A close up of a blue plate filled with orange cauliflower served over rice.

Orange Cauliflower

A breaded deep-fried cauliflower drizzled with a Chinese style orange glaze served over a bed of rice or other grain.

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword cauliflower nuggets, orange cauliflower, vegan orange chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 218 kcal


For the Orange Sauce:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar (1/4 cup if you use fresh-squeezed orange juice).
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari or Bragg's Liquid Aminos for gluten-free.
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic chili sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp potato starch or corn starch

For the Battered Cauliflower:

  • 1 head cauliflower about 4 cups of florets
  • 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
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 cup water

Oil For Frying:

  • 3 inches oil for frying

To serve the cauliflower over:

  • 4 cups cooked rice or other grain of choice


Make the Orange Sauce

  1. Put all of the ingredients into a small saucepan and stir.

  2. Turn on heat to medium, and stir frequently until it starts to boil.

  3. Allow it to boil slowly for about 30 seconds and then remove from the heat.

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, 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 over rice and drizzle with the orange sauce.

Recipe Notes

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
Orange 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.