Roasted Orange Cauliflower (and how to crisp them in 12 minutes)

Learn this trick to cook crispy cauliflowers in 12 minutes, served with a scrumptious orange sauce! {vegan, gluten-free, paleo friendly}

Learn this trick to cook crispy cauliflowers in 12 minutes, served with a scrumptious orange sauce! {vegan, gluten-free, paleo friendly}

Cauliflower is one tricky vegetable to roast.

I’ve been trying out different roasting temperatures and none are perfect. Whether I use a lower temperature, such as 350 F, or a higher temperature, such as 400 F or 450 F, the cauliflower is  too tender when they crisp up.

Until I found out this one secret!

The ultimate solution to roast crispy cauliflowers

I didn’t invent this method. I learned it from Lady and Pups.

If you haven’t heard of Mandy, subscribe her blog and follow her on Instagram now. She is a Hong Kong based food blogger and artist. Her blog is a visual feast and my source of inspiration. Her recipes are super creative and generate amazing results.

When I saw her charred cauliflower recipe, I thought “that must be the perfect solution!” I wasn’t surprised when it turned out just as great as I imagined.

Learn this trick to cook crispy cauliflowers in 12 minutes, served with a scrumptious orange sauce! {vegan, gluten-free, paleo friendly}

The idea is you place the tray of cauliflower onto the rack of the oven and broil it in a very short time. It might seem like a super high roasting temperature, but it delivers magical result.

Not only it will brown the cauliflower perfectly without overcooking the inside, it only takes 10 to 12 minutes to roast a big batch! It is an incredible time saver for cooking a weekday dinner.

By the way, I created a step-by-step collage for you, to show you how easy it is to cut cauliflower into even-size florets. (This promotes even roasting)

Learn this trick to cook crispy cauliflowers in 12 minutes, served with a scrumptious orange sauce! {vegan, gluten-free, paleo friendly}Learn this trick to cook crispy cauliflowers in 12 minutes, served with a scrumptious orange sauce! {vegan, gluten-free, paleo friendly}

Orange sauce – not just a stir-fry sauce

This recipe is a part of the stir-fry sauce series, which shares tips and tricks on how to create a fresh and delicious dinner without fuss.

In this post I want to show you that you can use a stir fry sauce to accomplish many things in the kitchen. Including making roasted vegetables.

You only need three steps:

  • Roast vegetables by using your usual method.
  • Heat up and thicken the stir fry sauce on the stove.
  • Mix the vegetables and the sauce together.

That’s it!

You’ll love “stir fried” roasted vegetables once you try them. Because it minimizes your active cooking time to create one-bowl healthy dinner, it’s a perfect way to cook dinner when you feel lazy, or on any busy weekday evening.

 

Learn this trick to cook crispy cauliflowers in 12 minutes, served with a scrumptious orange sauce! {vegan, gluten-free, paleo friendly}

Not only you can use this method to make orange cauliflower, you can make roasted orange brussel sprouts, roasted broccoli, roasted peppers, and the list goes on.

If you go to this post, you can see how to make orange sauce in bulk to save you more time, and a list of vegetables that go with the sauce, so you can make any roast vegetables with whatever ingredients you have on hands.

Not only you can use this orange sauce to make orange chicken or a quick stir fry, you can even make roasted vegetables with it! {gluten-free, vegan}

Click image to view Orange Sauce recipe

Chinese Orange Chicken

Click image to view Chinese orange chicken recipe

Orange Shrimp Asparagus

Click image to view Orange Shrimp Asparagus recipe

How to roast frozen cauliflower

I always keep a few bags of frozen vegetables in the freezer just in case I need to whip up a healthy dinner when I’m out of fresh produce. Roasted cauliflower is one of my favorites.

Here is how:

  • Turn on the oven and set 280 C (550 F, or highest oven setting) and adjust oven rack to top.
  • Spread 2-pounds frozen cauliflower onto a baking sheet into one layer.
  • Transfer cauliflower into the oven without waiting the oven preheated. Thaw until the oven is heated (you should hear a “beep”).
  • Remove the cauliflower. Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper. Turn on broiler. Return the tray to the oven.
  • The cauliflower will be perfectly charred in 5 to 7 minutes (no flipping required).

The best part of this method is, you can preheat the oven and thaw the cauliflower at the same time. Any moisture on the cauliflower will  evaporate before you coat with oil. It will crisp up perfectly on BOTH sides without flipping.

How to roast frozen cauliflowers and get them crispy

You can use this method to cook orange cauliflower too with even less prep time.

Happy cooking!

Learn this trick to cook crispy cauliflowers in 12 minutes, served with a scrumptious orange sauce! {vegan, gluten-free, paleo friendly}

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Roasted Orange Cauliflower (and how to crisp them in 12 minutes)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The prep time does not include the time to rehydrate dry orange peel and oven preheating time.
If you use pre-made orange sauce, you can shorten prep time to 5 minutes.
The recipe yields 2 servings for main dish and 4 servings as a side.
Author:
Recipe type: Main, Side
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 2 to 4
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower (or 2 pounds frozen cauliflower) (Footnote 1)
  • (Optional) 1 big onion, sliced
  • 4 and 1/2 tablespoons cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (*footnote 2)
Sauce (Or use 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup pre-made orange sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons dried tangerine peel (or orange zest)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar (or distilled white vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce (or soy sauce, or tamari for gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry, or rice wine, or chicken stock)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Topping options
  • Chopped parsley, or cilantro, or green onion
  • Hot sauce (homemade chili oil, or Sriracha sauce)
  • Roasted peanuts or other nuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 280 degrees C (550 F), or the highest setting. Adjust oven rack to the upper level, so a baking sheet will be 2-inch below the broiler.
  2. Separate cauliflower into bite size florets and place onto a large baking sheet. (Read blog post above to see how to cut cauliflower easily)
  3. Toss with 4 tablespoons olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.
  4. While preheating the oven, prepare the sauce. Add dried tangerine peel in a small bowl and hot water to cover. Soak for about 20 minutes or until the tangerine peel softens. Drain and finely slice. Transfer 2 tablespoons sliced tangerine skin into a bowl, and save the rest in a airtight container in the fridge for next time. If you do not use dried tangerine peel, grate fresh orange to make 2 tablespoons orange zest instead.
  5. Add the rest sauce ingredients to the bowl with tangerine peel (or orange zest). Mix well.
  6. Heat the other 1/2 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add garlic. Stir a few times to release fragrance. Mix the sauce again to dissolve the cornstarch completely and pour into the pan. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens. Remove from the stove.
  7. When oven is preheated, turn on broiler. Broil cauliflower until the top side is browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Flip and roast until the other side is browned, 3 to 4 minutes. You should set a timer for every 2 to 3 minutes, and keep an eye on the cauliflower during the cooking to prevent from burning.
  8. Remove the cauliflower from the oven. Pour sauce over the cauliflower and toss to coat well.
  9. Garnish with nuts, chopped parsley, and serve with hot sauce, if using.
Notes
1. Read the blog post above to see details of how to roast frozen cauliflower.

2. Use a chef’s knife to lightly crush garlic so it’s easy to peel. To speed up the process, use a garlic press to mince the garlic.

 

If you cooked this recipe, leave a comment, rate it, and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see your work! 🙂

Now leave a comment and share with us “what is your favorite roast vegetable?”

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Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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4 thoughts on “Roasted Orange Cauliflower (and how to crisp them in 12 minutes)

  1. Jennie Durren

    I love the directions to cook frozen cauliflower! It’s much easier for us to keep on hand and frequently less expensive, but I’ve never been happy with the results when I roast it. I’m going to try that ASAP. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Happy cooking Jennie! I always keep a few bags of frozen cauliflowers as well, and this methods come in handy many times! Let me know how’s your dish turns out 🙂

      Reply