Mock General Tso Cauliflower

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I used to get General Tso’s Chicken all the time at Asian restaurants. Have you ever had it? It’s that spicy, sweet, kinda orangey flavored breaded chicken. It’s really good, but loaded with sodium, fat and other ingredients. The other night, The Kid wanted some kind of Asian food but I didn’t have any of the makings for it but the rice.

That doesn’t bode well for Asian night if all you have is rice. Not to be discouraged, I tried to come up with a back up plan and slapped on my creative chef’s hat. Asian means hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil… Well hoisin sauce is an Asian flavored barbecue sauce. I had barbecue sauce and Five Spice powder. Boom!

I modified the recipe for Barbecue Cauliflower Bites and gave it an Asian flair. I’m calling it “mock” since it’s not the real thing and is just something I crafted that has similar flavors. General Tso would probably cry if he knew I used barbecue sauce as the base of my recipe, LOL. Oh well. it worked and it was fast. That’s what counts. 😉

Mock General Tso Cauliflower General Tso's Cauliflower

  • 1 cup (172g) uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower (3-4 cups, ~400g)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp (96g) barbecue sauce
  • 1 Tbsp (10g) cornstarch
  • 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 4 tsps sesame oil
  • 1 big pinch of crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 4 green onions, white and green parts chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, optional for garnish

Cook the rice according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with foil. Cut the cauliflower into bite sized florets, and spread the bits out evenly on the cookie sheet. Roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until they begin to brown on the edges.

While the cauliflower is roasting, mix the barbecue sauce, cornstarch, and five spice in a small bowl. After 20 minutes, remove the cauliflower from the oven and toss with the barbecue sauce mixture until coated. Spread them back out on the sheet and bake for another 10 minutes until the sauce has mostly dried. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

Toss the cauliflower with the sesame oil and crushed red pepper. Divide the cooked rice into bowls and top with the cauliflower. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

Makes 4 servings at approximately 300 calories each – 7g protein, 50g carbs, and 8g fat.

Like the Barbecue Cauliflower Bites, it’s a great way to hide the veggies from your kids. It’s also much easier than breading and frying chicken pieces. You can toss in grilled chicken if you like or even stir fry chicken breast to mix in to the dish and make it an entree. Now you know the secret that General Tso wanted to keep quiet. OK, not really, but I can pretend. 😉

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