These crispy air fryer cauliflower are coated in a sticky, spicy orange sauce.
Cauliflower is a wonderful substitute for chicken. It’s hearty and takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. And, if done right, you can have the perfect crispy crust and tender inside, giving you the perfect vegetarian option. You will never miss the chicken at all with this delicious sauce.
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If you don’t have an air fryer*, baking the cauliflower florets in the oven is perfectly fine. But then you have to increase the cooking time by about 10 minutes. If you are considering getting an air fryer, I highly recommend you buy one. Because honestly, it’s a whole new cooking experience.
This dish is easy to prepare and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Simply air-fry, bake or deep-fry the cauliflower until it looks golden and crispy. When the cauliflower is done, cover them with the beautiful spicy sweet sauce.
How to make Cauliflower with spicy orange sauce
- Toast the sesame seeds over medium heat in a dry pan until golden, then set aside.
- First wash and then cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Set the cauliflower florets aside.
- Then whisk together flour, milk, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Add the cauliflower florets to the batter and toss to coat.
- In another bowl, pour in the breadcrumbs and cover each floret well.
- Finally place the cauliflower in the air fryer basket in a single layer. You will likely need to do 2 batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Set the air fryer to 200°C (392° F) for 10-13 minutes depending on how crispy you want it. If you bake them in the oven, preheat the oven to 200°C (392° F) (air mode) bake until they look golden and crispy. You may need to turn them so that they get an even color.
Spicy Orange Sesame Sauce
- Meanwhile, the cauliflower is cooking; you can make the Spicy Orange Sesame Sauce.
- Add the minced garlic to a small pan with the oil. Sauté until lightly golden brown, then add the ginger.
- Sauté for 1-2 minutes. Then add all other ingredients except the water and cornstarch. Whisk well to combine.
- Whisk together water and cornstarch in a small glass and add it to the sauce. Bring to a low boil, then remove from heat to thicken.
- When the cauliflower florets are done, place them in a large mixing bowl and toss with the sauce. Sprinkle on sesame seeds, chopped scallions and orange zest.
- Serve with rice, noodles or a healthy side salad.
Cooked cauliflower florets generally don’t keep very well so I don’t recommend making them ahead of time. Once the sauce is added, they lose their crispness pretty quickly, so I recommend serving them as soon as they’re done!
You can make this dish Vegan. Just swap out the honey for maple syrup and the milk for almond milk.
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