Korean Style Cauliflower Wings (vegan)
My Korean Style Cauliflower Wings are soft in the middle, crisp on the outside and coated in a rich, spicy gochujang sauce. Get the recipe below.
A meat-free alternative to chicken wings
Chicken wings are the ultimate snack and so when I switched from eating meat to being vegetarian (and then vegan) I had to get creative and come up with an alternative. I’ve tried a couple of different ways of making meat-free chicken wings. When I’ve got time on my hands I will make seitan chicken wings but it is a long and involved process. If I’m in a hurry (or just trying to make sure I’m eating enough veggies) I will make cauliflower wings instead!
Each cauliflower floret is the perfect wing size. The stalk acts as the perfect point at which to pick it up and pop it in your mouth! It’s as though they were made to be turned into vegan “chicken” wings.
To give them a crispy coating, I make a batter with chickpea flour, soy milk and seasoning. They get dipped in the batter, laid out on to a baking tray and then roasted until they are soft in the middle but golden brown and crisp on the outside. It’s then up to you whether you want to toss them in the spicy sauce or dip them individually. (I’m more of a tosser when it comes to wings…)
If you’re thinking it sounds like a simple recipe, it is!
Spicy sauce for my Korean Style Cauliflower Wings
I don’t know about you but I love smothering my Cauliflower Wings in a sweet, sticky, spicy sauce. Eating cauliflower wings should be messy right?! For these Korean Style Cauliflower Wings I’ve made a rich, spicy sauce using gochujang red pepper paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, sesame oil, lime juice, garlic and ginger. If that hasn’t got your mouth watering I don’t know what will!
What is gochujang?
If, like me, you’re not all that familiar with Korean food then you may not be familiar with gochujang. Gochujang is a red chili paste that is regularly used in Korean cooking. I first came across it when I started to make my own kimchi and was hooked.
It has a complex flavour being slightly sweet, savoury and spicy! It owes it’s rich flavour to the glutinous rice, gochu-garu chilli powder and soy beans (amongst other ingredients) that are fermented to make the delicious condiment.
If you’re familiar with red miso paste then it is similar in a number of ways. Not least because it’s quite strong a little goes a long way! Just like miso it can be used in a wide range of different ways including in marinades and sauces, which is how we use it in this recipe for Korean Style Cauliflower Wings.
Where can I buy gochujang red pepper paste?
Some of the larger supermarkets in the UK now sell gochujang in their international foods section. I know Waitrose and M&S do an “own brand” version but I haven’t tried it myself.
If not, you’re guaranteed to find it in your nearest Asian supermarket. Here you will find a wide range of varieties and you should be able to find different heat levels too. The one I buy is the perfect level of spicy in my opinion but you may want to opt for something milder first time round.
How to store gochujang
The tubs of gochujang pepper paste are often quite large in size so you will definitely have some left over after making these wings. But don’t worry, it lasts for a very long time provided you keep the tub properly sealed in your fridge. I’ve had a tub open for months and months and it’s still perfectly good to use.
If, however, it’s started to discolour or go hard it is probably past it’s best.
Hungry now? Let’s make some Korean Style Cauliflower Wings!
Korean Style Cauliflower Wings
- Baking tray
For the crispy cauliflower wings
For the sauce
- sesame seeds optional
- lettuce optional
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C / 356F / gas mark 4.
- Remove all of the leaves from the cauliflower and cut the florets from the stem.
- Break the florets into small bite size pieces and chop the stem into pieces roughly the same size.
- In a bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, spices and the water until you have a smooth but thick batter. (Add a little extra water if your chickpea flour is particularly thirsty.)
- Before you begin coating your cauliflower in the batter make sure you have a lightly oiled baking tray next to you.
- Carefully dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter and let any excess drip off then place onto the baking tray
- Repeat until you have used up all of the cauliflower.
- Place the baking tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender but crisp on the outside.
- In the meantime, whisk together the sauce ingredients until you have a smooth sauce. It should be runny but still thick enough to coat your spoon.
- If you want to coat the wings in the sauce, add half the sauce to a bowl and then add the wings. toss them gently until coated, adding more sauce as required. Serve on a plate of lettuce, sprinkled with sesame seeds. Alternatively serve the sauce in a dipping bowl alongside.
If you like this recipe, you’ll love…
More dishes from around the world
As ever, if you do make any of my recipes please do leave a rating and a comment. I love to hear what you think!