Korean Fried Cauliflower

This post may contain affiliate links.

This AMAZING Korean Fried Cauliflower recipe is easy to make and tossed with the most delicious Korean BBQ Sauce! Cauliflower florets are dipped in a wet batter made with rice flour, then pan fried and tossed in the sauce. This scrumptious, simple recipe is both gluten free and vegetarian!

Korean fried cauliflower on plate with chopsticks picking up one piece of cauliflower

You guys, this is my 100th recipe with this Korean BBQ Sauce. Ok, maybe it’s just my 8th, but soon it will be #100! I just can’t stop putting this Korean BBQ Sauce on everything! It’s so delicious and easy to make!

Slow Cooker Korean BBQ Chicken Tacos are a super fun twist on Taco Tuesday. Korean BBQ Chicken Pizza is the best spin on BBQ Chicken Pizza ever!

I love meal-prepping with this easy Korean BBQ Beef recipe. You can serve it in tortillas, lettuce wraps or over rice. And don’t even get me started on these Korean BBQ Short Ribs. Seriously mouthwatering!

As you can see, I’ve made a lot of meat-centric recipes with this Korean BBQ Sauce. But the sauce itself is actually vegan! I decided that it was about time to make a veggie dish with this delicious sauce. This is how Korean Fried Cauliflower was born!

Crispy fried cauliflower + the best Korean BBQ Sauce ever = a match made in heaven!

Fried Cauliflower piled up on white plate topped with Korean BBQ Sauce and diced green onions

How to make Korean Fried Cauliflower

Prepare the Korean BBQ Sauce.

Add brown sugar, soy sauce, mirin, water and rice wine vinegar to a large pot on the stove over medium high heat. Add chili paste, sesame oil, black pepper, fresh ginger, garlic and diced green onions. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Thicken the sauce.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Add this mixture to the boiling sauce. Whisk to combine well, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to low until ready to use.

Prepare the batter.

In a large bowl, combine rice flour, salt, pepper and whisked egg yolk. Add cold water and mix until a smooth, slightly runny batter forms.

Quick Tip! I found this Thai rice flour at a local Asian market, 3 bags for $2! If you have an Asian market nearby, I’d recommend checking it out for a great deal. Otherwise you can easily purchase other brands of white rice flour at major grocery stores nationwide. Rice flour can usually be found with the other flours or in the gluten free section at the grocery store.

Fry the cauliflower.

Add 2 cups of canola oil to a large skillet or wok. Once the oil is hot, add cauliflower florets to the batter and dip until completely coated, allow any extra batter to drip off. Add the battered cauliflower to the hot oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes per side.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the cauliflower from the oil when it’s golden brown and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. A deep fryer can also be used instead of the skillet to make deep fried cauliflower.

Quick Tip! Don’t overcrowd the pan or the cauliflower will not fry properly. Depending on the size of your skillet or wok, it will take 3-4 batches to fry all of the cauliflower.

Toss the cauliflower with the sauce. 

Once all of the cauliflower is fried, add a few pieces at a time to the pot of Korean BBQ Sauce. Toss to coat. Remove from the pot and serve immediately topped with diced green onions and sesame seeds.

Quick Tip! If you’re not planning to eat all of the cauliflower immediately, do not toss all of the cauliflower with the sauce. As soon as the cauliflower is sauced it should be eaten immediately or the texture will become soggy.

If serving these as an appetizer, I would recommend tossing half of the cauliflower with the sauce and serving. Then toss the remainder of the cauliflower with the sauce and serve. This will help the cauliflower keep it’s deliciously crispy texture!

Fried cauliflower pieces on paper towel lined plate

How to serve Korean Fried Cauliflower

These little bite-sized pieces of fried cauliflower goodness are great as an appetizer. Serve with toothpicks for eating at a party. They’re also wonderful served as a vegetarian entree. For a complete meal, serve the Korean Fried Cauliflower over rice or wrapped in lettuce leaves.

Extra BBQ sauce in the pot? Serve it drizzled over the cauliflower or on the side for dipping! I promise, there’s no such thing as too much of the Korean BBQ Sauce!

How many calories are in Fried Cauliflower?

Each cauliflower floret is approximately 88 calories. This recipe makes approximately 24 pieces of cauliflower. A serving a of 6 pieces of cauliflower florets would make a complete meal served in lettuce wraps or with rice. That full serving of fried cauliflower is 528 calories.

Why did I use the word “approximately” so many times? Each piece of cauliflower is a different size, therefore 4 cups of cauliflower florets could be anywhere from 20-30 pieces depending on the size of each floret.

How to make Fried Cauliflower Vegan

To make this Korean Fried Cauliflower vegan, simply omit the whisked egg in the batter. Add 1 tbsp almond milk or an extra tablespoon of water instead.

Fried Cauliflower in Korean BBQ Sauce on plate topped with diced green onions

Be sure to check out these other delicious Asian-inspired vegetarian recipes!

Piece of fried cauliflower in chopsticks, held over plate of fried cauliflower with Korean BBQ sauce
5 from 4 votes
Print

Korean Fried Cauliflower

This AMAZING Korean Fried Cauliflower recipe is easy to make and tossed with the most delicious Korean BBQ Sauce! Cauliflower florets are dipped in a wet batter made with rice flour, then pan fried and tossed in the sauce. This scrumptious, simple recipe is both gluten free and vegetarian!

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 24 pieces fried cauliflower
Calories 88 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

Korean BBQ Sauce

  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cups low sodium soy sauce Tamari for gluten-free
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp chili paste
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tbsp ginger grated
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 green onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water

Fried Cauliflower

  • 2 cups canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk whisked
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • ¼ cup green onions diced
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions

Korean BBQ Sauce

  1. In a large pot on the stove, over medium high heat, combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, mirin, water, rice wine vinegar, chili paste, sesame oil, black pepper, ginger, garlic and green onion. 

  2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water.

  4. Add this mixture to the boiling sauce.
  5. Whisk to combine well, reduce heat to medium and simmer 3-4 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to low until ready to use.

Fried Cauliflower

  1. Add the canola oil to a large skillet on the stove over medium high heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice flour, salt, pepper and whisked egg yolk.
  3. Add the cold water and mix until a smooth batter forms.
  4. Dip the cauliflower florets into the batter until completely coated, allowing any excess batter to drip off, then add to the hot oil.

  5. Fry for 3-4 minutes per side.

  6. Remove from the oil and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  7. Once all of the cauliflower is fried, add it to the pot of Korean BBQ sauce and toss to coat.
  8. Remove from the pot and serve topped with diced green onions and sesame seeds.
  9. Serve in lettuce wraps or over rice.

Recipe Notes

  • When frying the cauliflower, be sure to not overcrowd the pan or the cauliflower will not fry properly. Depending on the size of your skillet or wok, it will take 3-4 batches to fry all of the cauliflower.
  • If you’re not planning to eat all of the cauliflower immediately, do not toss all of the cauliflower with the sauce. As soon as the cauliflower is sauced it should be eaten immediately or the texture will become soggy.
  • Serve this delicious fried cauliflower as an appetizer with toothpicks or as an entree over rice or wrapped in lettuce leaves.
  • To make this recipe vegan, omit the egg yolk in the batter and replace it with 1 tbsp almond milk or an additional tablespoon of water.