Easy Sticky Sesame Cauliflower
by Meghan Rodgers
April 7, 2021
Isn’t it amazing how some people despise condiments? I find it fascinating anyone would want to eat a plain burger or some turkey slapped between bland bread. Plain mashed potatoes. Ketchup-less fries. Sometimes even plain pasta or scrambled eggs.
I simply can not relate.
When it comes to condiments… well… I’m going to need you to leave the bottle! Food is merely a vehicle for sauces in my world, which makes eating vegan and vegetarian meals all the easier. It’s not normally the meat I miss — it’s usually the condiments that came with it. Tacos, Sloppy Joes, and even pulled pork sandwiches, were all just reasons to smother on the sauces.
And never are my cravings for condiments stronger than when I’m dining at Panda Express or other Chinese restaurants. It’s not the low-grade meat in that General Tso’s or orange chicken that makes my mouth water, it’s the smell of those delicious sauces.
And that’s definitely the case with sesame chicken. You can enjoy that sticky-sweet sesame sauce anytime you want with this healthy makeover on everyone’s favorite mall food court classic. Plus, non-vegan dinner guests will love Sticky Sesame Cauliflower too, since it doesn’t try to use a fake meat substitute. Who wouldn’t want insanely delicious cauliflower smothered in sauce?
Well, I guess those people who pass on condiments all-together.
Those people can’t be helped.
Sticky Sesame Cauliflower
1 small head cauliflower (about 6 cups of florets)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or honey if non-vegan)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 tbsp cornstarch
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Lightly grease baking pan.
Arrange florets on pan with the flat, cut side down. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip and cook for another 10 minutes or until tender the whole way through. For a little crunch, move to top rack and broil for 1-2 more minutes.
While cauliflower cooks, prepare the sauce. In a saucepan, whisk together soy sauce, sweetener, vinegar, garlic, oil and ginger. Bring mixture to a boil.
In a small bowl, whisk together water and cornstarch until dissolved. Add to sauce mixture and cook for 2 more minutes, or until mixture thickens.
Pour sauce over cauliflower. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions.
Note: Sauce tastes great on just about any vegetables, so substitute your favorite veggie or make it a mix with cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, peas or whatever you have on hand that might otherwise go to waste in your fridge!