This is my go-to appetizer recipe for Super Bowl parties, potlucks or game nights. My friends and family request it all the time now. It's kind of like a fusion of Buffalo chicken wings and orange chicken, so it's a mega crowd-pleaser. If you don't like sweet food, this might not be the app for you. I, on the other hand, would prefer that all my savory food borders on the dessert cutoff, so I'm pretty much addicted to the sweet, sticky glaze that coats these wings.
Technique tip: The glaze can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 4 ounces apricot jam
- 1½ tablespoons sriracha
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 small head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 cups ice-cold seltzer water, plus ¼ cup or more, if needed
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
For the glaze:
In a small saucepan, combine all the glaze ingredients. Whisk over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until just boiling and thickened. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside to cool.
For the cauliflower:
1. Fill a large bowl with ice and tap water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the florets for 1 minute, then submerge them in the ice water. Drain the cauliflower and pat dry. In a large bowl, toss the blanched cauliflower with 1/2 cup of the rice flour and season generously with salt. Shake off the excess flour and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, remaining ½ cup of rice flour, the baking powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, cayenne, and salt. Season with black pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil and seltzer water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until it forms a thin batter — some lumps are okay. Place the batter in the refrigerator until ready to fry.
3. Fill a deep high-sided heavy skillet with about 3 inches of vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 350°F, or until a small drop of batter sizzles when added.
4. One piece at a time, dip the cauliflower into the batter, letting any excess drip off. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, gently place the cauliflower in the oil — the oil should sizzle. Fry for 45 seconds to 1 minute, turning halfway through, until crispy and lightly browned on the outside. Drain on paper towels. Let the oil return to 350°F between batches.
5. In a large bowl, toss the fried cauliflower with as much glaze as needed. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions and serve.