These sweet, zesty, garlicky “wings” pack a punch with every bite—transforming your everyday cauliflower from drab to fab.
Serve these crispy cauliflower wings as an appetizer at a football match, an afternoon snack, or a main dish and watch them fly off the plate. With their tender inside and crispy outside, you’ll hardly recognize them as the superfood veggie they are.
Substitute as needed for gluten-free, and pair with celery and carrot sticks for that iconic wing experience.
Note: Soy paste is basically just a thicker, slightly sweeter soy sauce substitute that’s more concentrated than the traditional soy sauce. You can pretty easily swap out soy paste for soy sauce by reducing the water content a bit and adding more soy sauce since it’s more watered down. I would recommend reducing the water to 3/4 cup and increasing the soy sauce to approximately 1/4 cup, but I leave it up to you depending on how salty / watered down you want the mixture.
- 1 head (chopped) Cauliflower
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 cup soy paste
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1/2 cup agave
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1.5 tbsp corn starch
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Zest of 1 lime
1. Preheat oven to 450° Fahrenheit / 230° Celsius.
2. Prepare two cookie sheets with a silicon baking sheet. (Note: You can use aluminum foil, but it’s much more likely to stick to the wings and should be avoided if possible.)
3. Core the cauliflower and cut the florets into bite-sized pieces. (I recommend chopping the cauliflower in half from the top of the crown to the stem, and then repeating on each side until you have four even quarters to best cut the core out.)
4. Prepare the batter. Add 1 cup of soy milk, 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp of garlic powder into a bowl and stir to combine until lumps are removed.
5. Place a plate next to your batter bowl, and spread 1 cup of breadcrumbs out for dipping.
6. Take the cauliflower florets one at a time and add to the batter, dipping completely for total coverage. Transfer the floret next to the breadcrumb plate and turn until it’s completely covered. Place the finished floret on the cookie sheet.
7. Repeat until all cauliflower florets have been covered. Then, transfer to the heated oven. Bake for 20 minutes – flipping the cauliflower pieces over at the 10 minute mark to cook evenly on both sides.
8. Prep the sauce. Brown the minced garlic in a pan with a bit of oil, and then add browned garlic bits to a pot along with water, soy paste, mirin, agave, salt, lime juice, and zest. Cook on medium low for two minutes or until the agave is well incorporated.
9. In a separate bowl, mix approximately 2 tbsp of the incorporated sauce with 1.5 tbsp of cornstarch to incorporate the two together. Once mixed well, whisk slowly into the pot.
10. Bring to a boil, and then let simmer for approximately 5 minutes to reduce, stirring occasionally so the mixture doesn’t bubble over.
11. Once the cauliflower florets are baked, remove them from the oven and brush them with sauce. (You can also dip the florets in the sauce, but this can make them soggy.) Place back on the baking tray and cook for an additional 5 – 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
12. Pour the remaining dipping sauce into a bowl and serve warm with the cauliflower “wings” for added flavor. Enjoy!
Also by Dana: Chickpea Cookie Dough 5 Ways
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Photo: Dana Drosdick