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Kung Pao Cauliflower is vegan, gluten-free, and an easy weeknight meal

Kung Pao Cauliflower (Vegan)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 11 reviews
  • Author: Tiffany
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This vegan Kung Pao Cauliflower is a quick and easy weeknight meal! A spicy, savory homemade sauce comes together in just minutes and makes a world of difference in this dish. This recipe is from my cookbook The Modern Cast Iron Cookbook.



For the cauliflower

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the sauce

  • ⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup vegetable stock
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch


  1. Heat a 12” cast iron skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil and the cauliflower florets. Arrange the cauliflower in one even layer and try not to overcrowd the pan. You can do this in two batches, if needed.
  2. Cook the cauliflower, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp-tender. Season with sea salt and pepper. Remove the cauliflower and set aside.
  3. Add the other tablespoon of oil and cook the bell peppers and shallot in the hot skillet until crisp-tender. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Make the sauce while the vegetables are cooking by combining the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sambal oelek, sesame oil, brown sugar, Sichuan pepper, and fresh ginger. Stir together the vegetable stock with the cornstarch until dissolved and add to the sauce. Whisk until incorporated.
  5. Pour the sauce into the pan with the peppers and let simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir the cauliflower into the pan and toss everything to evenly coat with the sauce.
  6. Serve over steamed white rice with chopped scallions and peanuts on top.


  • Serving Size: 1 serving, without rice
  • Calories: 250
  • Sugar: 13g
  • Sodium: 1432mg
  • Fat: 15.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 25.1g
  • Fiber: 5.2g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg