This chili crisp cauliflower is a healthy and delicious Asian-inspired appetizer or side dish brimming with lots of umami flavor. Cauliflower florets are tossed in a chili crisp-infused marinade, roasted off until slightly charred, then finished with an extra drizzle of chili crisp, peanuts, and micro cilantro!
A Zippy Cauliflower Appetizer Flavored with Chili Crisp
Friends, I've fallen head over heels in love with chili crisp, the delectably savory, umami-filled condiment.
If you've never tried chili crisp, or have never heard of it before, it's an aromatic, savory and ultra-flavorful condiment of Chinese origin made with flakes or pieces of dried chilis packed in oil. It also includes specks of crispy-fried garlic, shallots, onions and ginger, plus a few other bells and whistles, and it's these fried bits that give it that crisp, slightly crunchy texture.
I love to drizzle chili crisp over chicken potstickers (my homemade chicken potstickers are fantastic), over top of my beef stir fry or spicy pork with noodles, or over sauteed super greens or bok chow—pretty much anything that can benefit from a bit of an aromatic and mildly spicy kick!
And because of my love of chili crisp, those little recipe-developing “gears” in my head got to turnin’, thinking about anything else that may become extra mouthwatering from a kiss of this condiment, and cauliflower came to mind...
I love cauliflower, especially roasted cauliflower tossed together with other yummy morsels (you can check out my roasted cauliflower with a Middle Eastern twist), and thought it'd be quite fun to create a super flavorful and interesting appetizer using chili crisp, plus a few other ingredients to tie things together in a very simple way.
Enter my chili crisp cauliflower recipe, the perfect quick and easy veggie appetizer or side with that delectable chili crisp flavor!
My Chili Crisp Cauliflower Recipe
For my chili crisp cauliflower recipe here, I'm opting for pre-cut cauliflower florets to keep things simple, and am dressing them in a simple marinade infused with some of that mouthwatering chili crisp oil.
For this I use a little soy sauce, a touch of honey, a bit of garlic and ginger, and a splash of sesame oil. It's a little savory and little sweet, and gives the cauliflower florets a touch of added flavor.
Roasting the cauliflower is the way to go here, and since I like a bit of char on the outside of the florets (char equals flavor), I crank up the oven to 450° and then roast off the seasoned florets for roughly 20 minutes, until they have some color on them.
While the cauliflower is still warm, I arrange the florets on a large plate or in a bowl, drizzle over extra chili crisp, and sprinkle over some peanuts (though cashews would be great as well) and some micro cilantro (or regular cilantro leaves or sliced green onion), and call it a day—easy-peasy, and oh-so tasty!
Here's a glance at my chili crisp cauliflower recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I toss my cauliflower florets with a soy-based marinade infused with chili crisp.
- Next, I arrange them on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast at 450° until tender and charred.
- Once roasted, I arrange the florets on a large plate or shallow bowl, and drizzle the florets with more chili crisp, plus sprinkle over some roasted peanuts for crunch and some micro cilantro for fresh flavor, and serve!
Chili Crisp Cauliflower
by Ingrid Beer
This delicious chili crisp cauliflower is roasted and then drizzled with even more chili crisp, then topped with peanuts and micro cilantro!
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 131 calories per serving
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons peanut oil (or neutral oil)
- 1 teaspoon chili crisp, plus more for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- 3 (10 ounce) bags cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts or cashews, for garnish
- Micro cilantro, regular cilantro leaves, or sliced green onion, for garnish
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Preheat your oven to 450°, and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Prepare your marinade by whisking together in a small bowl the soy sauce, honey, 2 teaspoons of chili crisp, the sesame oil, granulated onion, pressed garlic and grated ginger.
- Place the cauliflower florets into a large bowl, drizzle the marinade over them and toss to coat well. Place the florets onto the prepared baking sheet and roast the cauliflower for 18 minutes, turning the florets half-way through roasting.
- Then, set your oven's “broil” setting to high, and char the florets for about 3 to 4 minutes, keeping your eye on them. Once roasted, remove the cauliflower florets, and sprinkle with a little bit of salt (they will need some).
- Arrange the cauliflower on a large plate or shallow bowl, and drizzle over them 2 to 3 extra teaspoons (or more, if you'd like!) of chili crisp, then sprinkle over the peanuts and the micro greens, or cilantro and sliced green onion, and serve while hot, or even warm or room temp.
Tips & Tidbits for my Chili Crisp Cauliflower recipe:
- Where to find chili crisp: Typically, you can find chili crisp in the section of the market where Asian sauces/marinades are kept, as well as other condiments. I love the chili crisp from Trader Joe's (called “chili onion crunch”), and this is my favorite. But you can also purchase this condiment online if you can't find chili crisp at your local market.
- Pre-cut cauliflower florets for convenience: I like to use organic, pre-cut cauliflower florets to save time and keep things cleaner. I typically buy 3 (10 ounce) bags, which makes a nice size batch.
- Roast at a high temp: To create a little color and char (added flavor) on the cauliflower, I like to roast the florets at 450° for roughly 20 minutes. If you'd like more char, you can even switch your oven setting to “broil” for a few minutes at the end, just keep your eye on the florets.
- Top with peanuts, or your favorite nut: I love the flavor of roasted peanuts as a crunchy, tasty topper, but roasted cashews or almonds would work well here too.
Craving more cozy and delicious cauliflower recipes? Check out this Cauliflower Casserole, this Roasted Cauliflower, this Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, this Cauliflower Cheese Soup, this Fried Cauliflower, of this Cauliflower Steak with Harissa Chickpeas!