieces. Transfer to a separate bowl.
- Dip a cauliflower floret first in the batter and shake off any excess before dredging in the panko crumbs and placing on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the florets, then bake for 25 minutes, turning once, until crispy and golden.
- Meanwhile, place the gochujang dressing ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth and glossy, adding a splash more water if the dressing looks as though it is getting too thick. Keep warm over low heat.
- Transfer the baked cauliflower to a large bowl, pour over the dressing, and toss to coat, then sprinkle over the cucumber slices and sesame seeds to finish. Serve with the coconut dipping sauce.