Sweet and sour cauliflower on a bed of rice is what a perfect dinner sound to me. A simple vegan and gluten-free recipe with amazingly delicious Asian flavors.

sweet and sour cauliflower bowl

I love to cook for my family at home, but whenever we plan to dine out, usually I prefer Asian food. This is because cooking Asian food at home is sometimes overwhelming and it’s a bit tricky to get the same flavors. But this recipe is different as it involves minimum steps. In the end, you get an amazingly delicious cauliflower dish with scrumptious Asian flavors.  

Cauliflower is a great meat alternative, especially when you’re trying to recreate meat-based dishes because if you cook it properly, it absorbs all flavors very well and has a crunchy texture. The best part of this recipe is that there is no breading or frying involved, so it’s not only vegan but also a healthy version of Asian deliciousness. Instead of being deep-fried, the cauliflower florets are cooked with less oil and later dunk in Incredibly delicious juicy sweet and sour sauce.  

sweet and sour cauliflower

Sweet and Sour Cauliflower Sauce Ingredients:  

One of the best parts of this recipe is the sauce, sweet, sour and savory. A good sweet and sour sauce needs to have a nice tangy flavor to it with perfect sweetness. It’s so addictive and easy to make with a few simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Ingredients for sauce are  

  • Vegetable Broth  
  • Soya Sauce, you can also use tamari sauce to make this recipe gluten-free.   
  • Maple Syrup or Brown Sugar  
  • Chili Flakes  
  • Tahini  
  • Chopped Garlic  
  • Rice Vinegar (Before I created this recipe without vinegar and it was good, but the sauce was missing that tangy flavor. I have updated the recipe and added vinegar in the sauce. I like this version better and you will love it too.  
sweet and sour cauliflower

How to Make Vegan Sweet and Sour Cauliflower

When it comes to making a good Sweet and Sour cauliflower recipe there are a few tips I love to give out.  

  • I am using vegetable stock with salt, if you are using salt-free stock, adjust the taste.  
  • Make sure you are using the good size (around 2 inches) of cauliflower florets. If they are too small, they get mushy while cooking.   
  • Cook cauliflower in half of the sauce before adding corn starch as it will ensure that sauce flavors are well absorbed.  
  • Taste, and adjust the sweet and sour balance as desired by adding more maple syrup or vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon at a time.  
  • Use a silicone spatula to turn and toss the cauliflower florets.  
  • Serve hot over rice and garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds.  
  • I always love to serve mine with cooked white rice as they taste so good with it but you can serve it with quinoa or noodles too.  

How to Store and Reheat:  

You can refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 4 days. For reheating simply add a splash of water, cover, and microwave. If you are making this recipe for meal prep, do not store it with rice in the same container. Refrigerate in a separate airtight container and reheat before serving on rice.  

You will surely love this sweet and sour cauliflower recipe as it is     

  • Rich   
  • Satisfying    
  • Flavorful    
  • Quick & easy to make    
  • And seriously delicious.    

If you like this comforting vegan gluten-free dinner recipe, make sure to check out EASY VEGAN POKE BOWL WITH CHICKPEAS and PAN-FRIED GNOCCHI WITH BROCCOLI AND CHICKPEA CRUMBLE. You will enjoy them too.  

Vegan Sweet and Sour Cauliflower

Get Set Vegan
Sweet and sour cauliflower on a bed of rice is what a perfect dinner sound to me. A simple vegan and gluten-free recipe with amazingly delicious Asian flavors.
4.75 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 2


  • 1 small head Cauliflower florets
  • 3 tbs Olive oil
  • 2 tbs Water
  • tbs Corn starch

For Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Vegetable broth ( I am using home made vegetable stock that is dark in color and this will affect the end result. If you are using clear veg broth your dish might look light beige in color)
  • 1/4 cup Dark Soy sauce / Tamari sauce
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar (Maple syrup if you want it sugar free)
  • 2 tsp Chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp Tahini
  • 5-6 cloves Chopped garlic
  • 3 Tbs Rice vinegar


  • Prepare the sweet and sour sauce by mixing vegetable broth, soya sauce or tamari sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, Tahini, chili flakes, and chopped garlic. 
  • Wash and cut cauliflower into 1 ½ to 2-inch size florets.  
  • In a pan add cauliflower oil and a splash of water. Stir and cover, let it cook on slow to medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes.  
  • Once cauliflower gets soften add half of the sauce and stir.  
  • Let it simmer for further 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce is well absorbed. Make sure the heat is medium to low. Do not burn the sauce.  
  • Add cornflour into the remaining sauce and mix.
  • Now add the remaining sauce into cauliflower and cook until thickened. 
  • Serve hot on rice and garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds.  
  • ENJOY.  



  • Use Tamari sauce instead of soya sauce to make this recipe gluten-free.  
  • I have updated the recipe and added rice vinegar in the sauce. In the video recipe, this step is missing.  
  • Cook your rice before and serve the cauliflower hot right after cooking. They taste delicious when served freshly cooked. 
  • I am using homemade veg stock it is darker in color and thus this will affect the color of the end product. If you are using light color vegetable stock, your dish might result in light beige color.
Keyword cauliflower, sweet and sour, vegan, Vegan Sweet and Sour Cauliflower

If you try this recipe, leave a comment and show some love by rating it in stars. Do not forget to take a picture and tag us @getsetvegan on Instagram. We would love to see it.


  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious. My first try at a vegan recipe and I still can’t believe I made something this good from cauliflower!

  2. 5 stars
    Wow- thank you for this. We have been on plant based lifestyle for few weeks, except my husband who did an audible sigh of disgust seeing me sauteing cauliflower, but he ended up loving it!
    We will definitely be making this again.

  3. 5 stars
    This tastes amazing! Wow, so good! It was so easy to make with easily available ingredients. I didn’t use any oil, just steamed my cauliflower in veggie stock.

  4. 5 stars
    I tried this last night and it’s really good – thank you!!! I added some portabella mushrooms to my spinach with a bit of seasoning and some ginger on the side. Delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    I asked my husband to make dinner because I was feeling tired… he woke me up with “this is tasty as f$&k.” He wasn’t wrong.

    We had the colour non-issue as well but I’m almost positive it has to do with the veggie broth. Ours was quite light whereas yours was quite dark.

    But honestly who cares because this is going into the rotation. We added tofu to ours for a protein boost and seriously….

    Better Than any takeaway we’ve ever had! Yum!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you. Can’t wait to try some other recipes.

    • Aww, Thank you so much you made my day. Yes either this color issue is coming because of veg broth or brand of soy sauce, not sure but it is delish.

  6. 3 stars
    After watching the video, I think it is only supposed to be a tablespoon of soy sauce… not a 1/4 cup :/ Mine turned out more like a soup, but it does have good flavor.

    • Tahini condiment made from toasted sesame seeds and olive oil. you will find it in nut butter sections or in the fridge section with dips. Hope this will help.

  7. 5 stars
    Love this recipe and so did my husband, really delish!!
    Mine did now come out the lovely brown your picture shows. It was more of a beige 🙁 not a very appetizing look. Any idea why?

    Thanks so much

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am getting this beige color issue from many of my readers maybe it is because of some soy sauce brand or maple syrup. I will recreate it and will update the recipe notes soon.

  8. I’m glad I watched the video! You listed all the ingredients as tablespoons in the directions but some should be teaspoons – the video shows is as tsp but your directions show tbsp. That’s a big difference! 2 tablespoons of chili flakes would be overkill! It looks good though! May want to update the written directions so it’s more clear!

    Also – for those of us the US – Corn Flour = Cornstarch. Soya = soy sauce.

    • Hi, Thank you so much for your message. I have updated the written recipe instructions. It is some auto edit issue I am facing in my recipe card widget. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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