This oil free Spicy Orange Cauliflower is infused with fresh and real ingredients. It’s a delightful Chinese dinner for the entire family. Along with being vegan it’s a healthier form of the traditional Chinese dish.
Originally, the concept of orange chicken is the traditional Chinese dish. Its deep fried, sticky and sweet in taste. Over time, since vegan and plant-based diet came into existence we innovated orange cauliflower.
Moreover, with the concept of baking or Air frying we make it healthier. By using cauliflower, we include this super vegetable into out diet and thereby add more nutrition.
If you are looking for more flavors then my cashew broccoli stir fry is a must try.
Ingredients for Spicy Orange Cauliflower
For the crispy cauliflower
For the orange sauce
For the topping
How to make crispy cauliflower
Firstly, in a mixing bowl I combined cornstarch, salt, pepper and water. Then, I mixed it until its smooth and there are no lumps. Keep panko aside in bowl/plate.
Secondly, I tossed cauliflower florets in cornstarch mixture and mixed it well so as to coat every floret with cornstarch mixture.
Thereafter, I took each piece of the floret and wrapped it in panko.
Afterwards, I placed them in a baking sheet and sprayed them with cooking spray. Then, I baked them in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until brown and crispy. Later, I Kept them aside.
How to make spicy orange sauce
Firstly, juice the oranges either in a juicer or in a blender. I preferred blending in a blender followed by straining them in another mixing bowl.
Secondly, I combined all the sauce ingredients in the orange juice and whisked it nicely.
Thereafter, I poured the sauce in a nonstick wok/pan and turned on the flame. While stirring continuously over medium-high flame, I let it cook until it started to bubble.
Afterwards, I continued to cook the sauce uncovered for another 5-7 minutes at low-medium flame until it thickened.
How to assemble Spicy Orange Cauliflower
Once the sauce thickened, I turned off the flame and immediately tossed in baked cauliflower.
Then, I gently mixed everything without breaking the florets.
Lastly, I garnished it with sesame seeds and served hot with steamed white rice/brown rice.
- If you rinse the cauliflower florets then make its absolutely dry before tossing them in cornstarch mixture.
- Most importantly, as the baked cauliflower cools down it becomes crispier. Therefore, let it cool down before tossing them in orange sauce.
- For a better absorption of the sauce and better presentation I preferred cutting into larger cauliflower florets rather than bite size.
Frequently asked questions:
How long do they last?
This recipe tastes best when served immediately. If you keep it for long time it starts to dry up and loses its texture.
Can I use store bought orange juice?
Yes, but it might be little sour so make sure to adjust the sugar accordingly. I prefer squeezing out fresh juice so I used small ripe oranges. Fresh squeezed orange juice definitely gives a better flavor to this recipe.
Can I Air Fry Cauliflowers?
Yes, I have provided the details in the recipe card under notes.
How do I make it non spicy for the kids?
It’s very easy, just by tweaking few ingredients. For example, skip sriracha sauce and black pepper. If your orange juice is sweet then you may skip sugar as well. I have explained it in the recipe card under notes.
You may also like:
Vegetables in Chili Garlic Sauce
Burnt Garlic Eggplant
Vegan Cheese and Parsley Baked Cauliflower
Vegan Habanero Cauliflower Spaghetti
Orange Habanero Pasta
Did you make it?
If you get a chance to make this recipe then please your feedback in the comments below along with the ratings. In addition, you may tag @kiipfit on Instagram because we would love to see what you cooked.
Spicy Orange Cauliflower
For the cauliflower
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 cups cauliflower florets (cut into larger bites)
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs
For orange sauce
- 6 small oranges (peeled)
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp dried garlic
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp salt or as per taste
- 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
For the topping
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
- Preheat oven at 450-degree Fahrenheit. Prepare a
cookie/baking sheet with a parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl combine the ingredients for
cauliflower (cornstarch, salt, pepper and water). Stir it with a spoon until
nicely mixed and there are no lumps. In a small plate/bowl keep panko aside.
- Now, toss cauliflower florets in the cornstarch
mixture and mix very well so that each floret is well coated with the cornstarch
mixture. Now, take a piece of cauliflower floret and cover/wrap it in panko crumbs nicely.
Place it on the baking sheet. Repeat the same process for the rest of the cauliflower
florets. Discard the extra cornstarch mixture and panko.
- Spray them with cooking spray and place the
baking sheet in the oven. Bake them for 35-40 minutes or until brown and crisp.
Turn off the oven and take the sheet out. Keep it aside.
- Now, peel the oranges and juice it using a
juicer or blend it in the blender and then strain it in another mixing bowl.
- Then combine all the ingredients of the sauce in
the orange juice. Mix it well and keep it aside.
- Place the nonstick wok/pan on the stove and
before turning it on pour the orange sauce in it. Turn on the flame and keep
stirring until it starts to boil (make sure to stir so that it does not stick
at the bottom).
- Let it continue to cook at low-medium flame for
about 5-7 minutes stirring twice at intervals or until the sauce thickens.
- Turn off the flame and toss in baked cauliflower.
Gently, mix everything without breaking the florets.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with steamed
white rice/brown rice.
- To make it non spicy for kids – skip sriracha sauce and black pepper in the orange sauce. If your oranges are ripe and sweet then you may not need to add brown sugar as well.
- For Air Fryer – Follow the steps 2, 3, and 4. Instead of placing them in the oven place the florets in the air fryer basket and spray cooking spray on them. Bake them at 350 degree for 15-20 minutes or until brown and crispy shaking them once after 10 minutes.
- I have provided step wise images above in the post for your reference.
- This recipe tastes best when served immediately.
Perfect recipe! Yesterday me and my husband together made this recipe. Loved this dish. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Thank you Jenny for trying this recipe and appreciating it 🙂
This orange sauce looks amazing!! I’ll get some cauliflower today to try this!! Can’t wait!
I definitely needed this recipe. I have been eating junk this past week as I have been so busy. Added bonus it tastes amazing!
I’m just drooling over the sauce for this dish! Great vegetarian alternative for Orange chicken, or even a nice side dish.
Marisa F. Stewart says
What a great way to serve cauliflower. This white veggie can be a bit bland but certainly not like your prepare it. I tried it last night and we enjoyed the touch of orange plus the sesame seeds. A recipe we’ll make often.
Pam Greer says
I love this healthier version of spicy orange chicken using cauliflower instead. We are trying to go meatless two days a week and this is perfect!
Paula Montenegro says
You came up with the perfect replacement for orange chicken, which is a favorite of mine. That sauce! It’s super flavorful and easy to make. Great recipe!
Thank you Paula! Hope you enjoy it.
Analida Braeger says
My son is a huge stir-fry fan and he loved this dish. Thanks for all the great tips!
I am so happy that your son liked this dish. Really appreciate your feedback.
I loved this take on orange chicken! What a great way to get all the flavor and more of my daily veggies. I used the air fryer method, since I’m in love with my fryer, and it came out just as I hoped.
Thank you Linda!
This cauliflower looks so good that it will be easy to surprise everyone with this recipe. One of the best ways to enjoy cauliflower, and I can’t wait to experience it myself, too!
Hope you get a chance to enjoy it soon.
This is a wonderful way to add so much flavor to cauliflower. Kids love this dish!
Thank you Sharon!