I’m not sure what came first – my obsession with cauliflower or with the flavors in these ROASTED SWEET CHILI CAULIFLOWER BITES.
During my three-month absence I ate out at restaurants a lot. It was the easiest solution for not wanting to cook but it was also how co-workers and friends and I would share our stories and help each other through the rough time. A lot of cocktails were also involved…along with some really good (bad for me) food.
One obsession became an appetizer that not one but TWO restaurant chains offered. JOEY Restaurants calls them Korean Fried Cauliflower, The Pickle Barrel calls theirs Thai Fried Cauliflower. You Say ‘Tomato’, I say ‘Tomato’…they are essentially the same thing and we became OBSESSED with them.
One night over some cocktails and said Korean Fried Cauliflower, my friend and I were gushing over how delicious the tiny morsels were. Then the challenge arose…how could this be recreated at home WITHOUT frying. Enter ROASTED SWEET CHILI CAULIFLOWER BITES!
The sweet chili sauce is such an addictive flavor and pairs so well with cauliflower. The sauce gets in all the nooks and crannies of the cauliflower florets. What you’ll love is how simple and easy this is to make. Roasting the cauliflower removes the guilt of frying and (toot toot my own horn) they’re just as addictive. I
may have totally ate 3/4 of the first batch I made….all by myself…in less than 5 minutes.
I hope you give my healthier, copycat version of this dish a try and let me know if you do! I definitely recommend serving this with some cool cucumber slices for a refreshing balance to the hot & spicy cauliflower. For other great appetizers, try these MINI STUFFED PEPPERS or these TURKEY LETTUCE SCOOPS which also make a great meal!
enjoy | liz | xo
- 1 head of fresh cauliflower, washed, stems removed and broken into bite-sized florets
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp oil (I used coconut)
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
- 2 tbsp Panko bread crumbs
- Chopped scallions or green onions (optional).
- Slice cucumber (optional).
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss cauliflower florets with oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic. Spread ino one layer on a cookie sheet.
- Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until cauliflower is tender and bits have browned.
- In a frying pan, melt the butter and add the sweet chili sauce. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add in the cauliflower florets and stir until evenly coated. Sprinkle with Panko. Continue to cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
- Serve immediately with chopped scallions and cucumber slices (optional).