Kung Pao Cauliflower

By: Lily Gravitz

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 45 minutes

No need for Chinese takeout! This recipe tastes exactly like Chinese Kung Pao chicken, but instead uses cauliflower for a vegetarian twist. Although I’m not vegetarian myself, I like to incorporate vegetarian substitutes when I can due to the health benefits as well as the environmental benefits (Medical News Today). Cauliflower is a fiber-packed superfood vegetable which contains great amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants that help to fight against cancer (WebMD). Great as a side dish to a dinner, this recipe also can be eaten with a quick side of rice for a healthy, Meatless Monday meal. 


  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into pieces 
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup plus two tablespoons coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup of chopped peanuts
  • Steamed brown rice (as much as you like)


  1. Preheat the oven broiler to high heat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, toss the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to coat.
  3. In another bowl, add the coconut milk and coconut aminos, and pour over the cauliflower to coat.
  4. Spread the cauliflower on the parchment paper and broil in the oven for 3-4 minutes until the cauliflower begins to char. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 and bake for another 5 minutes.
  5. In a bowl combine the hoisin sauce, honey, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes and ¼ cup of water mixed with the remaining cornstarch. Whisk until smooth and fully combined.
  6. Heat the peanut oil in a large non-stick pan and add the garlic, ginger, and green onion slices. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the sauce to the pan. Once the sauce starts to boil and thicken, reduce the heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until the sauce thickens.
  7. Once thickened, which will take about 5 minutes, take the cauliflower out and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Serve over steamed brown rice.

Reference List:

“Health Benefits of Cauliflower.” WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/health-benefits-cauliflower

“Vegetarian Diet: Benefits, Risks, and Tips.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/8749.

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