These Vegan Sesame Cauliflower Wings are a perfect dish for your holiday party, or while you watch the game with friends, but also easy and healthy enough for any weeknight dinner!
I’ve tried A LOT of different ways to make Cauliflower wings, and more often than not, I was left with mushy unsatisfying wings. I’m confident, that using this recipe, you’ll come out with crispy decadent wings every time!
About the Cauliflower-
-To make these cauliflower wings, you’ll need a medium to large size head of cauliflower. Any color will do- I used purple here because my farmers market had the most beautiful in season purple heads this week.
-You want to cut the head into bite size pieces. The smaller they are the quicker they cook. I usually try to go with moderate bit size pieces, not too bit and not too small. Cauliflower can be confusing to chop. Here’s a great tutorial if you’ve never done it before.
How do I make the batter for these Vegan Sesame Cauliflower Wings?
For the batter, you want the consistency to be similar to pancake batter. It should to thick enough that it coats the cauliflower easily, but not so thick that you can’t shake off the excess. I’ve included in the recipe that you should start with equal parts flour and plant milk, and then add additional plant milk 1 tbsp at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
Trust me when I say, you want to use parchment paper to line your baking sheet. I have used non-stick mats in the past to disastrous results, so save yourself the hassle, and go with the parchment paper. They will be easy to flip and you’ll be left with a much easier cleanup.
When you remove the wings from the oven after they have been flipped once, they should be firm and have a slight browning.
How to get the crispiest Cauliflower wings-
Many recipes will tell you at this point in the process to transfer the wings to a bowl in order to coat with the sauce before returning to the oven. Don’t do this! In my experience, more often than not, this has led to mushy wings, that are not crispy.
For best results, leave the wings on the tray and spoon over the sauce. Then stir the wings as best you can to coat them in the sauce. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
This method applies to any type of Cauliflower wings you make, like Buffalo for example. So if you’ve been making vegan wings and they’ve been coming out mushy, give this technique a go!
How do I know when my Cauliflower Wings are done?
Once the wings have been returned to the oven, after about 10-15 minutes, depending on how hot your oven runs, they will develop a crispy coating. You want to see definite browning and even some areas of blackness, but not too much black! The black areas are where the sugar from the maple syrup is crystalizing and getting crisp.
After removing from the oven, you can brush them with the remaining sauce that you had left over and finish them with your favorite toppings. Here I used toasted sesame seeds and slice green onions. Other options would be fresh cilantro, more sriracha or even a side of kimchi.
Are these Gluten Free?
I’ve given lots of options here in the recipe for ingredients since this dish is pretty flexible. If you substitute the soy sauce for Tamari, use a gluten free egg replacer (I like Bob’s Red Mill) or sub for baking powder, and use your choice of gluten free flour, these are totally gluten free. The type of flour used to create the batter is pretty versatile, so don’t overthink it. I’ve made with chickpea flour and also Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour and both have turned out great.
What do I eat with these sticky delicious wings?
We like to serve these with a side of short grain rice and steamed greens, such as bok choy, kale or Chinese broccoli. You can even add in some tofu on the side for added protein.
I hope you and your family enjoy these as much as we do! They are just indulgent enough to feel like your treating yourself, but still healthy, and one of our favorites!
Crispy Vegan Sesame Cauliflower Wings
- 1 head Cauliflower Medium to Large
- 3/4 cup your choice of flour Can sub all purpose for any flour of your choice (gf, whole wheat, chickpea, etc)
- 3/4 cup Plant milk of your choice Plus 1-3 tbsp of additional as needed
- 1.5 tsp Vegan Egg Replacer Powder (Use Gluten Free egg replacer for GF) I like Bob's Red Mill. May sub for 1 tsp of Baking Powder
- 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tbsp Miso Paste
- 1/4 cup Soy Sauce or Tamari
- 1.5 tsp Crushed Garlic or Garlic Paste May sub 1 tsp of Garlic Powder
- 1.5 tsp Ginger Paste Or freshly grated Ginger
- 2 tbsp Rice Vinegar Seasoned or Unseasoned
- 1 tsp Sriracha style Hot Sauce Or any hot sauce of choice
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil Omit if oil free
- 1 tsp Arrowroot powder Or corn starch
- 1/8 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
- 1 Chopped Green Onion
- Preheat over to 450 degrees F (230 C) and line a large baking tray with parchment paper (parchment paper works the best here and will make your life a lot easier).
- Combine flour, egg replacer (or baking powder) and plant milk in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined to make a batter. Keep adding plant milk 1 tbsp at a time until it reaches a consistency that is similar to pancake batter. You want to to be thick, but still runny enough that excess batter can drop off.
- Dip each individual piece of cauliflower into your batter and coat well, letting any excess batter fall off. Place onto baking tray and make sure the pieces are not touching or too close together.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes
- While your cauliflower is baking, prepare you sauce. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup and miso paste, and stir until well combined. Then add soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sriracha sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar. Set aside.
- After 15 minutes remove cauliflower and flip each piece over. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- After you return the cauliflower to the oven, simmer your sauce in a small pan on medium to low heat so that it is continuously bubbling for about 10 minutes until it reduces a bit. Then combine your arrowroot or cornstarch with 1/8 cup of water in a small bowl and stir. After it is combined, add this mixture to your sauce and sauté until the sauce has thickened.
- Remove cauliflower from oven and spoon the sauce over the cauliflower on your baking tray. If you would like to brush some sauce on the wings after cooking, only spoon about 3/4 of the sauce on, and leave the rest for the end (This is not necessary, but it adds a bit of extra flavor). Mix as well as you can so that each piece is coated in sauce (do not do this in a bowl, or you will end up with mushy cauliflower).
- Spread your cauliflower back out and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until crispy and browned.
- Top with toasted sesame seeds and/or chopped green onions to serve.