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Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower – the sweet, sticky, & addictively delicious dish that tastes like a better-for-you version of Panda Express!

Sweet, sticky, addictive sesame cauliflower, a healthy & delicious meatless recipe

A few weeks ago, I got a text from a friend saying his sister was trying to add more vegan meals to her diet and asking if I had any good tips.

The first advice I had was something I always recommend to anyone who wants to incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet, especially for non-vegans just trying to eat more meatless meals in general.

My first recommendation is to NOT replace meat with vegan meat substitutes, which can just set you up for disappointment when you expect one thing and get another.

Instead, think of it as an opportunity to explore new recipes and look at vegetables in a whole new light.

The popular Buffalo Cauliflower Wings are especially delicious!!!

So many people never venture further from preparing vegetables in a “mainstream” way—such as steamed or in a side salad—but when you start looking at vegetables as the main event, it opens up a brand new realm of possibilities.

Try taking one of your favorite meat-based recipes and recreating it with your favorite vegetable instead.

Think Kung Pao Eggplant, Mushroom Stroganoff, Sweet Potato Tacos, or Crispy Lemon Cauliflower.

vegan cauliflower

Or this sticky-sweet sesame cauliflower.

The best part of sesame chicken has always been the sauce…

It’s the sauce, not the chicken, that makes you crave Panda Express every time you walk past the food court in the mall.

It’s the sauce, not the chicken, that makes sesame chicken so addictive.

And this healthy meatless makeover of the classic recipe keeps all the goodness of that sticky-sweet sesame sauce intact. Plus, since you’re not using a fake meat substitute, there’s no expectation—subconscious or otherwise—that the dish will taste like chicken.

Non-vegan dinner guests won’t be wary of trying a taste.

And then another taste…

And then one more…

Trending Right Now: Veggie Burger Recipe – Just 6 Ingredients

cauliflower raw
sesame cauliflower recipe

Cauliflower—the darling vegetable of the year—is definitely having a moment.

And with more and more cauliflower-based products hitting shelves each day, the cauliflower excitement doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know I’ve loved cauliflower since long before it was trendy.

The following are just a few of the cauliflower recipes you can find on my blog.

Starting with the craziest first:

Healthy Chocolate Cake

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower Soup Recipe

Cauliflower Tacos

Cheesy Cauliflower Rice

I’m predicting cauliflower is going to be the most popular vegetable of next year as well!

Note: When I researched soy sauce alternatives online, I found a few comments who said you can combine 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce with a tbsp or two of water to replace half cup of soy sauce. I haven’t tried it, but if anyone successfully tries this or another option, please feel free to report back for other readers.

Secretly Healthy Sticky Sesame Cauliflower (Vegan)

Also be sure to try this Cauliflower Mac And Cheese and these BBQ Cauliflower Wings.

Pin it now to save for laterPin Recipe

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

This delicious secretly healthy sticky sesame cauliflower tastes like a better-for-you version of Panda Express!
 4.8/5 (145)
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 3 – 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped (6 1/2 cups florets)
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, honey, or agave
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1/4 cup water
  • sesame seeds and scallions, for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 450 F. Grease a baking pan or line with parchment. Cut cauliflower into florets, then slice so one side of each floret is flat. Arrange in a single layer in the greased pan. Bake 10 minutes on the center rack. Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, sweetener, vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, and ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. While waiting, stir together the cornstarch and water until cornstarch dissolves fully, then slowly whisk this into the saucepan as soon as it boils. Turn heat to medium and cook 2 minutes, stirring more frequently once it returns to a boil. Cook until thick. You can also make the sauce ahead of time if desired, and it thickens more as it sits in the fridge. Flip cauliflower florets and bake 10 additional minutes. If desired, you can now move the pan to the top rack and broil 1-2 minutes. Pour sauce over florets. Sprinkle sesame seeds and optional scallions on top, and serve.
    *A few readers have commented to say this works in the instant pot, but I've not tried it. If you try, be sure to let me know how it goes!
    View Nutrition Facts

Notes

Leftover cauliflower? Use it up in this Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce!
 

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Published on May 16, 2020

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268 Comments

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  1. Andrea Eisenberg says

    This looks awesome Katie. Reminds me a bit of Gobi Manchurian–though the cauliflower is deep fried in that–but wow it’s delicious!! I would not recommend using maple syrup though, I think it would alter the flavor.
    I know a lot of people hate faux meats, but they can be a good transition trick. I don’t use them much, but the one that is totally convincing is the beefy grounds. I’ve tried three different brands, and they are all great for stuff like tacos or lasagne. Though I still prefer just a good black bean taco or Daiya cheese lasagne!

  2. Linda @ The Fitty says

    The sauce that makes this sticky looks just like what we’d use in chinese cuisine to make kung pao chicken!

    I eat keto, so I can’t use this recipe due to the cornstarch, though looking at it already wets my appetite!

    • Audrey Eugénie Schlegel says

      Have you tried using almond meal/flour instead of the cornstarch? If it still fits whatever macros you have to respect in order to remain keto? Having no starch at home but loooads of almond flour, I did this last time I tried a recipe fot a sticky sauce, and it worked wonders. I will probably make this recipe with this sauce as well. Only that for some reason my mouth is watering when I am thinking about making this sauce with pumpkin instead of cauliflower. Won’t be the same texture but might turn out to be delicious!

    • joanna schupp says

      I wouldn’t be concerned with such a small amount of cornstarch on keto. It’s all the sugar in this recipe that isn’t keto friendly. You can always use a little xanthan gum as a thickener but I’d forget about this recipe as a keto one. There are lots of “sweet n sour” keto recipes out there.

  3. Dorothy says

    This does really look delicious. I am just beginning to enjoy cauliflower. I am also on a Ketogenic Diet. What are your thoughts about using Sugar Free Maple Syrup, Sweetleaf Maple or Sukrin Gold instead of Honey, Maple Syrup or Agave? How about replacing the cornstarch or arrowroot with Xanthum Gum. Do you think it is doable?? Thanks so much!

    • Lea says

      For the maple syrup or any sticky syrup required for a recipe what I’ve been doing for our keto lifestyle is using Mrs. Butterworth’s no sugar added, I actually got it from Amazon as an add-on but just becareful because it’s easy to get mixed up between the sugar and the no sugar added. I find it subs well for maple syrup and also for honey. As for the soya sauce, some one got me on to something that is just like soya sauce but better and it’s called Tamari because most are gluten free. Thank you for the wonderful recipes! I just mentioned to my hubby about all these wonderful cauliflower recipes and he said ohhh those sound awesome! I said yup time to go to the grocery store and stock up on large heads of cauliflower and frozen cauliflower I love to use too because they are fantastic on those nights when u are in a hurry all I do is put them in a colander and run it under hot water until its well thawed and then I just dump them out on to paper towels and dry them off the best I can and then pop them in a very hot oven to roast them!!

  4. Bonnie says

    A good substitute for soy sauce is coconut aminos. The brand I have in my fridge is “Coconut Secrets.” I got it at the whole foods store.

  5. Cathe Campbell says

    Thank you for this incredible recipe Katie! I love your dessert recipes but I think I love these more! Thank you for sharing. Hugs, Cath

    • Rosemary says

      I’ve never really tried cauliflower and your comment makes me think I will like it. 🙂
      She has so many amazing recipes.

  6. Kim says

    Katie, as much as I love your chocolate recipes, I am most excited when I see a new savory recipe. This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. Your Coconut Curry recipe is still our family number one favorite and ‘go to’.

  7. Ashley says

    I have made something similar to this, and it does not disappoint! Sesame cauliflower will be on the menu soon.
    I agree about not just switching to meat substitutes, although it depends on the person. For some people, switching to vegetarian/vegan is a rough ride, and meat analogues can make it easier. However, they are expensive and generally high in sodium, so it’s best not to depend too heavily on them. I love that you offer so many recipes that don’t include meat substitutes!

  8. Maria says

    Yesss!! I agree! Subbing veggies into these types of dishes is the way to go!!! I have even tricked my family into actually liking some of them as much as the originals that inspired them!!! I love the sesame sauce! Excited to try your version of the sauce and with roasted cauliflower. I usually do it over baked tofu:)

  9. H. says

    A great soy sauce substitute can be made from a product called Gravy Master combined with water, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger powder, and garlic powder.

    There is no real recipe; just water and gravy master about 1/2 and 1/2, then add the other ingredients to personal taste, and more water to suit your purpose. I’ve added dark agave and oj concentrate, plus a bit of agar to make glazes for meats and vegetables from this combo.

    I use this because it’s low sodium, and hypertension runs in my family.

    Gravy Master–and a similar product called Kitchen Boquet–is a vegetable broth flavor enhancer that has been cooked down to a thick syrup. It’s used in soups and gravies. I do not know if it is gluten free….

    • Julie Dove says

      The taste will of course be different, but the sauce is fine by itself so if you like the taste of raw cauliflower (I don’t), then why not?

    • Natasha says

      I doubt it. I tried making sesame sauce, and it clearly needs to be cooked to get thick. You can’t just stir the stuff together and get a sauce 🙁

    • Julie Dove says

      You never know if something will work unless you try, but feel free to experiment, and be sure to report back if you do!

    • Kathryn says

      What about Apple cider vinegar? It has a different flavor, but it’s what I always use when a recipe calls for rice wine vinegar. Or Balsamic vinegar might work here, too. I know both of those are Whole30 approved, so I’m assuming they’re approved on your diet.

  10. Gustavo Woltmann says

    At first glance, I thought it was meat. Aside from being healthy, cooking and eating will be fun with this recipe.

  11. Jane b says

    Looks Healthy and Delicious!, i always run out of ideas when it comes vegetables like cauliflower, but this one is definitely on my to do list for the weekend, Thanks for posting!

  12. Deanna says

    It was alright. I made it tonight. I think it needed more sweetness (I used maple syrup) or more cooking time to develop the flavors of the sauce. I’ll make it again but maybe with less soy sauce (I used a GF sauce but usually I just buy tamari) and I’ll try it with a different sweetener.

  13. Cat says

    It was pretty tasty! My sauce wasn’t quite as sticky though & did not coat the cauliflower like in the picture, you could definitely see that it was white cauliflower. Anyway, I enjoyed it & will make it again. I put it over brown rice & added some rotisserie chicken

    • Julie Dove says

      Hmm maybe it needed to be cooked down longer (the sauce)? The sauce will get thicker as it cooks and the cornstarch does its job. Did you use maple syrup or another sweetener? And cornstarch or arrowroot?

      • Rainey says

        I had the same problem and my sauce did not stick to the cauliflower. i had used part maple syrup and part agave and cornstarch and cooked it until it was thick before pouring over the cauliflower. any advice?

  14. Bethany Jones says

    I was so excited I made this for brunch! I roasted some leftover cabbage with the cauliflower and it was delicious over jasmine rice. Another great one, Katie!!

  15. Cassie Autumn Tran says

    I’m OBSESSED with orange-glazed, sesame-glazed or lemon-glazed ANYTHING. Chinese food was one of my favorites to indulge on–SO good. Definitely going to try out this cauliflower–but I bet tofu, tempeh or even soy chicken would taste fantastic with this sesame sauce too!

  16. Sarah says

    Delicious recipe! My sauce didn’t thicken and stayed runny, even after being baked on the cauliflower — didn’t think I did anything wrong, though ☹ But it tasted great and the cauliflower cooked perfectly.

    • Sarah says

      If anyone’s curious as to which options I used (maybe that affected the sauce?), I used cornstarch for the thickener and honey for the sweetener. I also subbed some garlic power for the chopped garlic, but that shouldn’t have affected consistency.

      • Kate says

        I had the same thing–sauce didn’t thicken as much as I would have liked once I poured it on the cauliflower. It was still delicious, though.

  17. Ryan Darcy says

    Why didn’t my sauce look as orange? I followed the recipe to a T besides the final 3-5 minutes to bake/broil the florets covered in sauce (didn’t want to risk cracking Pyrex). It was delicious, just curious as to why my sauce has a different look. I used honey as a sweetener.

    • Julie Dove says

      Hi, thanks for making it! Was it more brown in color? Maybe it’s just the extra saturation on the images that makes them look more orange here? It would be fun if readers could leave pictures with their comments. I’ll ask Katie if that’s something we can maybe implement for the comment section.

  18. Colleen says

    Just served this over brown rice this evening. My husband and I both loved it! Definitely adding this to the menu rotation. Thank you!

  19. Carol Ann says

    Looks delicious, but It seems to have a ton of sodium; Is that per serving?? Way over the 600mg/meal my husband’s cardiologist recommends. Any way to get it down?

    • Jenna says

      Try coconut Aminos in place of soy sauce! Gives a little different flavor, but still in the same profile!

  20. Gustavo Woltmann says

    I like the taste of cauliflower in this recipe. This looks so yummy! Thank you for sharing it.

    – Gustavo Woltmann

  21. Robin L says

    I just made this tonight watching the Dallas – Packers game…… of course this recipe was the highlight as Dallas lost. Awesome dish! Put over rice it is soo meaty. I toasted the sesame seeds. I almost can’t tell it’s cauliflower. I highly recommend it!!! It is sweet but I have a sweet tooth.

  22. JOSIE LEJEUNE says

    Made this today – yum! However, I made the sauce & threw is the raw cauliflower & cooked it in the sauce. Served with rice & red lentils cooked together. Fantastic! Thanks.

  23. anonymous says

    When I poured the sauce over the cauliflower and put the dish back in the oven, the sauce lost its thickness and turned the whole thing into cauliflower soup. The dish would have been great if not for that. Do you know how to prevent this from happening?

  24. Lauren says

    This recipe looked amazing but was a total fail. The sauce tasted great, but didn’t stick to the cauliflower at all. Also, the cauliflower didn’t crisp up at all even after broiling. So what I was left with was soggy flavorless cauliflower that looked nothing like the picture. Oh, and a cookie sheet full of baked on grease that had to be soaked and scraped. I followed the instructions to the letter, so I’m not sure what happened. Big disappointment for the amount of effort required.

    • Julie Dove says

      Maybe cook the sauce longer? You can also stick the sauce in the fridge for a few hours and it thickens quite a bit as it sits!

  25. Nani says

    This was a disappointment. Clearly your picture is of a battered cauliflower and not simply oven roasted. I made the meal as directed and I wasn’t surprised to see it was still a white roasted cauliflower with a brown sticky sauce.

    • Julie Dove says

      I can definitely attest to it looking like her photos without having to batter it because mine looked similar when I made it. Could you possibly have forgotten an ingredient or maybe used a different sweetener or not cooked the sauce down long enough?

    • Heather says

      Yes!!! The pic is so deceiving. I was so looking forward to this meal and it was such a disappointment. The sauce is good and cauliflower is always yummy but nothing like the pic shown. 🙁

  26. Heather says

    I love all of her recipes but this one didn’t turn out. We followed it perfectly. Checked and triple checked. It looks like faintly brown cauliflower and not much sauce left over even though we measured everything out as it says in the recipe. The sauce is yummy and cauliflower is always good but what a bummer. The pic is so deceiving.

    • Sandra says

      Maybe cook the sauce longer as someone else suggested? Mine turned out like the pictures show, just a little darker in color.

  27. Sandra says

    This was AMAZING!!! Not sure why some other commenters said their sauce didn’t get thick because mine turned out pretty much like the pictures show, maybe a tad darker in color but just as gorgeous and more importantly DELICIOUS! 🙂

  28. Jean says

    I made this for dinner tonight. My kids are picky but will usually eat cauliflower, especially if it’s in a sauce. I found it to be a little too much soy for me. I will definitely make this again but cut the soy sauce down to !/4 or 2/3 cup. It went great with basmati rice.

  29. Martann says

    In the photo it looks like you are cooking in a cast iron skillet. What is that method? Baking in the cast iron? Or stove top?

  30. EL says

    I made this tonight, and I reckon it needs a bit more cornstarch. My sauce thickened, but not enough it seems. The sauce sort of fell off the cauliflower once I stirred it in. I might double the starch next time. Otherwise, the flavor is spot on!

  31. Robin says

    Looks great! I’ll have to try it – I’m allergic to soy so use coconut aminos. I find them a tad sweet so cut back on any sweetener

  32. Theresa Patterson says

    this looks amazing I will have to try it. We still make your black bean brownies after finding your blog and post for them 3 years ago. I love how you cook, and show others a better way of doing so. I have lost over 60 pounds and now eat a keto diet plan. I will have to play with this one and come up with a keto dish. Or maybe it will be your next project.

    • Jason Sanford says

      The taste would be completely different. But who knows, maybe it would still taste good in a different way. You never know until you try.

  33. Meghan says

    This recipe is kick*ss. I almost messed it up though because I didn’t cook the sauce for long enough and when I mixed it into the cauliflower it definitely wasn’t thick enough. But I tried throwing it all in a pan on the stove and cooking it more, adding some more cornstarch + water mixture as I went, and before long it started to thicken up and look a lot more like the photo. It’s a hit with the meat loving boyfriend too!! Thanks Katie!

  34. Lynn Price says

    For those who are on Keto, I just made this and substituted low carb ingredients.
    1/3 cup coconut aminos
    1/4 cup VitaFiber
    1/2 t maple extract
    1/4 cup rice vinegar
    1 tbsp minced garlic
    1 ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
    ½ tsp powdered ginger
    1/4 t xanthan gum
    1/4 cup water
    sesame seeds and scallions, for garnish

    I followed the directions exactly. It turned out fabulous. Great recipe. Many thanks!!

  35. Tori D. says

    Tried this tonight for the first time, I used honey. It was delicious and my 6yr old and 3 yr old gobbled it up! Love roast cauliflower!

  36. barbara says

    Made this last night, taste just like its big brother chicken. This is a great recipe and so easy to make. Like that you stayed away from refined sugar and used maple syrup instead. I would rate it but its not coming up. I do give it a 5/5 stars
    thx,
    Barbara

    • Jason Sanford says

      Sorry for the trouble, we are working to try and fix the rating plugin we use!

      Jason (media relations)

  37. Lauren B. says

    Hi Katie, if I had some fresh ginger that I needed to use up how much would you recommend I use in place of the powdered? Thanks!

    • Jason Sanford says

      Just experiment with what you think tastes good. Add more if needed. Maybe start with a tbsp?

  38. Francene Starr says

    I just had this tonight — SO GOOD!!! Even without ginger and scallions — need to get some. I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce, and had no rice wine vinegar — used rice cooking wine — it worked….SO SO GOOD!!! Thank you!!!!

  39. Cathy says

    I made this for dinner tonight. It was excellent! We added cilantro on the top and also toasted the sesame seeds before adding very yummy. I used Apple cider vinegar and arrowroot.
    Thank you for an easy and healthy recipe!

  40. Tayler Landry says

    How long would this last in the fridge typically?!

    Thanks 🙂
    Mmmmmmm making that this weekend. LOOKS SO GOOD OMG.

  41. Ryan Scott says

    Super easy to make and it was delicious! This will definitely enter into our rotation of quick and easy meals. Thanks for sharing!

  42. Vikki says

    This is very good, plus it’s super easy and quick to make. It made plenty of sauce that will be yummy on other veggies too. Thanks Katie!

  43. Rey says

    What makes this yummy sounding recipe so high in sodium? I really want to make this, but the high sodium is putting me off a little.

  44. Celeste says

    Made this tonight and found it heavy on the soy sauce. Some people might want to try using just a quarter cup of soy. I think a chopped chili would have given it another nice dimension. This is one of those recipes pretty easy to play with and doctor to your personal preference.

  45. Shanese says

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!
    It turned out so well and the sauce is “make you wanna slap ya momma” good!!
    So looking forward to trying your other recipes.

  46. Jane says

    This was awesome! We just did if for lunch… wonder what you would pair or serve with this for a dinner party. Beside the fortune cookies… any suggestions? My first instinct would be a thimble of sushi rice with a side of steam pea pods.

  47. Lee says

    Has anyone come up with a low-sodium substitution for the soy sauce, other than the Gravy Master/Kitchen Bouquet suggestion? Recipe sounds great, but wow, that’s a lot of sodium.

  48. Sarah Patrick says

    I FINALLY made this after having it saved for nine months – it was DELICIOUS! Both my husband (omni eater) and me (vegan eater) loved the sauce. I cubed up a block of firm tofu and baked it along with the cauliflower (due to the moisture, I had to bake them longer than the recipe called for) and tossed it all with the sauce. I’m not ashamed to say I scraped the bowl clean – so good! I was lazy and didn’t want to mince garlic so I just used garlic powder, which made the sauce super easy to make. Thanks for another terrific recipe, Katie!

  49. Lauren Smith | The Oatmeal Artist says

    I just made (and devoured) this and I’m in heaven. I successfully swapped in brown rice flour for the cornstarch (simply because it’s what I had on hand) and it worked beautifully. Otherwise, I followed everything to a T. (Consider that a testament to how much I trust you since I rarely follow recipes exactly as written haha). I paired this with brown rice and steamed bok choy and it was such a delicious meal! Oh, and a glass of chardonnay. 🙂 Will make again, for sure!
    Thanks Katie!

  50. Ellen Lederman says

    I loved it! As good as Chinese restaurants, but without all the oil. So delicious. I served it over black rice and with a side of stir-fried asparagus. Yum!

  51. Heather Whipple says

    Hi Katie this looks good. Although I would like to make a batter for this cauliflower and bake it before I put any sauce on it. Please let me know how long I would need to bake it to get it light golden brown . Please e-mail me at the address below.

  52. Dani says

    For those who cook without oil, does the oil in this recipe need to be here / is there a sub we can use? Like veggie broth?

  53. Mary says

    This was so good! The only thing I did wrong was not doubling it! Won’t make that mistake twice. Thanks for a new favorite recipe 🙂

  54. Diana says

    If you are trying to avoid the gluten in soy sauce, substitute Tanari, which is traditional gluten-free Japanese soy sauce.

  55. Viva says

    I haven’t read all the comments so I’m not sure if anyone mentioned Bragg’s Liquid Amino’s. It IS sourced from soy protein (GMO free) but I wanted to mention it. I’ve used it instead of Soy Sauce & Tamari for years.

  56. Brenda says

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it! I use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce all the time and they are delicious! They also have a garlic sauce and a teriyaki sauce that are wonderful.

  57. Lara says

    I wonder what if we cook the cauliflower on the pan with the sauce, just after boiling/steaming it briefly…
    Sometimes I get too lazy to get the oven working… 🙂

  58. Alex says

    This is going on regular rotation, I don’t know why I waited this long to try it! I did a little research because I wanted to use my instant pot. Luckily people have done similar recipes with an instant pot and chicken so I knew it could work. I put the cauliflower into the instant pot with the sauce and cooked on high for 5 minutes, with a 10 minute natural pressure release. Came out perfect!

    • DebbieKat says

      I was just going to ask about using the Instant Pot. Is there really enough liquid in the sauce to prevent it from burning? I thought you always need about .5 cup at least?

  59. Vanessa says

    What sides have people used this with, as a meal? I am currently making this with brown rice but I feel like it needs another side! I’m going to try some pan roasted green beans..but what else have people tried?! Really excited for this recipe. Also, are we supposed to roast the cauliflower until crunchy? My cauliflower has easily been in the oven 30 min and is still not cooked… 🙂

    • Jason Sanford says

      Roasted carrots would be nice too. Just cook the cauliflower until it’s your own preferred texture/doneness 🙂

  60. Elise says

    Made this recipe… absolutely delicious. But as you can see in the picture, my sauce was not as light or “orange”. It’s darker and more brown.

  61. Carrie says

    I made the instant pot version. While the flavor was nice, the cauliflower came out mushy and the sauce not sticky at all. I had it over rice and the rice soaked up the sauce nicely. Next time I would make it using the oven method.

  62. Katie says

    I tried the Instant Pot version and it didn’t turn out so great. It tasted AH-mazing, but the cauliflower was way overcooked (kinda mushy) and the sauce never got thick and sticky. BUT I put all the leftover sauce in a mason jar to use for a stirfry next week though, so not all was lost! I think I’ll try the over version next time instead!

  63. Heather says

    This looks really great! My vegan husband has a very hearty appetite and so I am curious what others have paired this with for large dinners?

  64. Cathy says

    I tried this in the IP and it turned out super, super watery 🙁 I’m new to the IP so it could have been user error but I followed the directions as indicated at the bottom of the recipe.

  65. Nicole says

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! The best part was the reaction from my 6 year old twin boys. They had not only seconds but thirds and told me this one was a keeper and one of them doesn’t even like cauliflower. I forgot to take pictures, but next time I will. The boys want to help make it next time so I will get a snap of them making it. Do you mind if I share on my blog and link to your blog for the recipe?

  66. Meg says

    I own your CCK book. Loving it. Hopped on blog to look for sf meringue recipe. (Craving cookies)

    Found this sticky cauliflower recipe. Will try it! I hope you will publish a book of savory recipes.

  67. Christina says

    What brands and flavors of toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar do you use? I want to try this recipe, but when I went to buy the oil and vinegar, I noticed that they come seasoned, unseasoned, lightly seasoned, etc.

    • Jason Sanford says

      She recently wrote in a different post that she uses Trader Joes toasted sesame oil. I would just use any rice vinegar and have even made it with other vinegars such as white, which is fine!

  68. Tel says

    I made this in my Instant Pot following the directions at the end and do not recommend it. The sauce smelled good and tasted great, but it did not thicken. Also, the cauliflower was nearly complete mush. I think I would stick with the oven roasting method of hardier floret.

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hmmm so sad to hear that. Instant pot recipes seem to be so hit or miss. I haven’t tried this one in the instant pot, but I’ve had varying degrees of success or failure with other recipes. Thanks for the feedback, I probably won’t try this one in the instant pot now. I can say, though, that the regular version is completely amazing!

  69. Erin Harlow says

    I tried the Instant pot version. I would recommend cutting the cauliflower larger if you do it this way. Mine were cut too small and basically disappeared! The sauce needed to be thickened at the end. I put it on sauté for a bit but it did not thicken much. Next time I will try the conventional way. It was delicious over quinoa, thanks for the recipe.

    • Jackie says

      Looks good. Great idea! I could not think of anything to cook with it and did not think about rice. Maybe I will cook rice to go along with the meal next time.

  70. Holly says

    I wouldn’t recommend the instant pot adaptation. I did it and the cauliflower was mushy and the sauce only thickened after I turned the pot on saute after it was done cooking. I even did a manual release instead of letting it go naturally.

    The flavors were spot on, just save yourself some disappointment and follow the original recipe lol

  71. Iris says

    Just made this for dinner tonight and it was positively awesome! The sauce is just like the real thing. We had ours over brown rice. I think I will use this sauce for other things. Like over soy curls and mixed vegetables. And anything else I can come up with. Just because it is that good! Thanks

  72. Jackie says

    I made this dish yesterday for dinner. It looked so good in the picture. I think it tasted great but my cauliflower was not toasted or did not have the color as in the pictures. I followed the recipe and roasted it as stated.
    I am wondering if I did something incorrect. I did use frozen cauliflower which I would say it should not have made a difference.
    The dish was great. Just wondering.

  73. Diana says

    The instant pot method worked great! I prefer my veggies al dente, so I would probably cook it for less time next time. Thanks for including the alternate instructions.

  74. Nyjae says

    I’m not sure if I’ve commented already but I tried this and it was awesome…. I’m actually trying tonight with roasted tofu-I’ll let you know how it’s goes!

  75. Diane Hartford says

    I tried this with the Instant Pot instructions tonight. Not recommended. The cauliflower was overcooked, the sauce was too watery. Next time I will try the recipe as written.

  76. Bethany Bolthouse says

    I made this for dinner last night and it was SO delicious! I was shocked by how flavorful it was. I made it with a fried quinoa recipe (which was delicious), because I was worried about it not having enough flavor on it’s own, but next time I will just eat it with plain brown rice because it is so full of flavor and does not need anything else. I’ll definitely be making this again!

  77. Yvette says

    I tried this in the instant pot with the one suggestion there, but it didn’t turn out. It tasted fine, but it was mush. I figured it might be, but just putting it out there!

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hmmm yeah I’ve made this a bunch of times and it should be thick and sticky. What thickener and sweetener did you use? How long did you cook it?

  78. Rhonda says

    I made this in my instant pot, and found that the sauce didn’t thicken. I may strain the sauce and reduce it. The flavor was fantastic, and the cauliflower was cooked tender in 5 minutes. I’ll definitely try this one again.

  79. Beth says

    I did the instant pot version and not a fan! If was over cooked and the sauce was watery. Do not recommend this way of cooking it!

  80. Sharon Fernandez says

    I just tried this in 2018 and it was very good. I used Bragg Liquid Aminos All Purpose seasoning, a natural soy substitute. It was a bit saltier than I normally like, so next time I’ll cut it with some water. But I loved the recipe. I also made the sour cream from the remaining cauliflower. I liked it, too. Thanks for great recipes, I am a great fan of yours!!!

  81. Brooke says

    Fabulous recipe. I used a large head of cauli since that is what I had, and I would have doubled the sauce in hindsight. That really is just because the sauce is so good – as Katie says – its all about the sauce! I think this would be delish with red lentils added in!

  82. anne says

    Kind of cheated on this recipe. I used the sauce to put on the batter covered cauliflower recipe on this website. I just spooned it over the cooked cauliflower and sprinkled it with the sesame seeds. It was wonderful! Sorry not to have tried it with the roasted cauliflower but it just looked too much like sesame chicken in the picture and I have been craving fried foods! I did double the batch for the sauce and have some leftover for dipping things! Thanks for a wonderful sauce, I absolutely love it!!

  83. Tony says

    I tried it and I can confirm Instant Pot version DOES NOT work. Cauliflower came out mushy and overcooked, sauce was watery and not thick. I do NOT recommend this method at all.

  84. Sharon says

    I LOVE her recipes, and make lots of them…..but I made this, great first nite, but it turns to a watery syrup next day.

  85. Nancy says

    Made this tonight and it was a hit with both the kids and the hubby! I used 1/2 cup of coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce. My sauce thickened well. I also broiled for two minutes after adding the sauce. Delight! Thanks for sharing!

  86. Cathy says

    I’m eating a bowl of this right now and YUM! This will definitely be a regular dish in my rotation from now on! I think even my super picky husband is going to be a fan. I didn’t have low sodium soy sauce and it’s a little salty, but I’ll go out and get low sodium sauce before I make it again. 🙂

  87. Heidi says

    Thin sauce really nails it! I used the lo-sodium tamari, honey and arrowroot options. Very easy and deliscious. I look forward to trying it with tofu.

  88. Robin says

    Not bad. We were looking for a way that we could enjoy cauliflower but since neither of us are actually a fan of it, we couldn’t expect miracles. It was fun to try something new regardless of the fact that for us, this recipe didn’t make the cut.

  89. Lauren says

    I don’t like cauliflower at all but this was delicious! Couldn’t even tell it was cauliflower! And I didn’t have any rice vinegar and used apple cider vinegar instead and it still came out really good!

  90. Bri says

    Grateful I found this recipe, delicious. I just wish the directions were labelled step by step rather than a whole paragraph.

  91. Karin says

    Here I am at midnight (insomnia) getting sucked in to all the recipes. I was actually looking for the chocolate frosting shots recipe (found it!) for tomorrow’s Christmas spread and got totally sucked in. I have made this insanely yummy cauliflower before and now I’m craving it like crazy! I’m so sad my menu is set. I will have to wait a day… Snack maybe??

  92. Lorie Ann says

    Yummy recipe, but it needs twice as much sauce to cover the cauliflower the way it does in the images! (I suggest doubling the sauce recipe or significantly cutting down the cauliflower florets to make it seem more like sesame chicken for picky eaters)

  93. Karin says

    I have made this recipe three times, it’s amazing! I’ve doubled the recipe and there still is never enough. My family loves it! Thank you for posting it!

  94. Schel says

    I can’t see all the comments but, if someone hasn’t said already, worcheshire says is not vegan or vegetarian. It is made quite literally from anchovies. Just FYI. I didn’t know after years of being vegetarian.

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hi, there are many brands that are indeed vegan, at least in the US. Google it to find a brand hopefully available near you. -Jason

  95. Lori says

    I have made this recipe multiple times – I often add tofu to the sheet pan to roast along with the cauliflower, or use another vegetable altogether. The sauce is fast and delicious. Thanks!

  96. TK says

    I used coc amino’s instead of soy sauce (soy is GMO)
    I used lemon juice instead of vinegar (vinegar + salt = hard on the liver)
    I used arrowroot instead of corn starch
    And roasted my cauli fat free
    It’s AWESOME!

  97. Jemma says

    Ummmmm i cant find the recipe??? There is only a photo of it on my screen and i have tried clicking on everything and there is no recipe????? i am a but hopeless with computers though so it could just be me. Please help me!!!!!!!!

    • Chris says

      I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM!!!! I just closed the page and then re-opened it and the rest of the page came up!
      This looks so delicious!! I cant wait to make it!!

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hi that’s so strange, the recipe shows up for me! Maybe it was a temporary glitch? Is it still not showing up for you?
      Jason

  98. Christin says

    Yum! We’ve made your recipes 2 nights in a row and we’re hooked! Just signed up for your email list. Thanks so much for the delicious, healthy recipes!

  99. Annalyn says

    Tried this for the first time today. YUM!!! It is also the first savory dish of yours I have tried, but I can see I will be making more in the future! My husband and I don’t like very much sauce on our foods (or dressings on our salad) so I made the full amount for the sauce and saved some for a second dish. Time-saver right there!

  100. Sara says

    Ho. Ly. Crap. This was DELICIOUS!! The sauce is pretty strong, so I definitely recommend eating this with some rice! I also steamed some broccoli and mixed that in cuz it was jealous the cauliflower had sauce… Lol! I also had some pickled radish with it, because yum! Thanks for a great first repetition with cauliflower!

  101. Mkmar says

    This is ridiculously good. I subbed coconut nectar instead of maple syrup. Coconut vinegar instead of rice. Coconut aminos instead of soy and added a little salt. Did it with arrowroot. SO SO SO GOOD.

  102. Amy Belowch says

    My entire family, husband and two boys (8 and 12), loved this dish! Thank you SO much for such a delicious vegan alternative to take-out!

  103. Savanna says

    My husband absolutely hates sesame chicken and is not a fan of Chinese food. He equally hates this recipe.

    *I* in the other hand- absolutely love it. It was easy to make. I followed the recipe to the “T”, other than using frozen cauliflower rather than fresh.

    This was absolutely delicious, and I really enjoyed it. Will be making again for sure 🙂

  104. Sarah says

    Can someone tell me more about the Instant Pot adaptation? Do you change any of the liquid amounts? How long in the pressure (assuming just on manual, high pressure setting). TIA!

  105. Aarthi P Chandarana says

    This was amazing! I cut the soy to 1/4 cup… figured I would add it as needed. My family (including kids) lovvved it!!!

  106. Jennifer says

    Made this today i thought it was great as did the rest of the family. I used Braggs liquid aminos, honey and arrowroot powder. I had no issues with sauce thickening nor did I have mushy cauliflower. Mine looked like the pic except more brown in color. I did toast the sesame seeds and served over quinoa. I did not put it in the oven after saucing like some did as i did see anywhere in the recipe to do that. I put the cauliflower in a big bowl and poured the sauce over and mixed it up so it was completely coated the put on a serving platter and sprinkled with scallions and seeds.

  107. Abigail says

    I cooked this in my Ninja Foodi. I air crisped the cauliflower first and then did the sauce on the sear/saute setting. It worked great!

  108. Lynette says

    Be sure not to crowd the cauliflower it will steam instead of roast leaving it mushy. I used two pans and finished under broiler. The sauce was thick using cornstarch even after adding the juice and zest of one orange, simmering and stirring until thick. Yummy with cashews and hot pepper flakes!

  109. Terri says

    For all of you in search of a great soy free/gluten free alternative sauce…the best I have found is Ocean’s Halo No Soy Soy-Free Sauce. It’s organic and there is a low sodium and regular version. I have found it at Meijer (in MI and OH) & Whole Foods. I’ve tried coconut liquid aminos and to me it just doesn’t have the flavor profile of soy sauce. The Ocean’s Halo versions taste very similar to soy sauce, it’s kelp based. Amazon sells it too, but I think it’s a bit overpriced on their site.
    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ve spent over an hour pinning so many recipes from your site, thank you!
    Here’s a link for the soy sauce alternative.
    https://oceanshalo.com/products/seaweed-sauces/

  110. Michelle says

    Made this and doubled sauce . Should have cut soy sauce in half ( too salty) . I added sugar snap peas and mushrooms along with the cauliflower. Served over fried rice .

  111. Suzanne says

    Followed the recipe exactly and it tastes pretty good but salty. I should have used low sodium soy sauce hubby likes it too! Mine came out quite dark and didn’t have the sesame seeds.will make again add a few things and serve with rice.

  112. Brittney says

    I noticed you mentioned substitute for soy sauce. I always use Braggs liquid aminos instead of soy sauce. Not sure if it’s vegan.

    • Jason Sanford says

      It is indeed vegan! I don’t think it’s as salty as soy sauce, but it might still be good here if you just added some salt to make up for it. Be sure to report back if you try!
      Jason

  113. Darla J Ruark says

    I just found this recipe tonight and tried it with cauliflower…ate a couple of bites and thought peas would be good in it too , and they are…then i ate some more…and i really tried to keep it meatless, but shrimp are delicious in this recipe too- are shrimp really meat? REALLY???? Anyway, its a winner!! Two YUMS up!

  114. Dorothy Wyatt says

    So yummy!!! I will probably reduce the soy sauce a little next time but that was just like Panda’s old recipe!!

  115. Ebony says

    It was delicious! My cauliflower wasn’t sticky however. I cooked the sauce dish and it was very sticky until I poured it over the cauliflower, it liquified and was runny. I coated the cauliflower but it was more of a sauce, didn’t really stick to the cauliflower. Not sure what I did wrong. Delicious nonetheless!

  116. Sabrina says

    I must have done something wrong with this, it didn’t come out sticky at all and the color was all wrong, way too dark. Did I not heat it long enough maybe? It’s like the cornstarch didn’t work or something.

  117. Denise Johnson says

    Great recipe! Doubled the sauce and also added sauteed white onion cut in quarters and sliced green pepper. Give this recipe a try! My vegans & non-vegans loved it.

  118. Fatima says

    It was a hit! You’re right, the sauce is the addictive part! Living with my vegetarian partner and cooking for us both has been a shift for me, but we both liked this recipe. Thanks!

  119. Shelly Johnson says

    Hello!
    I love the taste of this cauliflower dish, however, mine looks anemic in comparison to the photo. Does the dish go back in the oven after the sauce is poured on top?
    Thanks! It does taste delicious!

    • Jason Sanford says

      I think maybe it depends on the specific ingredients used, as I’ve seen so many different final results from the photos readers have posted of this dish on Katie’s pinterest pin. Some are dark, and some are light. What type of soy sauce do you use?

  120. shapelessjourneys says

    I had the perfect amount of sauce for the cauliflower! I only had regular soy sauce so used less and added more water. I also used regular brown sugar because I did not have maple syrup in the house.

    Loved it, especially with the green onions! Enjoyed it most fresh out of the oven, left overs were mehh because of the sauce that became a bit jelly like.

  121. Shelby says

    I made this and it was ok. Sauce was runny and dark, way too salty and didn’t stick to the cauliflower. Seems as though everyone’s comments are the same.

  122. Rhonda Turley says

    I just made this in my instant pot, and I loved it! I threw the cauliflower florets in the instant pot, whisked the sauce ingredients until the cornstarch was dissolved, poured the liquid over the cauliflower, sealed, and then cooked 4 minutes on high pressure. After cooking, did a 5 minute natural release, then a quick release Until the pressure was gone. Took the lid off, set to sauté and stirred occasionally while it simmered 4 minutes to thicken. The cauliflower was cooked perfectly. The sauce was sweet and delicious.

  123. Janice Olano says

    This is a great recipe with rice. I used low sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, fresh garlic, sesame oil, fresh grated ginger, honey, cornstarch, water, chives, and toasted the sesame seeds. Very EZ too!
    I’ll make this again! Thanks for sharing.

  124. Gamma J says

    This is a great recipe! I ended up leaving the cauliflower in the oven after flipping for 18 minutes and it was perfect. Also I only had date nectar for sweetener, but again it worked perfectly.
    Thank you!

  125. Jessica says

    Absolutely delicious! Perfect amount of everything, even though it seemed as though there wouldn’t be enough sauce. I roasted my cauliflower longer than recommended – probably to a total of 35 minutes, because I like it more crispy and carmelized. I also tossed the cauliflower in the sauté pan instead of pouring it over the cauliflower. Served with brown rice and side of asparagus, delicious! I like the idea of adding onion and snap peas.

  126. Douglas says

    Wow!
    I made this and it was sooo goooodddd!!!!!!!. Had no powedered ginger so I grated in a smallish nob. Added extra garlick, because, well, I like garlick.
    I think I am going to get an air-fryer and use that for the cauliflower next time too. And maybe experiment with some molasses.
    Dedibitly one that will be made again but I am also going to vary the sauce, maybe have three for our different sauces so when lated it adds a touch of complexity and nuance.

  127. Macy says

    I subbed apple cider vinegar for rice vinegar so it came out a bit funky, but that’s my own fault! I doubled the sauce recipe and used it on tofu and veggies throughout the week. It had the consistency of jello in the fridge but then microwaved into a nice glaze. I’m looking forward to making it with rice vinegar!

  128. Yana a says

    I used apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar. Also added double the amount of ginger powder and also added chilli flakes for a kick. Worked really well. Although I would cut back on the soy sauce next time

  129. Elizabeth Connor says

    Thank you! I keep coming back to this recipe because my family loves it. The only problem is, there isn’t enough. Last night, I decided to add cubed tofu to the steamer basket of my rice cooker. Combined with the rice and sticky cauliflower, this was a filling meal and everybody (5 adults) was satisfied. There was plenty of sauce to cover everything.

  130. Wendy says

    I doubled the recipe, arrowroot version, added 1/4c sake, grated ginger and fried tofu. Served on rice. I recommend the honey version for the best sweet flavour

  131. L says

    I’m apparently in the minority here but it wasn’t very good. WAAY too much soy sauce. You pretty much couldn’t taste anything else. Such a shame too, because I’d used some wonderful honey from my beehives in the recipe. It was *barely* tolerable when I added more veggies (to try and balance it) and rice. I really wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t. I rarely throw food out, I hate waste, but this will only get moldy in the fridge, so I’ll save myself the dish.

    If you do make this, start with half the amount called for and add more to taste.

    The instructions for roasting the cauliflower were excellent, very nice texture.

  132. Darcy says

    This was super easy. Very delicious. Loved the clean ingredients. If too thin just add a touch more of tapioca flour…..I am so excited to keep making this. A huge hit with my entire family!

  133. Krystle says

    The sauce for this was so good! I fried the cauliflower in coconut oil on the stove top after I mixed it in cornstarch since I didn’t want to turn on the stove and heat up the kitchen. Thanks for the recipe!

  134. Renee says

    This was delicious. Great recipe!! I didn’t have sesame oil so I used olive oil instead. I also added some cayenne pepper and a packet of stevia to the sauce to give it some heat (hubby loves spicy food). I also added peanut halves and chopped bell pepper to the cauliflower during the broil portion (for texture). Took it from sweet and savory to a bit more like a Kung Pao.

  135. Angela says

    My sauce looked beautiful until I added the slurry to it then it became a dough ball that refused to cover the cauliflower!

  136. Katherine says

    I added juice from an orange to cut the intensity of the vinegar flavor, as well as a half cup of cashews to give it more substance. A great weeknight option!

  137. Holly says

    This recipe was great! I roasted chickpeas with the cauliflower and will probably add broccoli and serve over noodles for next time. My husband liked it too!

  138. Shauna says

    Hello! I am so excited to try this recipe! If I want to make it tonight and don’t have rice vinegar on hand, is there a suitable substitution? Thank you so much!

  139. kellyannabee says

    Waaaay too sweet for me. I will make it again and cut back on the sweeter (I used honey). I added some crushed red pepper and served over rice. Next time I will add peas to round it out as a main course meal.

  140. Alyssa Hamilton says

    I’ve made this recipe three times this week! So delicious!!!! I also added some broccoli as well. It’s an amazing recipe!

  141. Deb says

    Loved it! And such an easy recipe! I must have had a small head of cauliflower as I had way too much sauce, but will use the leftover sauce to dip my tofu in, serve or rice or pour over any combination of other vegetables.

  142. Antoinette says

    Very tasty it was a little more sweet than I wanted it but overall definitely making it on the rotation. I used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

  143. JayVee says

    Wow – this is delicious!! Made exactly as instructed and I will continue to make it this way. Yum!!

  144. Anita says

    I am an omnivore, but that doesn’t stop me from having meatless meals that are yummy. This looks delicious. Regarding meat substitutes, if you have them, fine, just know that they are highly processed factory made food products. If you prefer to eat real, whole foods avoid them.

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