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General Tso's Cauliflower


Serves 4

Start to finish 1hr - 30 min.


½ cup all-purpose flour

⅓ cup cornstarch

¾ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

½ cup neutral oil (like peanut or vegetable)

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets


2 teaspoons sesame oil

6 scallions, white part finely sliced, green part chopped into 1-inch pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced ginger

5 small dried chiles (optional)

¼ cup vegetable broth

¼ cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons mirin

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt to combine. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk the eggs, soy sauce and vinegar to combine. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour, whisking constantly. You should end up with a thick but still dip-able batter (thin with a little water if needed).

2. Heat the oil in a medium cast iron skillet until very hot (you can test it by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil--it should immediately sizzle and float).

3. Dip each piece of cauliflower fully in the batter, then place in the oil. Pan-fry the cauliflower until it’s golden on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on absorbent paper towels.

4. In a medium pot, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the finely-chopped white scallions, garlic, ginger and chiles, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Add the broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar and mirin, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.

6. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar and cornstarch to combine. Pour about ¼ cup of the hot sauce over the mixture, whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and lump free. Return the mixture to the pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in the large pieces of green scallion.

7. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and has good flavor, 7 to 9 minutes more.

8. Add the cauliflower to the pot and toss to coat until the cauliflower is rewarmed, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and with a side of steamed rice.

Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)