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Vegan Baked Thai Chili Cauliflower Bites

Vegan Baked Thai Chili Cauliflower Bites

The combination of sweet and heat make these bites a hit in our book.

Serves: 4
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These cauliflower wings from the Epic Vegan: Quick & Easy cookbook are a bit healthier thanks to being baked instead of fried. For an even crispier edition, try tossing in an air fryer until golden brown.

What you need:

For the peanut sauce:
¾ cup canned coconut milk (shaken in can before measured)
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Juice of ½ lime
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
½ teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt

For the cauliflower:
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon ginger powder
½ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup yellow stone-ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, plus more for sprinkling
4 cups cauliflower, cut into small bite-size florets
Cooking spray
2 scallions, thinly sliced

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. For the peanut sauce, into a blender, add all ingredients. Blend until smooth.
  3. For the cauliflower, in a large bowl, combine sugar, chili garlic sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil, soy sauce, and ginger. Whisk until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine panko, cornmeal, and sesame seeds. Mix until well combined. 
  4. Into a large bowl, add sauce, cauliflower, and toss until combined and cauliflower is thoroughly coated. Add one-third of dry bread crumb mixture and toss to combine. Add half remaining crumbs and toss again to combine. Add remaining crumbs and toss until cauliflower is evenly coated. 
  5. Spray prepared sheet pan with cooking spray, transfer coated cauliflower bites to tray, and spray bites lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes, flip cauliflower, and bake for 15 more minutes, until just brown and crisp. 
  6. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve with peanut sauce.

Photo credit: Dustin Harder

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