Sweet and Sour Cauliflower 4.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Jan 22, 2018

This Asian-inspired treatment gives a punchy flavor to a combination of cauliflower and chickpeas.

To read the accompanying story, see: For the perfect sweet-and-sour sauce, make your own.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (may substitute tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (granulated garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup cornstarch (may substitute arrowroot starch)
  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets (core and stem removed)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • One 15-ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Cooked rice, for serving (optional)
  • 4 small red radishes, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk together the sugar, vinegar, aminos, garlic powder, onion powder, ketchup and 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch in a medium bowl until smooth, making sure the sugar is fully dissolved. Taste, and adjust the sweet/sour balance as desired by adding more sugar or vinegar, 1 teaspoon at a time.

Toss the cauliflower florets with the oil in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the remaining cornstarch and toss until thoroughly coated. Transfer the cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet; roast (middle rack) until the cauliflower starts to lightly brown on the edges, 15 minutes. Use a spatula to turn and toss the cauliflower, then add the chickpeas. Roast for 5 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and chickpeas and stir to coat; return to the oven and roast until the sauce thickens and bubbles, 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve hot, over rice, if desired. Garnish with radishes, scallions and sesame seeds.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Power Vegan Meals: High-Protein Plant-Based Recipes for a Stronger, Healthier You," by Maya Sozer (Page Street Publishing, 2017).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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