This vegan, sticky sesame cauliflower recipe is so delicious that it will make you forget about ordering that Chinese takeaway you craved.

I had a cauliflower head sitting in my fridge and was wondering how could I use it whilst also settling my cravings for a Chinese takeaway.

vegan sticky cauliflower recipe

So I decided to do something different than a usual pasta dish, curry or soup. I decided to turn this cauliflower into heavenly sweet and sour, sticky vegan cauliflower wings.

Check out my other Cauliflower recipe here:

cauliflower chickpea tacos

My sister asked me multiple times if I just served her chicken wings when I brought the dish to the table. (For reference, she is vegan as well). I have to admit, the dish does look quite ‘realistic’. But the taste is so good! I did have a feeling like It tasted like a restaurant dish but better and healthier.

Let’s see what are the key ingredients of this vegan sticky sesame cauliflower recipe;

Sticky sesame Cauliflower

KEY INGREDIENTS – Sticky sesame cauliflower

  • Cauliflower -The best size of cauliflower for this recipe would be a medium-sized one. I had a large head and I didn’t have enough batter to coat all the cauliflower florets. I did bake the rest without the batter though and just coated it in the sauce later on.
  • Soya sauce – In case you are looking for gluten-free options, feel free to use Tamari instead of soya sauce. Also, to lower the sodium intake, use low-sodium soya sauce.
  • Maple syrup – Maple syrup is what gives this vegan sticky sesame cauliflower dish that juicy, sweet taste. I also tested agave nectar instead so both work really well.
  • Rice vinegar – Rice vinegar is needed as much as maple syrup. It’s the ‘sour part’ of the recipe. I use rice vinegar quite often in my dishes but in case you are not familiar with it, you can find it either in Asian stores or in the Asian section of regular supermarkets.
  • Sesame oil and sesame seeds – Preferably the best choice of sesame oil for this vegan sticky sesame cauliflower recipe would be toasted sesame oil. In case you are not able to get one on hand, standard sesame oil will work as well.
Sweet and Sour Cauliflower

Read more about Cauliflower benefits here


I would highly recommend having this vegan sticky cauliflower straight away, served hot or warm. You can store it in the fridge but the taste will differ from having it freshly prepared. The sauce doesn’t taste the best once refrigerated and the cauliflower becomes very chewy.

In case you are going to store it anyway, place it in an airtight container and consume it the next day.

Vegan Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

Course: Main, Sides, Dinner, LunchCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



This vegan, sticky sesame cauliflower recipe is so delicious that will make you forget about ordering that Chinese takeaway you craved.


  • Cauliflower + batter
  • 1 medium cauliflower head

  • 1 cup white flour (use gluten free if necessary)

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

  • 1/4 tsp ground paprika

  • The sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil

  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger (minced or grated)

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free version)

  • 1 tbsp tomato puree

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 tbsp flour (use gluten-free if necessary)

  • To serve
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

  • Cooked basmati rice


  • Baked cauliflower
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C
  • Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  • Chop the cauliflower head into equal smaller chunks and give it a rinseCauliflower florets
  • Drain and dry with a kitchen towel.
  • Prepare the batter by mixing flour, salt, garlic powder, turmeric and paprika. Give it a stir and add water. Combine well until the mixture looks similar to a pancake batter.
  • Dip each floret into the batter and place it onto the baking tray. Cauliflower batter
  • Once finished, put it in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven, flip it over and bake for another 10min. They should be golden on the outside and tender on the inside. Sweet and sour cauliflower recipe
  • The sauce
  • In a small bowl combine maple syrup, rice vinegar, soy sauce, tomato paste and chili flakes. Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl (or a cup) prepare the mixture of flour and water. Stir well.
  • On medium-high heat, In a medium-sized pan add the sesame oil, minced garlic and ginger. Saute for 2-3min until fragrant.
  • Now add the sauce mixture and simmer for a minute. Stir in the pre-mixed flour and cook until the sauce thickens. (3-4min)
  • Once the sauce started thickening, add the baked cauliflower and coat each floret well into the sauce. vegan sticky cauliflower recipe
  • Serve with basmati rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Enjoy!


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    1. Jessi March 8, 2021 at 5:30 pm

      Omggggg this looks like heaven! Also, your blog is so beautifully put together!! Great job!

      1. Thyme with Tina March 8, 2021 at 6:27 pm

        Thanks so much Jessi! Pleased to hear that 🙂

    2. Ally March 8, 2021 at 7:50 pm

      Yum! These look delicious!

      1. Thyme with Tina March 9, 2021 at 9:49 am

        Ohh they are! Definitely give it a try 🙂

    3. Amanda March 9, 2021 at 12:54 am

      This sounds absolutely amazing!! Wow, thank you for sharing. I will be saving this recipe

      1. Thyme with Tina March 9, 2021 at 9:49 am

        Thanks Amanda! So glad you like it. Let me know how it goes 🙂

    4. Jennifer Passmore March 9, 2021 at 3:11 pm

      Ohh my goodness. I LOVE cauliflower and this looks SO good! I am going to have to try this!

      1. Thyme with Tina March 10, 2021 at 12:19 pm

        Thank you! It’s honestly so good! Let me know if you try it 🙂

    5. Mary Monique March 10, 2021 at 4:52 am

      This looks so yummy! It doesn’t even look like cauliflower at all (which amazes me because I’m not into greens haha) so this is a start to eating healthy! Direct recipe and easy to make! Thanks for sharing xx

      1. Thyme with Tina March 10, 2021 at 12:20 pm

        Haha so true! A good way to ‘camouflage’ some veggies into your diet. Thank you for stopping by xx 🙂


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