This is one of those dishes that satisfies a whole bunch of cravings at once. Cravings you didn’t even realized you had until you take a bite and it his “the spot” leaving you utterly wanting for nothing. This is one of those things. The first time I tried General Tso’s cauliflower I was at a taco shop in Miami. Not exactly the scenario you were expecting I’d imagine. But those tacos were out of this world, and it was all thanks to the cauliflower. And the sauce of course! So I decided to make a simple General Tso’s cauliflower with white rice. But if you decide you want to wrap it up in a tortilla, I encourage it. Fusion baby 😉
So let’s dig in! First, you take your cauliflower. Flip it over and rip off the leaves surrounding it. Now, there are a few ways to break this sucker down into florets. Either cut it into quarters, and cut the stalk off by slicing down at an angle, or using a paring knife, cut around the stem at a slightly inward angle and pull the stalk out. You can pretty much use your hands at this point to pull the cauliflower apart into little florets, or use a knife if you have to.
Good. Now take the florets and put them into a bowl. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over them, and dust them with a tablespoon of cornstarch. Get your hands in there and mix it all up until the florets are all coated. Now, you need to decide if you’re going to fry or bake these. If you’re baking them, set the oven to 400, and spread them on a baking rack. If you’re going to fry them, then fill a large pot or wok with vegetable oil and heat it up. Drop a little bit in to test the oil. Only add a few florets at a time to fry, don’t overcrowd the pot. If you’re baking them, pop them in the oven and bake until they’re golden brown and crispy. About 30 minutes.
While the cauliflower is baking, gather your ingredients for the sauce. You will nice rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoison sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, red chili flakes, and scallions. This would also be a good time to get your rice started. I like to use Jasmine Rice, but any long grain rice will suffice.
Using a microplane, grate the ginger into a fine paste. You can do this with the garlic as well. Or just mince he bejesus out of it with a sharp knife. You just want them both in itty bitty pieces. However you get there is up to you.
Now, heat up some sesame oil, about a tablespoon of it. Add the garlic and ginger, and saute until they become aromatic. Add the rice vinegar, the hoison sauce, and the soy sauce. Bring to a bubble and then remove from the heat. Add some chili flakes and scallions, leaving some scallions aside for garnish.
Once the sauce has come together and the cauliflower is fully cooked, add the cauliflower to the sauce and toss so that the pieces are all fully coated in the sauce.
And that’s it! You’re done! It’s chow time! Pile up some rice on your plate, top it off with this incredible concoction you’ve just made and stuff your face. Don’t even use a fork. Just dig in like the primal animal you are.
General Tso's Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp corn starch
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp hoison sauce
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
Scallions for garnish
1 cup long grain rice
- Break down the head of cauliflower into bite sized florets.
- Mix with olive oil and corn starch, toss until coated.
- Spread on a baking rack, bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown.
- While the cauliflower is baking, cook the rice as directed on the packaging. Typically 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice, simmer while covereed for 20 minutes. Turn of heat, keep he rice covered so that it can steam until ready to be served.
- Mince or grate ginger and garlic.
- Saute ginger and garlic with sesame oil.
- Add rice vinegar, then soy sauce and hoisin sauce.
- Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Add crushed red pepper.
- Toss cauliflower florets in he sauce until fully coated.
- Serve with rice and enjoy!