Crispy Orange Cauliflower with Steamed Asparagus

"Looking for an easy, vegan Chinese food recipe? Look no further than this Crispy Orange Cauliflower. Lightly battered and baked cauliflower is the perfect vehicle for a tangy, sticky orange sauce. Homemade Chinese food has never been tastier!"
-- @Herbivores_Kitchen
Jump to Section
  • Recipe Card
Prep time 20mins
Cook time 40mins
Serves or Makes: 4

Recipe Card


  • 2 cups dry Jasmine rice
  • 2 heads cauliflower, washed and cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 bunches asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • 1 scallion, washed and sliced as an optional garnishment
  • sesame seeds, as optional garnishment


  • Step 1

    Preheat your oven to 425º.

  • Step 2

    Prepare the rice in accordance with package directions.

  • Step 3

    Set up your steamer basket in a large pot with ~2 inches of water. The water level should be low enough that it does not come in contact with the cauliflower. Make sure that the lid to your pot fits on securely.

  • Step 4

    Bring the water in the pot to a boil and add the cauliflower to the steamer basket. Steam the cauliflower for 6-8 minutes.

  • Step 5

    While the cauliflower is steaming, combine the flour, water, salt and pepper into a large bowl. The batter should be thick, but still drip off a spoon slowly. You might need to add more water 1 tbsp at a time.

  • Step 6

    Using a basting brush, coat the bottom of your baking sheet with 1 tbsp of the safflower oil. I also like to use a silicon baking sheet for easily clean-up.

  • Step 7

    When the cauliflower is done steaming, add the cauliflower to the batter in small batches. Stir to coat. Using a wire skimmer, remove the cauliflower and allow the excess batter to drop back into the bowl. Add the battered cauliflower to the prepared baking sheet. Continue this process until all of the cauliflower is battered.

  • Step 8

    Bake the cauliflower on the middle rack. After 15 minutes, flip each piece and lightly baste with the remaining safflower oil. Bake for another 10 minutes.

  • Step 9

    While the cauliflower is baking, combine the garlic, ginger, orange juice, maple syrup, tamari, rice vinegar and red chili flakes in a small saucepan. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch with 1 tbsp of water until well combined. Add the cornstarch liquid to the sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has reduced.

  • Step 10

    Prepare your steamer basket for the asparagus as described above. Steam the asparagus for 3-5 minutes. Set aside.

  • Step 11

    When the cauliflower has a browned crust, remove it from the oven and toss it in the orange sauce. I do this by drizzling the orange sauce over the cauliflower on the baking sheet and then gently turning the cauliflower over with a spatula until it is fully coated.

  • Step 12

    Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the sauce is sticky and the cauliflower is crispy. About 6-8 minutes.

  • Step 13

    Serve the cauliflower immediately over the cooked Jasmine rice and the steamed asparagus spears. Garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.

More from @Herbivores_Kitchen