ORANGE CAULIFLOWER “CHICKEN”
These vegan Orange Cauliflower are crispy pieces of cauliflower coated in a sweet and tangy orange glaze! This is inspired by Panda Express orange chicken.
Oranges and cauliflower? At first you’d think they won’t go together but trust me, they do! I also love cauliflower and its versatility. It pairs well with a lot of different flavours and textures.
I’ve basically created a vegan glazed orange cauliflower ‘chicken’ recipe that reminds me of those from Panda Express! Cauliflower of course doesn’t have a meaty texture like chicken, but they do look like chicken pieces when battered and coated.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR THE CAULIFLOWER
I first prepared the florets, batter, and bread crumb mix for these.
I started by dipping the cauliflower florets in the batter.
From there, I coated the cauliflower in the bread crumbs!
This part takes a while to coat since it’s going to be piece-by-piece, but trust me, it’s worth it!
I then fried these to a crisp in some oil, but you can also opt to bake or even air-fry these if you’d like!
The cooked and crisp cauliflower florets ready to be cooked with the sauce!
I had some navel oranges in hand and squeezed up some fresh juice for the glaze with a few added ingredients to give that perfect sweet and tangy flavour. This is an orange glaze recipe I can’t wait to try with tofu and in stir-fries too.
You can of course adjust the amount of sweetener you put in the sauce depending on your liking.
So yes, I’ve created a vegan glazed orange cauliflower ‘chicken’ recipe that reminds me of those Chinese dishes I grew up eating.
Does this remind you of Panda Express’ orange chicken, too?
So excited for you to try this one! Find the full recipe below.
You can check out other cauliflower recipes here.
Other recipes you might enjoy:
- Chinese Sweet and Sour “Pork”
- Crispy Wontons
- Vegetable Dumplings
- Chinese Chive Pies
- Pan-Fried Cabbage and Noodle Buns
- Wontons in Chili Broth
- Scallion and Sesame Buns
Are you looking for more delicious, vegan Asian recipes?
You can get a copy of my upcoming cookbook, Vegan Asian!
If you crave vegan-friendly versions of classic Asian dishes, this cookbook is packed with Southeast and East Asian dishes inspired by those I grew up enjoying at home and those I’ve tried from my travels. From iconic Thai dishes to piping-hot Japanese fare and everything in between, the recipes in this will take your palate on a delicious food trip across Asia, and hopefully keep you coming back for more!
Vegan Glazed Orange Cauliflower “Chicken”
- 2 raw small heads of cauliflower makes around 3 cups of florets (650g)
- Neutral oil for frying
- 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut or sub more bread crumbs
Cornstarch Slurry for Glaze:
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tbsp room temp. water
For Cooking and Serving
- Extra orange slices
- Sesame seeds for garnishing
- Steamed rice
Corn starch Slurry for Glaze
- In a small bowl, mix together the corn starch and water until diluted. Set aside.
Preparing the Glaze
- In a large bowl or measuring cup, mix all the glaze ingredients together. You can start off with just 2 tbsp of the syrup first and add more if you'd like it sweeter. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the batter until it turns into a smooth, thick consistency.
- In another bowl, add in the bread crumbs and desiccated coconut. Mix.
Coating the Cauliflower
- Evenly coat the florets in the batter. You can do this in batches.
- One by one, place each cauliflower into the breadcrumb mixture. Coat well using one hand (this is to avoid messy hands—I usually use one hand for dry and one hand for wet when coating cauliflower). Press down the bread crumbs on the cauliflower.
- Set aside the florets once coated.
Cooking the Cauliflower
- (See baking option below) Heat a frying large pan with some oil over high. Once hot (you can add in some bread crumbs to test the heat—it will start to bubble once hot), place the cauliflower florets and cook until golden brown, moving it around on each side every 2 minutes or so.
- Once golden brown, set the cauliflower aside on a strainer to drain excess oil or you can place them on a cooling rack. Let cool for a few minutes while you prepare the glaze.
- Remove the oil form the pan. I have this oil container with a strainer on top that I use to store my oil. The strainer helps strain the breadcrumb pieces that are in the oil. And since these cauliflower floreta are very neutral, I can still use this for another 1-2 times.
Cooking Down the Glaze
- For the glaze, you can simply heat the same pan used to fry the cauliflower.
- Over medium heat, add in the glaze mixture into the pan. Mix well and leave to a simmer for 3-4 minutes.. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat.
- Mix the slurry again since the starch tends to sit at the bottom.
- Turn off heat the heat of the pan and then pour in the cornstarch slurry mixture. Mix until the glaze thickens. You can add some more sliced oranges, if desired.
- Add in the crispy cauliflower pieces or you can also pour the glaze over the cauliflower. Mix everything until well incorporated. Alternatively, you can also serve the glaze as a dipping sauce.
- Sprinkle some sesame seeds, if desired. Enjoy while hot!
- Baking option: Heat oven to 350F. On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, place the cauliflower. You can opt to brush them with a little oil. Bake the cauliflower for 35-40 minutes or until crisp. Flip halfway through cooking.I used an oven toaster with temperature settings for this and it heats up faster so this may take a little longer in a large conventional oven.