Sticky Sesame Cauliflower [Keto & Gluten-Free]

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower [Keto & Gluten-Free]


This Sticky Sesame Cauliflower is a great plant-based Asian-inspired recipe that’s perfect for low-carb and keto diets since it’s sugar-free!

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower in a cast iron skillet

If you love sesame chicken you’re going to swoon over this Sticky Sesame Cauliflower recipe! It has the most perfect sticky sesame sauce that’s completely sugar-free. Even if you’re usually not a fan of cauliflower, we can guarantee you’re going to love this recipe.

This sesame sauce base is one we work off of all the time, we have to say that we think we’ve pretty much perfected it at this point after 10 years of recipe development experience. It reminds us so much of the sesame sauce you’d get at your local Chinese restaurant. It’s comforting, delicious, and best of all – works with a variety of dietary preferences and needs.

We’ve made sure that all of the ingredients provide that classic flavor so you won’t find ingredients like maple syrup in our sesame sauce (obvi since this is a keto recipe website but also because that’s not how you make sesame anything 😉 ).

Looking for a Keto Sesame Chicken recipe? Check out our cookbook or swap in chicken for the cauliflower in this recipe! Chicken thighs are best by breasts work too.

Ingredients in Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 10 ounces) – you can save a bit of time and mess by using pre-cut florets
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch – you can also use arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper – this is key, don’t skip it
  • ¼ cup avocado oil – or another high-heat safe oil for frying the cauliflower

SAUCE:

  • ⅓ cup tamari – or regular soy sauce if not gluten-free, you can also use coconut aminos for a soy-free option but do note that aminos will add additional carbs to the recipe.
  • ¼ cup powdered erythritol
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced – you can use garlic powder in a pinch but fresh is much better. No pre-minced prepared garlic though as it doesn’t deliver a pure garlic flavor.
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup water

TOPPINGS:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions, chopped, for garnish

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower in a cast iron skillet

How to make Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

  1. Prepare the sauce by mixing together the ingredients in a bowl or jar. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with the cornstarch and white pepper. In a small jar, combine all of the sauce ingredients.
  3. Heat the avocado oil in a 10” or larger cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches to not overcrowd the pan, drop each floret into the oil and let fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the florets with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
  4. Drain off any remaining oil from the pan and wipe clean. Place the pan back over high heat and pour in the sauce. Bring to a boil, whisk in the remaining cornstarch from the bowl when you tossed the cauliflower until the sauce is thickened, then stir in the cauliflower.
  5. To serve, garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

cauliflower florets in bowl
cauliflower florets in bowl tossed with cornstarch
cauliflower being tossed with sesame sauce
fried cauliflower florets

Baking vs frying the cauliflower

Obviously, we’ve kept this as a one-pan recipe since that’s our specialty but you’re more than welcome to bake the cauliflower instead of shallow frying. We would recommend spraying the dredged florets with cooking spray (we use Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spray), placing them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and baking until crispy, about 20-25 minutes at 425°F.

Do you have an air-fryer? Let us know if you try cooking the cauliflower that way in the comments below!

Do you have a deep fryer? If you try that, let us know how the deep fried version is!

How to store leftovers

Can we just say that this Sticky Sesame Cauliflower is even better cold in our opinion? It’s SO good, like the flavors just intensify after a night hanging out in the refrigerator. That being said, this recipe makes a stellar meal prep option! Just store in air-tight containers (we like these and these) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower in a cast iron skillet

What to serve with Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

Steamed veggies like broccoli, French-style green beans, or a stir-fry blend works great. Cauliflower rice may be overkill since this is already a cauliflower based dish, maybe some shirataki rice? It’s also great over shredded cabbage, or our favorite, and hear us out, wilted romaine! Seriously, it’s so dang good, you’ll love it! All you have to do is chop the lettuce and plate the hot cauliflower over it. The romaine will wilt just a bit and add such a nice crunchy freshness to the sesame cauliflower.

Tools we used in this recipe

Nutritional information

As always, you can find the full nutritional breakdown at the bottom of the recipe card. It includes both total carbs and net carbs. Do note that since sugar alcohols do not affect net carbs, and the nutritional card doesn’t have a slot to include sugar alcohols in it, those values are listed in our calculations.

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower in a cast-iron skillet

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower in a cast iron skillet

Print

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

This Sticky Sesame Cauliflower is a great plant-based and vegan Asian-inspired recipe that's perfect for low-carb and keto diets since it's sugar-free!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Keyword 30-minute
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 250kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower 10-oz
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ cup avocado oil

Sauce:

  • cup tamari
  • ¼ cup powdered erythritol
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup water

Toppings:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  • In a small bowl or jar, mix together the sauce ingredients, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with the cornstarch and white pepper. In a small jar, combine all of the sauce ingredients.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a 10” or larger cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches to not overcrowd the pan, drop each floret into the oil and let fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the florets with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
  • Drain off any remaining oil from the pan and wipe clean. Place the pan back over high heat and pour in the sauce. Bring to a simmer, whisk in the remaining cornstarch from the bowl when you tossed the cauliflower until thickened, then stir in the cauliflower.
  • To serve, garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 976mg | Potassium: 376mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg

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