Korean Fried Cauliflower in the Air Fryer

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Korean air fried cauliflower

How to Make Air Fried Cauliflower – Korean Style!

This is an excellent and unique appetizer recipe – Korean fried cauliflower! It is delicious and full of flavor. Reminds me of hot wings, but way healthier (would be a great super bowl snack)! Cauliflower pulls through for another win!

Ingredients for Korean fried cauliflower

Ingredients

For a recipe that seems so simple, there are actually quite a few ingredients involved since we have to make a batter and sauce for the cauliflower. That being said, it’s still not too complicated and most of the ingredients are pretty common.

Below, I’ll break down the ingredients required in each step, and I’ll share some tips on how to make the most out of this recipe!

Note: For exact ingredient measurements and a convenient printable version of this Korean fried cauliflower recipe, scroll down to the end of the post!

Step 1. Season the Cauliflower

Starting with the cauliflower, you’ll just need some cornstarch, salt, pepper, and baking powder. This is a simple seasoning that adds some flavor and makes the batter bind better to the cauliflower.

Mixing batter for air fryer cauliflower

Step 2. Prepare the Batter

For the batter, all you need are five super basic ingredients: all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, garlic powder, and cold water. Whisk the first four ingredients together, then add the cold water. The batter should be thick, sort of like pancake batter.

PS: Speaking of pancakes, you should try these easy whole wheat blender pancakes. They’re freezable, convenient, healthy, and tasty!

Removing excess batter from cauliflower using wire cooling rack

Step 3. Remove Excess Batter Before Air Frying

In general, a wet batter doesn’t work very well in an air fryer because the batter mostly just drips off and falls down into the bottom of the fryer. In traditional frying, it works well because the batter sets fast in the hot oil. In this recipe, we are able to make the batter work because we let the excess drip off first.

To make this step really easy, I just shake as much excess batter back into the bowl as I can, and then I use a wire cooling rack with a paper towel underneath to finish the job.

Battered cauliflower in air fryer

Step 4. Air Frying the Cauliflower

This part is easy peasy! Start by brushing the air fryer basket with a light layer of oil, then place your battered cauliflower in the air fryer, in a single layer, with space between each floret.

I get about 1 ½ pounds of cauliflower florets from one large head of cauliflower. When I cut the florets into nice bite-size pieces, it takes about 4 batches of cooking in a single layer in my air fryer.

If you go with larger florets, you could probably reduce the number of batches. Of course, you would need to be mindful that larger florets may need another minute or two of cooking to become tender. It might be worth playing around with and trying out! 

Here’s what the cauliflower should look like after air frying (notice the light golden brown):

Seasoned cauliflower

Step 5. Preparing the Sauce

The basic ingredients for the sauce include reduced-sodium soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, freshly grated ginger, minced garlic, rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar, and then ONE uncommon ingredient called gochujang.

If you’ve never heard of gochujang before, it’s a Korean chili sauce and is most likely found in the Asian condiment section of your local grocery store. You can also find it here on Amazon for convenience!

Notes: If you like things a little more spicy, feel free to increase the amount of gochujang or add a little Sriracha. Also, this sauce can be mixed together up to 3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate it, then bring it to a simmer right before serving.

Korean sauce covered cauliflower

Step 6. Serving Tips

All that’s left to do now is to take your fried cauliflower, put it in a large bowl, pour the sauce over top, and gently stir to coat. Once the cauliflower is coated in the sauce, it is bursting with flavor – tangy, spicy, a little bit sweet – all in one.

For extra flavor, I love squeezing a little fresh lime juice onto the Korean fried cauliflower, then dipping it in a little bit of Ranch dressing. The Ranch really helps cool down the spice. So good!

Cheesecake Factory serves their Korean Fried Cauliflower garnished with lime zest, green onions, and sesame seeds, with a side of Ranch and lime wedges. I highly recommend trying at least some of these options as sides and garnishes because it is yum!

Korean fried cauliflower served with lime

Final Thoughts

This Korean fried cauliflower ends up perfectly tender and soft, with a slightly crispy exterior due to the air fryer tempura batter. It’s amazing.

When you try this recipe, I’d love to hear from you about how it goes in the comments of this post!

White Philips air fryer

I love my air fryer.

Seriously, I love my Philips XXL Air Fryer! The food is cooked quickly and to perfection every time. My air fryer has a 3-pound/4-quart capacity.

If you’re in the market for an air fryer, check out our Air Fryer Reviews & Buying Guide. It’s totally worth buying one (check out some more recipes below), but you’ll want to make sure to get one that suits your needs! That guide will help you find the perfect one.

Air fryer breaded cauliflower

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Cauliflower cooked in air fryer

Korean Fried Cauliflower in the Air Fryer

5 / 5 (1 review)
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 cups | Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets (about 1 ½ pounds florets)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • Pinch baking powder
  • Batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Sauce:

  • 4 ½ tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili sauce)
  • 4 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Garnishes: lime zest, sesame seeds, green onions, lime wedges, and/or Ranch dressing

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon cornstarch with a pinch each of salt, pepper, and baking powder. Sprinkle cauliflower florets with the mixture and stir to coat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and garlic powder for the batter. Then add the cold water. The batter will be on the thick side, kind of like pancake batter.
  3. Dip the cauliflower into the batter to coat, shake a little over the bowl to allow excess batter drip off, then place the coated cauliflower on a wire rack (with a paper towel underneath) to allow more excess batter to drip off. Better for excess to drip off before it goes into the air fryer.
  4. Brush the air fryer basket with a light layer of oil to help reduce sticking. Place coated cauliflower into the air fryer basket in a single layer, with space between each floret. Cook at 350° for 10-12 minutes, until parts are light golden brown. (For my air fryer, this took 4 batches to cook all cauliflower. Remove debris and re-coat basket with oil between each batch.)
  5. While the cauliflower is cooking, you can finish dipping the remaining cauliflower florets, then work on the sauce. Whisk together the gochujang, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then remove from heat.
  6. Once cauliflower is done cooking, add it to a large bowl. Then pour the sauce over the cauliflower and gently stir to coat.
  7. Serve immediately. If desired, garnish with lime zest, lime wedges, green onion, and sesame seeds. Delicious served with a side of Ranch dressing.

Notes

Sauce can be mixed together up to 3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate it, then bring to a simmer right before serving.

Cook time may vary and will depend on how many batches it takes for you to air fry the cauliflower florets.

Recipe Adapted From: Carmyy

Ingredients: All-purpose flour, Apple cider vinegar, Baking Powder, Cauliflower, Cornstarch, Garlic, Ginger, Gochujang, Honey, Pepper, Rice Vinegar, Salt, Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce, Water
Meal Type: Appetizers and Snacks, Main Dish, Clean Eating, Meatless
Categories: Vegetables, Air Fryer

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