Cauliflower buffalo bites have swept the nation! Vegan restaurants and non-vegan restaurants alike serve them, and they are popular among patrons far and wide. These are are extra epic because of the “everything coating,” but you should feel free to epic them up yourself—maybe by tossing them in the Sweet Thai Chili Sauce.
Everything Buffalo Cauliflower Bites [Vegan]
For Buffalo Sauce:
- 1 cup hot sauce
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/4 cup packed organic dark brown sugar
For Everything Coating:
- 1 tablespoon dried minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons Maldon or coarse sea salt
For Cauliflower Bites:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal or polenta
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups seltzer water
- Canola oil or cooking spray
- 1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets
- 2 scallions, roughly chopped
To Make the Buffalo Sauce:
- In a small saucepan, combine the hot sauce, butter, and brown sugar.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
To Make the Everything Seasonings:
- In a small bowl, combine the garlic, onion, sesame seeds, and salt. Set aside.
For the Buffalo Cauliflower:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Slowly add the seltzer water, whisking until well combined and a thick batter has formed.
- In a wok or large saucepan, pour 3 inches of canola oil. Heat the oil to 350°F when tested with a candy thermometer or a drop of batter fries quickly and bubbles up to the top. Line a plate with paper towels.
- Working in batches, transfer half of the cauliflower florets into the batter; mix around until all the florets are fully coated. Using tongs, pick up a piece of cauliflower, allowing excess batter to drip off, and carefully transfer into the frying oil; repeat with the remaining battered pieces.
- Fry in small batches for 4 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower to the paper towel–lined plate. Repeat until all of the cauliflower is fried.
- In a large bowl, toss 1/4 of the fried cauliflower bites with 1/4 of the buffalo sauce and 2 teaspoons of the “everything” mixture (you get a more even coating if you do it in batches). Transfer the bites to a serving tray and repeat for the remaining bites. Sprinkle the plated cauliflower with any remaining everything coating and the scallions, if using.
- Serve with Blue Cheese Dressing on the side, for dipping.