I love to cook for myself, but some days there’s no better feeling than getting takeout when I’m feeling lazy. One of my favorite takeout places in the area is Thai Gourmet. If you live in Pittsburgh, go there, they’re great. They’ll make pretty much everything on their menu vegan if you ask, and everything I’ve had there is delicious. I know General Tso’s is not Thai, but they serve General Tso Tofu. I get it often, because it’s delicious and nostalgic for me. I really wanted to recreate something close to that to make at home, but also incorporate more veggies, so I made General Tso’s Cauliflower. My own recipe for the dish wasn’t quite as good as Thai Gourmet’s (they’re hard to beat), but it was still pretty great.
We made this with white rice, and vegetable gyoza from Trader Joe’s. The veggie gyoza are a great TJ’s find from the frozen section. I’ve been buying these regularly since I first went vegan three years ago. Dumplings have always been a favorite food of mine. You can’t go wrong with well seasoned food wrapped in dough. No matter what culture the dumpling originates from I’m into it, but a good Gyoza dipped in a mix of tamari and spices is the pinnacle of dumplingage. These Gyoza do not disappoint. They’re filled with fresh tasting veggies, and incredibly easy to prepare.
The rice we used is just steamed Jasmine rice, but feel free to use brown rice or other grains. If you’re looking to incorporate even more veggies into this dish you can steam some broccoli to serve as a side. This General Tso’s Cauliflower is a healthier solution to tackling your takeout cravings this week. When they come back a few days later you can get some takeout from Thai Gourmet, or your own local favorite if you’re not from Pittsburgh.
General Tso's Cauliflower
- one head of cauliflower
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup oat milk
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup of white rice, or grain of your choice (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 3/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup tamari
- 1/2 cup dried chilis, crushed
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp water
- Clean and dry the cauliflower head. Break it down into bite sized florets.
- Set up two bowls for dredging your cauliflower. In the first bowl mix together equal parts flour and oat milk. In the second bowl add plain panko bread crumbs.
- Dredge each floret in the flour mixture, coat it completely in panko, and then place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once all of the florets are dredged you can spray them with a little bit of canola oil if you’d like to help them crisp up in the oven.
- Bake the breaded florets in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
- While the cauliflower is baking put together your sauce. Toast up the crushed chili peppers, ginger, garlic, and some of the green onions in a pan with some sesame oil. You can add more or less chili flakes than directed to adjust the dish to your spice preferences.
- Once the mixture of garlic, ginger, green onion, and chili flakes becomes aromatic and slightly toasted add in the tamari, vinegar, and maple syrup. Whisk periodically.
- In a small bowl combine water and cornstarch. Mix in to a slurry. Once your sauce comes to a light simmer, add in the cornstarch slurry while whisking vigorously.
- Your sauce should thicken up withing ten to twenty minutes. Dip a spoon into it to check. If the sauce coats the spoon, instead of just dripping off, your sauce has probably reached the consistency you’re looking for.
- Prepare rice according to package directions, and any other sides as desired.
- Once the florets are done baking remove them from the oven, and place the in a large mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle the sauce over them while stirring with a spatula to evenly coat them.
- Serve with desired sides, and top with green onions as garnish.