Crispy Chili Cauliflower - a flavorful dinner when served with rice, or the perfect spicy side dish! | Fork in the Kitchen

Crispy Chili Cauliflower

  • Author: Becca
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Lightly battered, crispy cauliflower, tossed in a sweet, spicy chili sauce! Excellent served as a meal with rice, as a side, or appetizer!



  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 4 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 4 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 cup flour + 1/2 cup for dredging
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets (approx. 1 small-medium head of cauliflower)
  • Oil for frying
  • Green onion, for garnish
  • Cilantro, for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together BBQ sauce, chili garlic paste, sesame oil, green onions, ginger, and honey. Add salt to taste as needed.
  2. In a new bowl, whisk together flour, milk, water, garlic powder, white pepper, and salt.
  3. Dredge cauliflower in 1/2 cup flour. In batches, place dredged cauliflower in batter to coat, letting batter drip off before cooking.
  4. Fry: To fry the cauliflower, heat 1-2 inches of oil (I use vegetable) in a dutch oven. Place battered cauliflower in heated oil and fry on each side for approximately 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Be sure to not crowd the pan. Remove florets and place on a paper towel to drain oil. Continue frying in batches until all cauliflower is cooked. Toss in the sauce; serve with additional green onion slices, cilantro and sesame seeds as desired.
  5. Bake: If baking, preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place battered florets in a single layer. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and toss in sauce (I like to reserve some sauce little for when it’s served). Continue baking for an additional 10-12 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Top with additional green onion slices, cilantro and sesame seeds as desired.


Omit the honey and use an alternative milk to make this dish vegan!

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