General Tso’s Cauliflower Stir-Fry

Well, it is that time of the year and new year resolutions are being made. I have only one for 2019. I want to be healthier. For me that encompasses:

1. Water, not wine!
2. Go Meatless in January!
3. Remember to eat! (I know! But sometimes I look up and lunch is over so I keep working.)
4. Kick up the workouts! (or start them (shrug))

Ever notice how resolutions feel more like a punishment? Has anyone ever resolved to party harder? If you have, I want to hang with you! But hey, I only committed to one month. Mainly, I am just tired of meat and the heavy meals of the holidays. I need to detox. So, I’m going to go meatless for a month and share some of my favorite vegetarian dishes with you starting with one of my favorites.

This meatless version of General Tso’s Chicken is a delicious and healthy dish of yum. This recipe uses cauliflower instead of chicken. Cauliflower is one of my favorite ingredients to use in meatless dishes. It can be fried, mashed, sautéed, or roasted. It also takes on the taste of the other ingredients you mix it with making it as versatile as it is tasty.

Fried Cauliflower:

It is easiest to break this recipe into two parts starting with frying up the cauliflower. Steam a head of cauliflower. Remove any green stems from the bottom of the head.

IMG_2098

Place the full head in a steamer and steam for 7 – 9 minutes. Remove immediately from the steamer to stop the cooking process. Run cold water over the cauliflower to stop the cooking process. You do not want it to be too soft or it will not fry properly. Cut into florets.

IMG_2104

In a medium mixing bowl mix 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon ancho chile pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Gradually mix in 12 ounces of cold beer, whatever you have on hand. Add the beer slowly using just enough to form a batter the consistency of heavy cream.

IMG_2106

Heat an inch of vegetable oil in a heavy saucepan. Drop a few drops of the batter into the oil. The oil is ready if the batter bubbles and floats across the oil upon hitting the oil. Coat the cauliflower florets in the flour mixture and fry in the oil turning and frying all sides to a golden crisp, about 3 – 4 minutes. Work in batches to not overcrowd the cauliflower. I love how the cauliflower fries up. It is super easy to work with.

IMG_2112

Prepare the sauce starting with prepping the veggies. Slice 3 garlic cloves into thin slices, mince 1” of fresh ginger root and slice 2 green onion separating white and green parts. Snipe a dried hot chile into small pieces. If you like things hot feel free to use more (or less) as desired.

IMG_2116

The Sauce:

In a wok, or large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil over high heat. When hot add the prepared vegetables. Stir-fry until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute.

IMG_2121

Slowly mix in ¼ cup water, 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Bring to a boil. When sauce has thickened, add in the florets and green parts of the green onion. Toss together for 30 seconds coating the cauliflower with the sauce.

IMG_2144

Serving vegetarian really cuts down on the calories. This recipe is only 243 calories per serving which comes in handy since it is so good you are going to want to have seconds. Serve it with a side of Fried Rice for a real treat. – Ella💙

General Tso’s Stir Fry
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Author: Ella @ thewackyspoon
Ingredients
Cauliflower:
  • 1 head cauliflower, raw
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces cold light beer
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
Sauce:
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1" diameter ginger root, raw
  • 2 stalks green onions, sliced
  • 1 hot chile pepper, sun-dried
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Instructions
To make the cauliflower:
  1. Steam the head of cauliflower using a streamer for 7 – 9 minutes. Remove immediately from the pan and let cool. Cut into florets.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl mix the flour, baking powder, corn flour, and salt. Gradually mix in the beer to make a batter.
  3. Heat an inch of vegetable oil in a heavy saucepan.
  4. Coat the cauliflower florets in the flour mixture and fry in the oil until turn frying all sides to a golden crisp, about 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from oil and let drain on a paper towel.
To make the sauce:
  1. Slice the garlic into thin slices, mince the ginger root, and diagonally slice the green onion separating white and green parts. Snipe the dried chile into small pieces.
  2. In a wok, or large skillet, heat sesame oil over high heat. When hot add the garlic, chile, ginger and white parts of the green onion. Stir-fry until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute.
  3. Slowly mix in the water, tomato sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil. When thickened, toss in the florets and green parts of the green onion.
  4. Toss together for 30 seconds coating the cauliflower with the sauce.
  5. Serve immediately.
Advertisements

Author: Ella

Just a girl who loves to cook farm-to-fork foods living the dream!

7 thoughts

    1. You are welcome! You will love this! The fried cauliflower is a perfect substitute for the traditional chicken. I actually prefer it.

    1. My pleasure! You know how when eating meatlss how you say, “it was good for vegetarian.” This is a dish that I love! I make it just because it is good

  1. I’m still chuckling at the idea of a “Party Harder” resolution~! Here’s an idea…. Aaaaaanyways. Fried Cauliflower! Always a favorite in our kitchen, and this recipe sounds like a fantastic setting to make it shine! Yum~ Maaaaaybe I can resist whipping it up until next (Meatfree~) Monday, but somehow I doubt it 😀 Thanks for sharing~!

    1. Well, I’m just throwing the “party harder” idea out there. 😉 No need to wait for Meatless Monday for this dish. It’s so good!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.