Char Siu Roasted Cauliflower

May 12, 2020
Roasted cauliflower is tender and crisp, which is perfect for veganizing char siu. Char siu is a famous form of traditional Chinese BBQ. This lighter version is all plant-based and still sticky, savory, and sweet. You might be surprised by how simple it is to replicate the charred flavor of char siu! I was. With my recipe, making char siu cauliflower requires minimal prep. Most of the time, the cauliflower will be taking on the flavors of delicious char siu sauce as it marinates. The recipe isn't fussy, the ingredients are simple and they are a great investment if you are into cooking Chinese dishes. Char siu cauliflower is something I only started making recently and I love how it turned out. I hope you enjoy making this too!
Char Siu Cauliflower

Char Siu Roasted Cauliflower

Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 2-4 servings (2 as a main, 4 as a side)
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  • 1 head Cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves, minced Garlic
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Vegetarian Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tsp Five Spice Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground White Pepper
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1. Make the char siu sauce. Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar in a pot until it starts to melt. Add another layer and gently mix it into the caramelized layer. The result should be a light caramel colour. Add the olive oil, garlic, light and dark soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, five spice powder and ground white pepper. Combine the ingredients over a low heat and do not bring to a boil.

2. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets.

3. Marinade in the sauce for at least two hours, ideally overnight.

4. Bake at 200°C for 15-20 minutes. Check when they are halfway done and flip. They should be slightly charred and crisp on the outside, and tender on the inside. You’re done! Serve with rice and bok choy 😊

You can also use frozen cauliflower—just defrost before using.

If you don’t have ground white pepper, black pepper is fine too.

Also by Debbie: Vegan Mushroom Sticky Rice (Lo Mai Gai)

Best Ever Vegan Brownie


Photo: Debbie Tan

Debbie was born in Malaysia and grew up in New Zealand. She loves writing, musicals, and living a plant based life. A digital marketer by day, she is also passionate about visual storytelling. She hopes to show that living a more sustainable and compassionate lifestyle can be simple and fun! Debbie has volunteered for social and environmental causes over the years, and interviewed Dr Jane Goodall on her 2018 world tour. Visit her Instagram @debbietan96 for snaps of delicious food and plants, and YouTube for music.


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