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Kung Pao Tempura Cauliflower with garlic-lime-ginger marinated chickpeas

Cauliflower has come out the shadow of its popular cousin broccoli to show its versatility. Cauliflower is a wonderful blank slate that can be molded to suit almost any recipe. No longer is it relegated to a vegetable basket or a salad, cauliflower can be grilled, seared, braised, deep fried, mashed as a potato substitute, grated and used for a rice substitute or pureed for soups. This recipe pairs the tempura cauliflower with chickpeas as a tasty substitute for the chicken in this Kung Pao dish.

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Yield: Serves 15 people

Tempura Cauliflower Ingredients

2 1/2 lbs cauliflower
3 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sesame oil
10 grinds of fresh black pepper
1/2 cup water
2 c. rice flour


2 1/2 cups of chickpeas drained

Chickpea Marinade Ingredients

3 tbl soy sauce
3 tbl rice wine vinegar
3 limes zest & juice
2 tbl agave nectar
2 tbl organic coconut oil melted
3 tbl cornstarch

Chickpea Sauté Ingredients

5 tbl coconut oil for sautéing
6 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup ginger minced
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups kung pao sauce (see recipe below)


4 bunch scallions thinly sliced
1 pt. cashews rough chop
Toasted sesame seeds


Kung Pao Sauce

Combine the following ingredients:
3 tbl minced garlic
2 tbl minced ginger
2 tbl sriracha
1 cup soy sauce
3 tbls sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tbl cornstarch with 1 tbl water for a slurry
oil for cooking
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tempura Cauliflower

1. Pre-heat fryer to 375 degrees.

2. Cut medium size cauliflower florets (fork size).

3. Combine cornstarch, baking powder, salt, black pepper, sesame oil, 3/4 c. rice flour & cold water into a medium mixing bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.

4. Toss cauliflower florets into rice flour mixture. Thoroughly coat cauliflower with mixture. Toss in 1/2 cup rice flour and incorporate into mixture. There should not be any residual mixture left in the bowl. If there is residual mixture left in the bowl gradually add rice flour until cauliflower is fully coated.

5. Fry cauliflower until golden brown. Set aside on cooling rack.


1. Combine lime juice, lime zest, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, agave nectar, coconut oil & cornstarch in a mixing bowl.

2. Add chickpeas and toss to combine. Let mixture marinate for at least 1 hour.

3. Heat sauté pan with coconut oil. Add ginger & garlic and lightly sauté. Season with salt. Once garlic and ginger become fragrant and soften add marinated chickpeas. Sauté until chickpeas begin to caramelize. Remove from heat.

Kung Pao Tempura Cauliflower with Chickpeas

1. Combine sautéed chickpea mixture & tempura cauliflower in deep hotel pan.

2. Toss with 2 cups kung pao sauce until thoroughly coated. If it looks “dry” add 1 ½ cups of kung pao and toss.

3. Transfer to shallow pan and heat through in oven.

4. Lightly toast sesame seeds.

5. Garnish with scallions, toasted sesame seeds and cashews.

by: PCC Culinary Team
This month's Chef's Corner recipe was created by the culinary team in the PCC kitchen.
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