General Tso's Cauliflower Recipe

General Tso's famous chicken, a popular Chinese-American dish, has gained widespread love because of its deliciously sweet and tangy sauce. Over the years, many variations of this well known dish have hit the scene — and fortunately for those seeking variety (and vegetarian options), we've found other foods besides chicken that taste amazing when smothered in this captivating sauce. 

Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe for General Tso's cauliflower and says, "My favorite thing about this recipe is the easy and flavorful sauce that comes together quickly and is such a great complement to cauliflower. I focus on a plant-forward lifestyle and love getting to experience the General Tso's sauce even though I don't eat chicken." The cauliflower goes great over a bowl of rice, or for something heartier, it can be served alongside a stir-fry or a bowl of soup. Read on to learn how to skip takeout and make this in your kitchen.

Gather the ingredients for General Tso's cauliflower

To make this recipe, you'll of course need some cauliflower. "You can buy a whole head or just a couple of bags of pre-cut florets to save time," Hahn shares. Then we'll need lots of flavorful ingredients for the sauce. Check some sesame oil, arrowroot powder, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, coconut sugar, salt, garlic, and fresh ginger off your list. "To make the sauce thick, we're using arrowroot powder, but cornstarch would work here as well. And if you have brown sugar on hand, you can use that instead of the coconut sugar," Hahn explains.

Bake the cauliflower

Start by preheating the oven to 400 F. Then, pull out a large bowl and add the cauliflower florets. "I like to keep the cauliflower florets on the bigger side because they shrink up quite a bit in the oven," Hahn shares. Next, add in the oil with 2 tablespoons of the arrowroot powder. Toss everything to combine, then lay the cauliflower out on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway. "I like to line the pan with parchment paper to help with cleanup," Hahn says. "If you have an air fryer, you can use that instead of the oven using the same temperature and time."

Make the General Tso's sauce

Meanwhile, it's time to make the famous sauce. Add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, coconut sugar, salt, garlic powder, and ginger to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. "The sauce will be very thin at this point, but it will get thicker once we add the arrowroot powder," Hahn remarks. In a small bowl, combine the water with the remaining arrowroot powder. "A small whisk is helpful here, as the arrowroot powder is inclined to clump," Hahn explains. Once that is blended, add it to the pot and keep cooking over medium heat for 5-10 more minutes, stirring frequently until the sauce thickens.

Combine the cauliflower and sauce, then serve

Our tasty recipe is almost done. Remove the cauliflower from the oven, and put it into a large bowl. Pour the sauce on top and stir well to coat the cauliflower, and then it's ready to serve. Hahn likes to top hers with scallions and sesame seeds and serve it over white rice, though she says the dish also pairs nicely with egg rolls or homemade egg drop soup. Leftovers last well for a few days if kept in a sealed container in the fridge and can be heated up in the oven or air fryer for the best results.

General Tso's Cauliflower Recipe
5 from 37 ratings
A plant-based alternative to the popular Chinese-American chicken dish, this General Tso's cauliflower is perfect over rice.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
4
servings
general tso's cauliflower with chopsticks
Total time: 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoons arrowroot powder, divided
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Optional Ingredients
  • Chopped scallions, for garnish
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Cooked rice, for serving
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Toss the cauliflower florets with the sesame oil, then with 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the water with the remaining arrowroot powder in a small bowl, and set aside.
  4. Add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, coconut sugar, salt, garlic powder, and ginger to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the water and arrowroot powder mixture to the saucepan and continue cooking for 5-10 more minutes, stirring frequently, until it thickens.
  6. When the cauliflower is done, add it to a large bowl and toss it with the warm sauce until thoroughly coated. Top with optional scallions and sesame seeds and serve over rice, if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 193
Total Fat 7.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 28.2 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Total Sugars 13.0 g
Sodium 1,182.1 mg
Protein 4.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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