One of my very first recipes on this website was my Korean Fried Cauliflower. Since it was so dang irresistible, I thought I’d make a version that I could eat more frequently, that’s a touch healthier. This vegan Air Fried Korean Chili Cauliflower is just as spicy, sweet and to die for as the fried version. The only caveat is that it’s less oily (and thus less heavy) but just as comforting.
While some of the beginning steps to this recipe are similar to the fried version, you could argue that this air fried version is easier. Since there’s no frying involved, most of the cook-time is passive. All you need to do is throw the basket into the air fryer, and presto! 20 minutes later, your cauliflower is ready to eat.
Don’t have an air fryer?
No air-fryer? No problem! I’ve included baking instructions in the recipe card below for you. Everyone should be able to enjoy this delicious cauliflower side dish.
The batter for this cauliflower is actually completely gluten-free! Which is amazing!! This batter uses rice flour instead of all-purpose flour because it’s lighter and leads to a less dense coating around the cauliflowers. It’s actually very similar to a tempura batter.
Tips for Air Frying
Here are a few important tips for air frying these cauliflower wings:
- Make sure to preheat your air fryer.
- Line your air fryer basket with parchment paper specifically designed for air fryers. The parchment paper I use has holes in it which allows the air to circulate around all the sides of the cauliflower.
- I also recommend spraying cooking oil on both sides of the cauliflower to make sure every part of it is coated in at least a tiny bit of oil.
- Flip the cauliflower halfway through the cooking time.
The Korean Chili Sauce
These cauliflowers have a mouthwatering, sticky exterior! This sauce’s main ingredient is gochujang, or Korean Chili Paste. I use one by the brand Chung Jung One which is labeled as vegan, which is amazing.
It’s a thick, sweet, spicy, tangy paste with an irreplaceable flavor. I picked up a bottle of gochujang from my local big-box grocery store. It was really easy to find. If you’ve never tried gochujang, I highly highly recommend doing so.
I also have a super simple 5 ingredient Korean Chili Sauce, if you want a flavorful sauce that uses fewer ingredients.
Serving the Korean Chili Cauliflower
Once done air frying, in a heated wok, I tossed these batter-coated florets with the sauce and some sesame oil. This extra step helps the sugars from the sauce caramelize and adds another level of tenderness.
This vegan air-fried Korean chili cauliflower is best served with some white rice and topped with avocado, sesame seeds, or some green onion! It would make an amazing main dish or a finger-licking-good appetizer/side dish!
For a more decadent take on this recipe, try out the fried version!
If your looking for more easy dinners, check out these vegan recipes!SESAME ‘BEEF’ UDON NOODLES
Yellow Tofu Sushi Bowl
Hoisin Tofu Bao
- 2 Heads of Cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 tsp Sesame oil
- Green onion (for serving)
- Sesame seeds (for serving)
- Lime (for serving)
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (or rice flour)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 3/4 cups seltzer water extra cold
- 1/2 cup maple syrup, or agave
- 6 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp minced garlic, 2-3 cloves
- 2 tbsp minced ginger
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 tsp sesame oil
- 5 tbsp Korean chili paste, gochujang
- 4 tbsp mirin
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F (or your oven to 425 Fahrenheit if baking).
- Line the air fryer pan with parchment paper. If baking, put a cooling rack on the baking sheet. Place parchment onto the cooling rack. This will help the cauliflower get a crispier exterior while baking.
- In a large bowl, combine the gluten-free flour blend, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir in the cold seltzer water until just combined. It should be the consistency of a thick pancake batter.
- Coat the cauliflower evenly in tempura batter and place on the rack / baking sheet.
- Air fry for 17 minutes (flipping halfway). Bake for 20 minutes (flipping halfway).
- While the cauliflower cooks, make the sauce by combining all the chili sauce ingredients into a blender. Blend on high until smooth (about 1 minute). Set aside.
- Heat up a saucepan or wok with the 2 tsps of sesame oil.
- Toss the baked cauliflower with the Korean Chili Sauce in the pan. Stir fry for about 3 minutes until evenly coated and the sauce has thickened.
- Serve with green onion, lime, sesame seeds, and rice.
Make sure to use parchment paper designed for air fryers. I like to use this parchment paper because it is precut with holes for better air circulation.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 510Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gFiber: 3gProtein: 10g
Nutritional info is an estimate.
DISCLAIMER: Links included in this post might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my blog so I can continue to provide you with free content each week!