side view of Vegan General Tso Cauliflower in a sweet and sour sauce, with a side of rice and Asian chopped salad

General Tso's Cauliflower

A meatless, vegan version of General Tso's chicken, replacing the chicken with crispy fried pieces of cauliflower. This healthy spin on a Chinese Restaurant Classic will be a hit with both adults and the little ones! 

Course dinner, main
Cuisine American, Chinese
Keyword appetizer, cauliflower, Chinese, fried, General Tso, main, party food, restaurant-style, vegan recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 portions
Calories 840 kcal
Author Kiki Johnson


For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cm ginger minced
  • 1 small red chilli
  • 2 tbsps tomato paste
  • 150 ml orange juice
  • 125 ml soy sauce
  • 80 ml rice vinegar
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1,5 tbsps cornstarch mixed with 3 tbsp water

For the cauliflower

  • 1 smallish head cauliflower
  • 100 g rice flour
  • 2 tbsps cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 60 - 80 ml water
  • 3 cups of oil for frying


  1. Mince the garlic, chilli, and ginger finely. Heat a pan with 1 tbsp of oil and fry ginger, chilli, and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and fry for another minute.
  2. Add orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil and add the cornstarch slurry. Let the sauce thicken, stirring constantly, then turn the heat down to low and let simmer while you prepare the cauliflower.
  3. Break the cauliflower into 5 cm florets and put them aside in a medium bowl.

  4. Take 25 g of rice flour and put it aside for later.
  5. Heat the oil in a deep pan until it reaches 365 F.
  6. While the oil is heating, mix remaining 75 g rice flour with corn starch, baking powder, and salt. Add sesame oil and water and stir with a whisk to create a thick batter. 

  7. Now, toss the cauliflower florets with this mixture, trying to coat them from all sides. Sprinkle the remaining 25 g rice flour on top and give it the last toss. There should be no dough remaining in the bowl.

  8. Fry, using a metal spider or slotted spatula to rotate and poke the pieces as they cook until evenly golden brown and crisp all over, about 4 - 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm while you fry the remaining cauliflower.
  9. Once your cauliflower is fried, add it to a large bowl and pour the simmering sauce all over the pieces. Toss them to coat the florets evenly. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds with a side of rice.

Recipe Notes

Serve with some rice and a salad for a full meal