Tso Cauliflower

Note from Emma: I absolutely adore this vegetarian version of a classic takeaway General Tso Chicken. I love making it for guests and hearing how much they’re enjoying “the chicken”.

Serves 4-6 as main with rice. Dairy free. 35 minutes preparation and cook time.


For the cauliflower:

½ head cauliflower, chopped into 1 cm florets

1 cup flour

⅔ cup cornflour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1-2 tsp salt

4 eggs

¼ - ½ cup water

1 cup rice bran oil for frying

For the sauce:

1 tbsp sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1-2 cm ginger, grated

½ cup water

1 tbsp cornflour

½ cup light soy sauce

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp tomato paste or tomato ketchup

2-3 tbsp of Zealandia Honey ® Kānuka


Step 1:
Prep the cauliflower and batter

Cut the cauliflower into 1 cm florets.

For the batter, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl (apart from the oil) - bear in mind that you will be adding the cauliflower to the bowl later, so make sure there is room for it. Whisk the batter until there are no lumps - it should be fairly thick and cling to the cauliflower, so I tend to add the water last and do this slowly until the consistency is spot on.

Step 2:
Prep the sauce

Combine the ingredients, apart from the Zealandia Honey ® Kānuka, for the sauce in a small saucepan. Set aside.

Step 3:
Cook the cauliflower

Heat 2-3 cm of oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat.

Drop a handful of cauliflower into the batter and stir to coat. Test that the oil is hot enough by dropping a teaspoon of batter into the pan. It should sizzle and puff up, but not burn. Once the oil is up to temperature, add the battered cauliflower, one at a time, using tongs. Shake off excess batter into the bowl. Fry for 4-5 minutes, turning once or twice, unil golden brown and crispy. While the first batch of cauliflower is cooking, place a kitchen towel underneath a wire rack. Drain the cooked cauliflower on the wire rack while cooking the remaining cauliflower in batches.

Step 4:
Cook the sauce

Once the cauliflower is underway, place the sauce over a medium-low heat and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring regularly to ensure the cornflour dissolves. Simmer gently for 4-5 minutes, or until all the cauliflower is cooked. Remove from the heat and turn through the Zealandia Honey ® Kānuka. Taste and season with salt, more honey or a dash of lime, as desired.

Step 5:
Combine the cauliflower and sauce

Once all the cauliflower is cooked and drained, toss with the sauce - just enough to cover. Serve immediately.

To Serve

Serve saucy cauliflower on a bed of jasmine rice with a sprinkle of chopped spring onion and sesame seeds.