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A close up of vegan fried cauliflower nuggets on a paper towel.

Fried Cauliflower

A breaded deep-fried cauliflower that can be used for buffalo cauliflower, orange cauliflower or popcorn cauliflower nuggets.

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword cauliflower nuggets, deep-fried cauliflower, fried cauliflower, vegan fried cauliflower
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 218 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower about 4 cups of florets

For the batter:

  • 3/4 cup flour gluten-free flour mixes work great!
  • 2 tbsp corn starch or potato starch
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt (reduce for lower sodium or if using seasoning with salt in it)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 cup water

For Frying:

  • 3 inches oil for frying

Instructions

Prepare the Cauliflower:

  1. Wash the head of cauliflower under running water then shake the water off of it.
  2. Cut the cauliflower florets off the head of cauliflower and into bite-sized pieces removing the large stem in the center of the head.  (Try to keep the pieces a similar size, so they cook at the same rate).

Make the batter:

  1. Put the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. (Flour, corn starch, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, baking soda, and baking powder).
  2. Pour in the water and stir the batter until it becomes a smooth paste.
  3. Put the cauliflower pieces into the batter and toss until well coated.

Deep Fry the Cauliflower:

  1. Heat oil to 334° F.
  2. Use tongs to pick up the pieces of coated cauliflower and place them into the hot oil.  (It will bubble and spatter so stand back).
  3. Allow to cook in the oil for 2-3 minutes until the bubbling slows down and the cauliflower nuggets are golden brown.
  4. Immediately remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Serve hot!

Recipe Notes

Seasoning Variations:

The basic batter recipe is great when eating with a sauce drizzled over them or on the side for dipping.  However, they're also delicious (and crispier) eaten with the seasoning cooked into the batter for this simply add the following to the batter mixture. 

If you don't have a deep fryer - you can use a saucepan filled with about 3-4 inches of oil.  A thermometer that goes up to 400° F will also be helpful.  You can then use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the cauliflower from the oil.

Frying temperature - I find that 334°F is the perfect temperature to fry cauliflower.  I don't fry it quite as hot as some other things like french fries because I want it to cook slow enough to cook the cauliflower all the way through.  However, don't cook it lower than 325° F or it will absorb too much oil and get soggy instead of crispy.

If you don't have a thermometer - you can test the temperature of your oil by cooking one piece first. You know that you have the right frying temperature if it bubbles vigorously when you first put it in and then the bubbling slows way down after about 2-3 minutes and you have a crunchy golden brown cauliflower nugget that is cooked through.

Nutrition Facts
Fried Cauliflower
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 218 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 794mg35%
Potassium 481mg14%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin C 69mg84%
Calcium 59mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.