Cook With Manali's Sesame Cauliflower

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower make a great appetizer or snack. These vegan and gluten-free cauliflower bites also pair well with rice, noodles or quinoa!

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Asian
Keyword sesame cauliflower
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 400 kcal
Author: Manali
5 from 1 vote


  • 1 medium head cauliflower (around 730 grams with stalks), cut into medium sized florets, around 6 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup + 2-3 tablespoons water, 240 ml + 30-45 ml


  • 3 tablespoons tamari, 45 ml, or use regular soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 45 ml
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 15 ml
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup, 15 ml
  • 1.5 teaspoon sriracha, 7.5 ml, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 5 ml
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil, 15 ml, or use any flavorless oil
  • 6-7 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons water, 60 ml, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • green onion, chopped, for garnishing


  1. Before you start, line 1 large or 2 regular size baking sheet with aluminium foil. Spray the aluminium foil nicely with a oil spray. Set it aside. Cut the cauliflower into florets, rinse and then pat dry each floret using a paper towel.

  2. Now, to a large bowl add rice flour, black pepper and garlic powder. Whisk to combine. Then start adding water, little at a time, whisking after each addition until it forms a batter like consistency. It shouldn't be too thick nor too thin but should be able to coat the cauliflower.

  3. Next, dip each cauliflower floret into the batter. Make sure it's well coated and then take it out, dripping off any excess batter and place on the prepared baking sheet.

  4. Repeat with remaining florets and then arrange all of them on the prepared baking sheet.

  5. Bake at 450 F degrees for 20 minutes. You may turn them once at the half way mark.

  6. So, while the cauliflower is in the oven, work on your sauce. In a large bowl whisk together tamari, maple syrup, rice vinegar, tomato ketchup, sriracha and toasted sesame oil. Set it aside.

  7. Heat a tablespoon of avocado oil on medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute until they start changing color to golden brown.

  8.  Stir in the prepared sauce and stir. Also add 2 tablespoons of water and stir.

  9. Add in the salt and stir.

  10. In a small bowl, whisk 2 teaspoons cornstarch with the remaining 2 tablespoons water. Stir to combine. Add this cornstarch slurry to the pan and mix.

  11. Let the sauce come to a boil, it will start to thicken immediately.

  12. Turn off the heat. Add the cooked cauliflower to the pan and toss to combine, making sure all florets are well coated with the sauce.

  13. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and chopped green onion on top. Serve sesame cauliflower immediately as an appetizer or as a side with rice.

Recipe Notes

You can use all purpose flour in place of rice flour if you don't want to keep this gluten-free. In that case, you can also use regular soy sauce in place of tamari.

Nutrition Facts
Sesame Cauliflower
Amount Per Serving
Calories 400 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1363mg59%
Potassium 749mg21%
Carbohydrates 72g24%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 25IU1%
Vitamin C 95.8mg116%
Calcium 110mg11%
Iron 1.9mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.