Crispy Sweet Chilli & Sesame Cauliflower

Cooking time
Serves2-4 people
Vegetarians Gluten-free diets
Crispy Sweet Chilli & Sesame Cauliflower

This sweet and sticky dish mixes nuggets of cauliflower, deep-fried till crisp and golden, with a sweet chilli, garlic and spring onion sauce. A dash of fresh chilli, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a side of fluffy rice turns it into a mouthwatering meal.

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layout 1 comment


  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 chilli
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • A thumb of ginger
  • A bunch of spring onions
  • 4 tbsp raw cane sugar
  • 4 tbsp tamari
  • 4 tbsp sweet Thai chilli dipping sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegan fischy sauce
  • 2 limes
  • 1½-2 ltrs sunflower oil, for frying
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • A handful of coriander
  • Steamed rice, to serve

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 15 mins

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1. Chop the cauliflower into small florets and chop the cauliflower stalks into small chunks (save the leaves to use in a stir-fry). Tumble the cauliflower into a large bowl. Crack in the egg and use your hands to toss the cauliflower in the egg to coat in. Add the cornflour and a good pinch of salt and pepper and toss again, till the florets are evenly coated.
2. Trim the chilli and thinly slice it. Peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Trim the roots and any ragged greens off the spring onions then thinly slice them. Slide the chilli, garlic, ginger and spring onions into a separate bowl. Spoon in 4 tbsp sugar, 4 tbsp tamari, 4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce and 2 tbsp vegan fischy sauce. Squeeze in the juice from the limes. Stir well to combine. Set aside.
3. Half fill a large pan with oil and warm it to 180°C. When the oil is hot and a chunk of bread added to the oil sizzles and browns, add the cauliflower. Fry the cauliflower for 3-5 mins, till the cauliflower is cooked through and crispy on the outside. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook the cauliflower in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. When the cauliflower is cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a dish lined with kitchen paper to drain. Repeat till you have cooked all caulifower, if necessary.
4. When the cauliflower is cooked, warm a separate large pan ona medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the contents of the bowl of ingredients from step 2. Cook the sauce for 2-3 mins, stirring a few times, till bubbling and thick and the sugar has dissolved. When the sauce is thick, add the cooked caulifower to the pan. Toss the cauliflower in the sauce, till evenly coated and sticky. Scatter in the sesame seeds and stir again.
5. Divide the cauliflower between bowls and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with freshly steamed rice. A portion of stir-fried greens also makes a great side to this moreish cauliflower fry.
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This was quite yummy, if a little less sweet/sour than expected. I had to adjust some ingredients and also had somehow skipped the fact that the cauliflower is deep-fried and had prepped everything before I realised - usually I avoid deep-fry recipes, but glad I stumbled into this, as it was very yummy and a novel way to use my caulflower :)