Munchy, crunchy and gluten-free, this recipe puts a plant-based spin on tempura. The batter loses the egg, and bean flour replaces regular flour (no gluten, extra protein). Cauliflower crisps in the oven, not the fryer—way less oil, and no mess.
Enjoy as is—it’s like popcorn—or serve with your favorite vegan sauce, like salsa, guac, buffalo sauce or cheeze, for dunking.
Note: You can make this recipe with other sturdy vegetables, such as carrots, peppers, onions and Brussels sprouts. You can also make it with firm tofu. It just might make a tofu believer out of you.
- 1 nice head of cauliflower, cut or broken into florets, tough core discarded*
- 2/3 cup chickpea or fava bean flour
- 1/3 cup corn starch
- 3/4 cup water
- pinch sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, curry powder, cumin or other desired spice
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or grape seed oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and give it a light lick of oil.
In a large bowl, mix together the chickpea or fava flour, corn starch, and water. Whisk together until smooth and thick, like pancake batter. Season with sea salt and optional spices.
Add the cauliflower pieces. It’ll seem like a lot of cauliflower and not enough batter. Don’t panic. Gently give everything a stir, so the cauliflower is coated.
Place battered cauli on the baking sheet, trying not to crowd. Brush or drizzle on the oil.
Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or so, flipping halfway through, so both sides crisp. Allow to cool slightly, then enjoy as is or with your favorite dipping sauce!
*use to make broth or compost
Ellen Kanner is the award-winning author of “Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith and What to Eat for Dinner” (VegNews’ Book of the Year, PETA’s debut Book of the Month Club pick), the e-book, “Beans: A Handful of Magic,” and is contributor to outlets including Huffington Post, VegNews, Civil Eats and EatingWell.
She develops recipes for major brands including California Walnuts, Soom, and Rancho Gordo. Ellen has been featured in outlets including MindBody Green, Psychology Today, the Miami Herald and Veganuary, and presents on: veganism, mindful eating, food and sustainability and kitchen literacy.