Korean-Style Popcorn Cauliflower


8 servings


½ cup gochujang
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cool water


Oil, as needed for frying
2 eggs
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
Sesame seeds, for finishing
Minced chives, for finishing


  • MAKE THE SAUCE: In a medium pot, stir together the gochujang, soy sauce, honey and water. Heat the sauce over low heat until it barely simmers. Keep warm.
  • MAKE THE CAULIFLOWER NUGGETS: Pour 2 to 3 inches of oil into a large sauté pan. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers on the surface and reads about 350°F on a thermometer. (Or you can test the oil with a piece of cauliflower: If it bubbles and stays at the surface after you drop it in the oil, then you’re good to go.)
  • Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. Whisk the eggs in a large, shallow bowl.
  • In another large, shallow bowl, whisk the flour with the salt, black pepper and cayenne.
  • Working with a few pieces at a time, dip the cauliflower florets into the egg until they are well coated. Then dip them into the flour mixture and toss well to coat. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
  • Working in batches, fry the cauliflower until the pieces are evenly golden brown, 6 to 9 minutes. Remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon and drain on the prepared paper-towel-lined baking sheet.
  • In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the sauce and toss until well coated. Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and chives.


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