Vegan Sweet Chili Cauliflower served over a bed of fluffy rice is a culinary treat. The golden, crispy cauliflower bites, coated in a luscious sweet chili sauce, create a harmonious fusion of textures and flavors. As you scoop a spoonful of this delectable dish, the tender cauliflower contrasts with the fluffy rice, delivering a perfect balance of sweetness, heat, and savory goodness. Each mouthful unveils the enticing interplay of the crispy exterior and the tender interior, complemented by the sticky sweetness of the chili sauce. This dish not only satisfies your taste buds but also adds a touch of elegance to your dinner table. Elevate your plant-based dining experience with this savory and succulent Vegan Sweet Chili Cauliflower over a bed of perfectly cooked rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a different type of flour for the batter?
Yes, you can use chickpea flour for a gluten-free option or any other flour of your choice.
How do I ensure the cauliflower is crispy after baking?
Make sure the oven is adequately preheated, and avoid overcrowding the cauliflower on the baking sheet. Additionally, flipping the florets halfway through the baking time can enhance crispiness.
Can I make the sweet chili sauce less spicy?
Adjust the spice level by reducing or omitting the minced garlic and adjusting the amount of sweet chili sauce.
What type of rice pairs best with this dish?
Jasmine or basmati rice complements the flavors well, but you can choose your favorite rice variety.
Can I make the cauliflower in an air fryer?
Yes, you can air fry the cauliflower at 375°F (190°C) for about 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through.
How long does the sweet chili cauliflower stay crispy after coating with the sauce?
The cauliflower remains crispy for a reasonable amount of time, but for maximum crispiness, it’s best to serve immediately after coating.
Can I prepare the sweet chili sauce in advance?
Absolutely! The sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stove before tossing it with the cauliflower.
What are some optional toppings for serving?
Consider garnishing with chopped green onions, cilantro, or crushed peanuts for added texture and freshness.
Is there a way to make the dish spicier?
Yes, increase the amount of minced garlic or add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sweet chili sauce for an extra kick.
How do I store leftovers, and can I reheat them?
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the oven or air fryer for a few minutes to maintain crispiness.
What’s the best way to prevent the batter from becoming too thick?
If the batter thickens while coating the cauliflower, add a little more plant-based milk to maintain a smooth consistency.
Sweet Chili Cauliflower
For the cauliflower bites
- 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
- ½ red bell pepper, cut into strips (optional)
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour (or chickpea flour for gluten-free option)
- ⅔ cup plant-based milk (such as almond, soy or oat milk)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
For the sweet chili sauce
- ⅓ cup sweet chili sauce
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce or coconut aminos (tamari for gluten free option)
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (or coconut vinegar)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- cooked rice to serve over
- parsley or cilantro, chopped for garnish (optional)
- sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Cook your white rice per instructions. (Time it so that it is done within the 30 minutes to make the cauliflower and sauce.)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, plant-based milk, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to create a smooth thick batter.
- Dip each cauliflower floret into the batter, ensuring they are well-coated, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12 – 15 minutes and they are half way done.
- While the cauliflower is baking, in a small saucepan, combine sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and minced garlic. Heat over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Take the half done battered cauliflower out of oven and flip over the cauliflower carefully. Then spoon 1/2 of the sweet chili sauce over the cauliflower. Also, add the red bell pepper strips, if using, to the parchment sheet covered baking pan. Put the baking sheet back in the oven and bake another 8 – 15 minutes.
- Once the cauliflower are golden and done baking, take out of oven. transfer the florets to a large bowl. Pour the sweet chili sauce over the cauliflower and toss to coat evenly.
- Take the cooked rice and put into bowls and portion the cauliflower and red peppers over the rice. Then spoon the other half of the sweet chili sauce over the dishes.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions if desired.Serve the vegan sweet chili cauliflower as an appetizer or as a tasty side dish.