Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Recipe

If you're looking for a delicious, plant-based way to enjoy your favorite Chinese takeout recipes at home, then look no further — this sticky sesame cauliflower recipe is for you! Miriam Hahn, recipe developer and health coach, brings us this dish. Hahn notes that, "The flavor of this dish is sweet and spicy. It is exactly like Chinese takeout."

So when does Hahn prefer to make this dish? Hahn notes that she likes whipping up a batch whenever she's craving Chinese food. "It is quick enough to make on a weeknight, but great for weekends when you don't feel like ordering out," she says. For a dish that comes together in less than 30 minutes, we have to agree.

Follow our step-by-step guide on how to make this sticky sesame cauliflower recipe at home. We think it will be a new favorite meal for you and your family. You will love it!

Gather your ingredients for sticky sesame cauliflower

To make this delicious sticky sesame cauliflower dish, we will first need to gather our ingredients. For this recipe, we will need all-purpose flour, arrowroot powder, salt, any kind of milk, water, cauliflower, soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sriracha sauce, crushed garlic, vegetable broth, sesame seeds, scallions, and cooked rice for serving, if desired. Hahn notes that you can substitute cornstarch for arrowroot powder, if desired. Alright, now let's get cooking.

Batter the cauliflower

Before getting started, preheat the oven to 425 F. In a large bowl, add the flour, 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder, salt, milk, and water. Using a spoon, mix the ingredients until they are well-incorporated. Then, take your cauliflower florets and dunk them in the batter. Place the dipped cauliflower florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Be sure to evenly space the florets so that they will crisp up well.

Bake the cauliflower and make the sauce

Now, place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. While the cauliflower is baking, it's time to make the sauce. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sriracha sauce, and garlic to the frying pan. Then, add the vegetable broth and the remaining arrowroot powder to a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Add this mixture to the frying pan with the other ingredients. Allow it all to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Toss and top the cauliflower

Add the baked cauliflower to the sauce and toss to coat. The sauce will be very sticky. Remove the frying pan from the heat and scoop the cauliflower into a serving bowl. Top the cauliflower with sesame seeds and chopped scallions. If desired, serve the cauliflower over cooked rice — something Hahn suggests doing — and pair it with chicken or tofu. "I also like it in an Asian-inspired buddha bowl with shelled edamame, steamed bok choy, tofu, rice, red cabbage, and avocado," Hahn says. 

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Recipe
5 from 21 ratings
Switch out your favorite Asian takeout recipe for this quick and healthy 30-minute homemade sticky sesame cauliflower recipe. It'll be ready in 30 minutes.
Prep Time
Cook Time
sticky sesame cauliflower on rice
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or corn starch), divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 3 scallions
Optional Ingredients
  • cooked rice
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Mix the flour, 2 tablespoons of the arrowroot powder, salt, milk, and water in a large bowl. Dip the florets into the batter and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. While the cauliflower is baking, prep the sticky sauce. Add the soy sauce, syrup, vinegar, sesame oil, sriracha, and garlic to a large frying pan and cook on simmer. Combine the broth and remaining arrowroot powder in a small bowl and add to the sauce.
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The sauce will thicken and get sticky.
  6. In a large bowl, mix the baked cauliflower and the sticky sauce, tossing to coat.
  7. Top with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve over rice, if desired.
Calories per Serving 302
Total Fat 6.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 3.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 55.1 g
Dietary Fiber 4.5 g
Total Sugars 16.5 g
Sodium 1,034.0 mg
Protein 8.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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