Everyone loves this fried, sweet Chinese takeout classic, but no one likes the indigestion that comes 2 hours later. I was craving this indulgent dish, but I really didn’t want to go into a full blown food coma from its heaviness. In my sulking state, I found that we had cauliflower in the fridge and then a light bulb went off in my head! Gaby’s General Tso's Cauliflower recipe was born...plant based and baked!
People…listen to me right now. When you taste this, I want you to close your eyes and tell me what you THINK you are eating. I will bet you will say chicken! Yes, that is right…this dish resembles the consistency of chicken!!!! I was shocked too when I had my first bite.
Aspects about why I love this dish: it not fried (lighter/healthier) and that it can be both lactose and gluten free for those that have allergies! I show how you can tweak the recipe in the ingredients listed below. This recipe is also a great vegetarian dinner and will make your carnivore friends accept the vegetarian lifestyle for a night. I can bet you that these carnivores will even go back for seconds.
Serves: 5-6 (depending on portion size)
1/2 cup GF flour or All Purpose flour (I used Cup4Cup)
1/2 cup Corn Starch
2 1/2 cup Panko or GF Panko (use this in batches so it does not get soggy)
1 1/4 cup Almond milk or regular milk
3 - 12 oz bags of cauliflower florets or 9 cups (cut smaller if needed)
7 scallions or 1 bunch cut on a diagonal 1/2 inch thick, bottom white heads cut off (comes to around 1 1/4 cup cut scallions)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (topping)
1/2 cup Hoisin
1/2 cup LOW SODIUM soy sauce (or low sodium tamari to make it GF)
1/2 cup Teriyaki
2 tsp Garlic chili sauce
1 tbsp Ground ginger
4 tbsp Honey
2 tsp Sesame oil
1. Preheat your oven to 425 and line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
2. Get three bowls and place the corn starch and flour in the first bowl (mix to combine), milk in the second bowl, and 1/2 cup of the panko in the last bowl. Start the dredging process by placing a small amount of cauliflower in the flour bowl and coat them well, then dunk them in the milk bowl and lastly, evenly coat them in the panko bowl.
3. Place the panko crusted cauliflower on the lined sheet pan. When the panko bowl becomes too wet, add more panko into the bowl to replenish. Continue to replenish the panko through the dredging process.
4. Add the diagonally cut scallions on top of your breaded cauliflower and put the sheet tray in the middle rack of the oven.
5. Cook for 40 min or until golden browned.
6. While the cauliflower is cooking, make your sauce in a bowl. Whisk it together after combining the ingredients to make sure it is uniformly mixed.
7. Once the cauliflower is done cooking, pour them into a large bowl and add you sauce on top. Gently mix (you don’t want the coating to come off) until every piece of cauliflower is sauced.
8. Place the cauliflower back on your sheet pan and turn your oven to broil. Broil for 4-5 minutes or until it starts to sizzle and is a slightly deeper shade of brown…be careful not to burn them! When the cauliflower are cooked, evenly sprinkle the sesame seeds over the sheet tray.
9. Serve these delicious pieces of heaven over jasmine rice or your rice of choice and top!