If you’re looking for an alternative to chicken for a General Tao recipe, then you have come to the right place. Honestly, this tastes just like chicken! Golden brown crispy fried cauliflower tossed in a made-from-scratch spicy sweet sauce. It’s an awesome vegetarian/meatless recipe.
For the batter
- 1 Cup Flour
- 2/3 Cup Cornstarch
- 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 4 Eggs
- 2 Tsp Salt
- Water (as needed, but about 1/2 cup usually)
For the Sauce
- 1 Cup Chicken Broth (or vegetable, but this recipe works best with chicken broth)
- 1 Tsp Chili Garlic Paste
- 3 Tbsp Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp Ground Ginger
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 Head Cauliflower, cut into small florets
- Oil for frying
- Sesame Seeds for topping
- Green Onions for topping (optional)
For the sauce: Heat a dash of oil in a medium saucepan. Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and cook until thick and glossy. Keep sauce warm over low heat.
Cauliflower Batter: In a large bowl, add all the batter ingredients. Mix together 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 (you can adjust the thickness with water).
Cauliflower Frying: Pour oil into a heavy bottomed skillet to make it deep enough so it will cover the cauliflower about halfway (usually about 2-3 cups). Heat the oil over medium heat. Drop a small amount of the batter in the oil to test – when it rises to the top and bubbles, the oil is ready. Dip cauliflower florets in the skillet. 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 longer you leave it in the skillet, the crunchier it gets. 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).
Serving: Dip the fried cauliflower in the sauce (enough just to cover) and sprinkle with sesame seeds for serving. You can also top with green onions if you like.