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Cauliflower 'Chicken'

Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

It's crispy, it's tender, it's full of flavor and it's vegan! This spicy fried cauliflower "chicken" is just as delicious as the real thing, but no chickens were harmed, and it's so much healthier. Cauliflower is a great replacement for chicken in this recipe because it's juicy, hearty and tender. The double batter guarantees a perfect crunch.

Technique tip: Use one hand for our dry batter and one hand for your wet batter.

Swap option: Instead of arrowroot, use cornstarch or flax "egg."


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened plain soy milk or other nondairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 5 cups safflower oil or other frying oil
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into large florets



In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, arrowroot powder, salt, cayenne pepper, white pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, Old Bay and nutritional yeast.


In another bowl, combine the hot sauce, soy milk and Dijon mustard, and whisk until creamy.


Heat the frying oil in a large Dutch oven or fryer. It should be around 350 F.


Use one hand to carefully dip a cauliflower floret into the wet mixture, then drop it into the flour mixture. Use your other hand (it should be dry) to coat it completely. Dip it back into the hot sauce mixture and again into the dry mixture, keeping one hand devoted to wet and one to dry.


Carefully lower the twice-coated cauliflower into the hot oil. Repeat with remaining cauliflower until you can't fit any more into the pot. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, until the pieces are golden.


Transfer fried cauliflower to a large plate covered with two sheets of paper towel to absorb excess oil. Continue to cook the remaining cauliflower. Serve hot.