These vegan Orange Cauliflower are crispy pieces of cauliflower that are coated in a sweet and tangy orange glaze. I’ve created a vegan glazed orange cauliflower ‘chicken’ recipe that reminds me of those from Panda Express!You can also opt to bake the cauliflower instead of frying.
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.
Baking option:Heat your 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.