Kung Pao Cauliflower

Made in under 20 minutes, this Kung Pao Cauliflower from Eat More Plants is loaded with flavor and my new go-to meatless meal!

overhead shot of kung pao cauliflower on black plate and gray background

Today is the day!! My good friend Molly, of Spices in My DNA, wrote a cookbook and it is beyond stunning.

The recipes. The flavors. The photos. All are absolutely gorgeous. 

Eat More Plants is a cookbook centered around plants and each recipe puts produce at the center of your plate. All 75 recipes in this book bring unique flavors and highlight new and innovative ways to eat veggies!

overhead shot of kung pao cauliflower sauce

Molly sent me a copy of the book last week and I immediately dog-eared *literally* every recipe.

There are recipes for soups and salads, bountiful bowls, plant-centered entrees, desserts, and even cocktails! I’ve already made two recipes from the book… miso ginger portobello mushroom bowls (OMG) and this –


overhead shot of kung pao cauliflower on black plate and gray backgroundTaking a look at the recipes on my site, you probably know that I am someone who doesn’t eat a lot of vegetarian meals – mostly because they seemed boring to me and I didn’t really know how to cook and make veggies the center of my meal.

BUT YOU GUYS… this kung pao cauliflower is anything but boring and it is all thanks to this insane sauce. (I’m literally salivating just thinking about it.)

Into the sauce goes rice wine vinegar, soy sauce (I used coconut aminos), agave nectar (honey would also work!), hoisin sauce (to be honest, I hate hoisin sauce and totally omitted this), fresh ginger, cornstarch (to thicken! I used arrowroot powder because that’s what I had on hand), sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce, garlic, and red pepper flakes.

close up of kung pao cauliflower

The sauce gets added after the cauliflower softens and chars. It thickens up and coats the cauliflower in this beautiful sticky sauce that is so reminiscent of ordering take-out but in the most delicious and healthy way!

And of course, you had to add fresh scallions and cilantro, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and nothing is complete without the chopped peanuts. 

GOSH, it is so fantastic.

side shot of kung pao cauliflower on black plate and gray backgroundI am beyond proud of Molly and Eat More Plants. I know that I will be cooking from this book year round and I am so happy to have insanely flavorful vegetarian recipes to add to my arsenal.

Head over to Amazon and grab your copy today!

overhead shot of kung pao cauliflower on black plate and gray background

I cannot wait to make this Kung Pao Cauliflower again!! Grab a copy of Eat More Plants and make this recipe, and don’t forget to post a picture social media and tag me and Molly!

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overhead shot of kung pao cauliflower on black plate and gray background

Kung Pao Cauliflower

  • Author: Molly of Spices in My DNA
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 to 3 servings 1x
  • Category: Vegetables
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian


Made in under 20 minutes, this Kung Pao Cauliflower from Eat More Plants is loaded with flavor and my new go-to meatless meal!



2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons soy sauce*

2 Tablespoons agave nectar

1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 Tablespoon cornstarch*

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce

3 gloves garlic, minced

Pinch of red pepper flakes

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil*

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets

Salt, as needed

Black pepper, as needed

1 Tablespoon sesame seeds

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro


In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, agave, hoisin sauce, ginger, cornstarch, sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce, garlic, and red pepper flakes until combined. Set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower in an even layer, season it with a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper, and sear the cauliflower, undisturbed, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Flip the cauliflower and sear for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is golden brown on the opposite side. Add the sauce and reduce the heat to medium. Toss the cauliflower in the sauce to coat and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the cauliflower is tender. Add the sesame seeds, scallions, peanuts, and cilantro and stir to combine. Season to taste with additional salt and black pepper, if desired and served.


*use tamari or coconut aminos for gluten free

*I used arrowroot powder because that is what I had on hand.

*I used avocado oil.

Keywords: kung pao, vegetables, appetizer, snacks, side dish

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kung pao cauliflower on a plate with text overlay

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4 thoughts on “Kung Pao Cauliflower

  1. Donna

    I love the thoughts of being able to eat more plants… and this one, I definitely want to try. Because of being away several weeks, I had to freeze my cauliflower. Can I use the frozen florets as well? Any suggestions about that?

    1. Ellie Post author

      I’ve never frozen the florets before. But I would say that you can just defrost them first and make sure to remove as much water from them as possible, otherwise they will splatter when you fry them!


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