2 ratings

Korean Air Fried Cauliflower

Serve with a homemade Korean BBQ dipping sauce
Photo by Leigh Olson

If you're vegetarian, chances are you've never had the opportunity to try Korean chicken. The extra crisp dish is coated in a spicy and sweet glaze that blows every other sauce out of the water. This recipe swaps the chicken for cauliflower so that veggie lovers everywhere can now get their fix. Use wet batter instead of the classic flour-egg-panko breading to ensure a perfectly crisp coating that the Korean BBQ sauce will stick to. 

Recipe courtesy of Emily Paster, author of Epic Air Fryer Cookbook:00 Inspired Recipes That Take Air-Frying in Deliciously Exciting New Directions.

Ready in
27 m
15 m
(prepare time)
12 m
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


For the Korean BBQ sauce

  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons gochujang
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Cup warm water

For the fried cauliflower

  • 1 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup cornstarch
  • 2 Teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Vegetable oil for spraying
  • 1 Teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, sliced


For the Korean BBQ sauce

To make the sauce, whisk together the soy sauce, gochujang, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger in a large bowl. While whisking, slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream and continue whisking until emulsified. Gradually whisk in the warm water until you reach a thin sauce-like consistency; you may not need the entire 1/2 cup of water depending on how thick your gochujang is. Set aside.

For the fried cauliflower

To make the batter for the cauliflower, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the water until you have created a thick batter. Place a cooling rack over a board lined with wax or parchment paper. Dip the cauliflower florets in the batter and then place them on the rack to allow the excess batter to drip off.

Spray the basket of the air fryer lightly with oil. Working in batches, arrange the battered florets in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook at 350°F (180°C) for 12 minutes until the florets are browned on the outside and tender on the inside.

Place the cooked florets in the bowl with the sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions. Repeat with the remaining florets. Serve warm.