General Kev’s Sesame Cauliflower

Quick story here. I recently moved from an electric wok to a the stovetop variety for its ease of use and easier cleaning, as well as the ability to control the temperature better. I bought a copper-coated one and I love it! I can’t believe how nonstick it is. I know I’m so late to the game on this, but I have a pretty expensive All-Clad set that I normally use, so incorporating a $20 pan into my collection just seemed wrong. But I’m so glad I did, especially for a sticky dish like this. The cleanup was such a breeze. I’d recommend you use something similar for this!

I know, I know. You’re here for the recipe. Ok, here it is.

Two of the most popular dishes in Chinese takeout are General Tso’s Chicken and Sesame Chicken. They’re very close to the same thing, with the General’s version usually being a bit spicier and the Sesame variety being sweeter — at least that’s my experience.

So I thought I’d make a plant-based version, marrying the two dishes and leaving the spice level optional, allowing it to be chosen by each person at the table. Here’s how I did it.

Note: This dish is not for the carb or sugar conscious! Proceed with caution!

WFPB Sesame Chicken Alternative

General Kev’s Sesame Cauliflower

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Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

What you’ll need

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florettes
  • 2 cups brown rice, uncooked
  • sriracha sauce, optional

Batter

  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Sauce

  • ¾ cup honey
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 6 tbsp raw sugar
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 6 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

How you’ll do it

  • Preheat oven to 450°
  • Start your rice in the rice cooker, Instant Pot, or however you'd normally make it.
  • In a large bowl, combine all batter ingredients and wisk until well-mixed. Batter should be thick enough to coat cauliflower, but not super heavy. I'd compare it to a pancake batter. Add more water to thin or flour to thicken as needed if it's not quite there.
  • Line a couple baking sheets with parchment or silicone pads.
  • This next step can be done a couple different ways. You can either dip each piece of cauliflower in the batter individually, or throw them all in the bowl at once. I do the latter, make sure they're all coated, then fish them out with a large slotted spoon.
  • Either way, place the coated cauliflower pieces onto the baking sheets, making sure they're not touching each other or they'll end up stuck that way!
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until batter is cooked through. The thicker the batter, the longer the cook time. When done, remove from oven and let cool a bit.
  • While that cools, whisk the cold water and cornstarch together and set aside.
  • In a nonstick wok or other large nonstick pan, place broccoli and a few tablespoons of water. Heat on medium, covered, until broccoli is cooked yet still crunchy. Turn off heat and drain any excess water. Keep broccoli in the wok.
  • While the broccoli cooks, in a small saucepan, combine the rest of the sauce ingredients and whisk together until well-mixed. Heat sauce on medium, stirring often, until it reaches a low boil (watch it!).
  • Give the cornstarch another whisk and stream it into the sauce, stirring it in to avoid lumps. Continue stirring until sauce begins to thicken. Turn off heat.
  • Add cauliflower pieces and enough sauce to coat everything to wok. Turn heat back on while you stir everything to coat and heat.
  • Your rice should be done by now. Serve coated cauliflower and broccoli over rice and add extra sauce if desired. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  • If you like a spicier version, add sriracha sauce and stir it in. It adds a nice chili-garlic flavor and kick to this dish!

Did you make this? Well, what did you think? Leave a comment and let me know how it came out, or if you have a question about the recipe, fire away!

Do you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share on KevCooksPlants? Send it to me at kev@kevcooksplants.com and I’ll take a look (and of course credit you when it’s posted).

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