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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