This baked General Tso Cauliflower recipe is easy, healthy, and delicious with hoisin sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger and garlic!
I love cauliflower.
This is a relatively new love affair.
Just a year ago I would have passed right by the cauliflower at the grocery store, but nowadays it is always on my list.
For the most part, I’ve always been a vegetable lover. Given the choice, I’ll always pick vegetables over fruit!
Over the last few years my veggie choices have gotten a bit exotic. I bring home bok choy, romanesco, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, and daikon radish while cruising right past the broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.
It’s truly a tragedy.
At least I can say that I’m finally working cauliflower back into my regular rotation.
If you’re in need of a good Asian cauliflower recipe, look no further than this General Tso’s Baked Cauliflower!
If this sticky sauce doesn’t turn you into a cauliflower lover, then I don’t know what will.
When I decided that I wanted to make General Tso’s Cauliflower, I knew I wanted to bake the cauliflower rather than fry it.
You might think that this is because I want to keep things healthy, but really it’s because I’m too lazy to fry the cauliflower.
I loathe frying things. I made mejadra for Christmas and had to deep fry EIGHT sliced up onions to go with it. It was traumatic.
I like to serve this with some crisp greens added to the plate right before serving. It adds a little textural variety as well as color.
This time I used fresh bok choy leaves, but you could also use Chinese cabbage or sliced scallions.
I made this to go alongside the Sichuan bok choy tofu stir fry I made, but you could also eat this as a main dish.
I have a feeling that this Chinese cauliflower recipe would be just as delicious in some kung pao or sweet and sour sauce!
How to Make General Tso Cauliflower
Assemble the ingredients, for exact amounts see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the cauliflower in a large mixing bowl.
Whisk the canola oil, corn starch, and soy sauce together in a small bowl.
Pour over the top of the cauliflower and toss well to coat.
Transfer the cauliflower to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and roast in the pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
Turn the cauliflower once halfway through cooking, until tender and golden.
When the cauliflower is nearly done, prepare the sauce by whisking together all of the sauce ingredients from the soy sauce through the corn starch.
Heat a large skillet or wok over low heat. If you want to get a wok, we recommend this affordable wok from Amazon.
Add the chili peppers and toast for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant.
Pour in the sauce and bring to a boil over medium heat to complete this General Tso Sauce recipe.
Add the baked cauliflower and toss well until coated.
Turn off the heat and transfer the cauliflower to a serving dish.
Garnish as desired and enjoy!
Here are some tips to perfect your General Tso Cauliflower:
Preparation of Cauliflower: Make sure the cauliflower florets are cut in even sizes. This helps to ensure they bake evenly.
Tossing Cauliflower: When tossing the cauliflower florets in oil, cornstarch, and soy sauce, ensure they are coated well for the best flavor and texture. It’s important to distribute the ingredients evenly so every piece of cauliflower gets a good amount of seasoning.
Baking the Cauliflower: Don’t overcrowd the baking sheet when roasting the cauliflower. Each piece should have enough space to bake properly. Overcrowding can lead to steaming instead of roasting, which would affect the texture.
Making the Sauce: When preparing the sauce, be sure to whisk it thoroughly to avoid lumps of cornstarch. Also, make sure to cook it until it thickens to get the desired consistency.
Adding the Cauliflower to the Sauce: Add the baked cauliflower to the sauce just before serving to prevent it from becoming soggy.
Serving Suggestions: This dish is best served hot and fresh. You can pair it with steamed jasmine rice or noodles, and a side of stir-fried veggies for a full meal.
Adding Heat: If you prefer a spicier dish, you can add more dried chilies or even a bit of Sriracha or chili paste to the sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
While fresh cauliflower is recommended for this recipe, you can substitute with frozen cauliflower. However, the texture may be slightly different. Make sure to thaw and drain it well to avoid any excess moisture which might interfere with the baking process.
Yes, this General Tso Cauliflower recipe is both vegan and vegetarian.
Yes, to make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free soy sauces and ensure your hoisin sauce is also gluten-free.
Yes, you can substitute canola oil with other neutral-flavored oils such as vegetable or sunflower oil.
If you prefer a spicier sauce, add more dried red chilies or a splash of hot sauce to your liking.
This dish can be served as a main dish with some steamed rice or noodles. It also pairs well with other stir-fried dishes or salads for a complete meal.
Absolutely! This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. However, make sure not to crowd the cauliflower florets on the baking sheet. If necessary, use additional baking sheets or bake in batches.
Yes, you can certainly add other vegetables to this dish. Some good additions might include bell peppers, broccoli, or snap peas. Just make sure to make more sauce and to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Yes, if you don’t have a wok, you can use a large skillet or frying pan.
Storage and Reheating
Storing Leftovers in the Refrigerator:
Place the leftovers in an airtight container or tightly wrap your dish in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Allow the General Tso Cauliflower to cool completely. Once cooled, portion the leftovers into freezer-safe bags or containers. Be sure to squeeze out any excess air from the bags before sealing them. You can freeze the leftovers for up to 2-3 months.
Thawing Frozen Leftovers:
When you are ready to eat the frozen leftovers, transfer them from the freezer to the refrigerator and let them thaw overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can use the defrost function of your microwave, but be careful not to start cooking the dish during the defrosting process.
Oven: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet and heat for about 10-15 minutes or until warmed through. You can also cover the cauliflower with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
Stovetop: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through. You might want to add a splash of water or vegetable broth to prevent the cauliflower from drying out and to help it heat evenly.
Microwave: Place the cauliflower in a microwave-safe dish. Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap, leaving one corner open to vent. Heat the cauliflower on high for 1-2 minutes, stir, then continue heating if needed. Be careful when removing the cover to avoid steam burns.
The best method for reheating your General Tso Cauliflower is in the oven or on the stovetop to help maintain the dish’s texture better than the microwave, which could make the cauliflower a bit softer.
More Favorite Chinese Dishes to Try:
- Tofu Bok Choy Stir Fry
- Veggie Loaded Chow Mein
- Sesame Orange Tofu Stir Fry
- Chinese Almond Chicken with Noodles
- Spicy Sichuan Vegan Potstickers
- Hoisin Tofu Stir Fry with Peppers and Carrots
- Szechuan Noodles with Peanut Sauce
General Tso Cauliflower Recipe
- 4 cups fresh cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 4 to 6 seeded and stemmed dried red chilies
- Garnish: fresh greens - toasted sesame seeds
For the sauce:
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 4 cloves garlic - grated
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the cauliflower in a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk the canola oil, corn starch, and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Pour over the top of the cauliflower and toss well to coat.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and roast in the pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once halfway through, until tender and golden.
- When the cauliflower is nearly done, prepare the sauce by whisking together all of the sauce ingredients from the soy sauce through the corn starch.
- Heat a large skillet or wok over low heat.
- Add the chili peppers and toast for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Pour in the sauce and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Add the baked cauliflower and toss well until coated.
- Turn off the heat and transfer the cauliflower to a serving dish.
- Garnish as desired.