Sticky Sesame Cauliflower is a sticky glaze-coated cauliflower that is bursting with flavor. This Korean fried cauliflower makes a great dinner or appetizer.
This homemade soy and brown sugar sauce gives this cauliflower wings recipe incredible flavor. Serve glazed cauliflower with rice or rice noodles to soak up all the glaze.
Cauliflower has really grown in popularity over the past few years. I am always in the kitchen trying to find new and creative ways to use it in recipes! When we used cauliflower in this dish, I knew it was a home run.
This Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Is...
- Gluten-Free (use coconut aminos to replace soy sauce)
- A fun twist on cauliflower wings
- Great served as an appetizer or main dish.
- Easily reheated (great for leftovers!)
How to Make Sticky Sesame Cauliflower
- Start by heating oil in a skillet and toss in your scallions to cook. Once they are softened, add in the garlic cloves and cauliflower.
- Cook the cauliflower till fork tender.
- At the same time the cauliflower is cooking, mix up your sauce. Stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and cornstarch in a bowl.
- Pour sauce over the cauliflower mixture and keep cooking until the sauce thickens.
- Serve sticky cauliflower with sesame seeds.
Full directions and ingredients for the sticky cauliflower are in the printable recipe card below.
Tips and Tricks
If you don't have scallions, you can replace them with green onions. They are both from the same plant, just harvested at different times. The flavors will be similar.
Having a nonstick pan is very helpful for this recipe since the sauce gets pretty sticky and caramelized. If you don't have a nonstick pan, you might find that the sauce burns and sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Cut Cauliflower Evenly
When buying or cutting your cauliflower, try to get similarly sized pieces. That way, the cauliflower gets more evenly cooked. If your cauliflower pieces are different sizes, you might find some pieces are well done and others could use a bit more time to cook.
Brown Sugar Swap
You can easily swap the brown sugar with maple syrup or even an artificial liquid sweetener. Feel free to try it out and see how you like the flavor.
Use coconut aminos to replace the soy sauce if you want to make this dish gluten-free. Soy sauce and coconut aminos are very similar in flavor and will taste great in the sweet and salty sauce.
Swap the oil out with sesame oil. This will help bring more of a sesame flavor to your dish. I recommend using the same amount of oil as—or a little less than—what the recipe calls for.
Consider adding a splash of Sriracha into the sauce to help amp up the sauce's spice factor. If you like sweet and spicy, you'll find that adding Sriracha really takes your sauce to another level.
Sticky Sesame Cauliflower FAQs
What should I serve with sticky cauliflower?
Rice, noodles, and other light sides compliment the cauliflower well. Essentially, you can serve this dish with any of your favorite sides.
How should I store leftover sesame cauliflower?
This dish can be stored in the refrigerator for 4–5 days. When you're ready to eat, reheat sticky cauliflower in the microwave or on the stove. If you use the stove, heat at a low temperature as the cauliflower will burn easily if it gets too hot.
Is cauliflower healthy?
Cauliflower is loaded with fiber, can boost immunity, and is great for digestive health. However, it all depends on how the cauliflower is cooked and served. Always consider all the other ingredients used in the cauliflower dish.
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼ Cup scallions chopped (the white part only)
- 2 Garlic cloves minced
- 4 Cups cauliflower florets
- ⅓ Cup soy sauce or tamari for gluten free
- 4 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- Sesame seeds
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook until soft, around 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic cloves and the cauliflower florets and cook until the cauliflower florets are fork tender, around 6 to 8 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl whisk the soy sauce with the brown sugar.
- Add the rice vinegar.
- Add cornstarch and mix until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and cook.
- Stir constantly until the sauce has thickened and caramelized.
- Remove from heat and finish with sesame seeds.
- You can serve this dish with rice or noodles.
- The sauce is sweet, garlicky, and super sticky, so it’s perfect to serve with a delicate side.