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In this lightened-up take on the Indian-Chinese restaurant-favorite Gobi Manchurian, cauliflower florets are baked up until crispy, then drenched in a sweet and spicy delicious manchurian sauce! Serve it as an appetizer or main dish. Gluten-free option. 

a plate of Cauliflower Manchurian with a fork on the side

I’m always excited when I can present you with an easy spin on a restaurant favorite and today I have a good one for you! One of those special-occasion restaurant menu items that we all love to order when eating out but never considered making at home. Cauliflower Manchurian! This makes a great addition to the festival menu!

What is Cauliflower Manchurian?

Gobi Manchurian, or Cauliflower Manchurian, is a super popular take-out and restaurant menu item. This  Indo-Chinese dish is typically fried but I prefer to bake the florets in the oven. Baking gives cauliflower an amazing texture; you won’t miss the greasy, fried coating.

The crispy oven-baked florets are then tossed with a delicious sweet, spicy, and tangy Manchurian sauce! This easy vegan dish makes for the most delicious appetizer but it can also be served as a main  when paired with rice.

a white bowl with vegan gobi Manchurian topped with thinly sliced scallions

The ingredient list for making cauliflower manchurian is on the longer side but don’t be intimidated by that. Most ingredients are pantry staples and the preparation is so easy so it’s so worth it!

vegan cauliflower manchurian in a saucepan

Manchurian sauce is a very versatile sauce. You can add some Crisped tofu,  veggie meatballs or vegan chicken to the sauce or add in some noodles.

MORE CAULIFLOWER RECIPES

More Indo Chinese dishes

Baked Gobi Manchurian (Cauliflower Manchurian)

4.95 from 20 votes
By: Vegan Richa
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Indian-Chinese
In this lightened-up take on the Indian-Chinese restaurant favorite Gobi Manchurian, cauliflower florets are baked up until crispy and then drenched in a delicious sweet and spicy sauce! Serve it as an appetizer or main dish. Gluten-free option. 
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Ingredients 
 

For the cauliflower:

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into florets, 4 cups

For the batter:

  • 7 tablespoons of flour such as rice flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch or other starch such as tapioca starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup panko

For the Manchurian sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons of oil
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 inch knob of ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 of a green or red chili seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red or white onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery, optional
  • 1 tablespoon Asian Chili Sauce such as Sambal Oelek or other
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 teaspoons sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup of water

Instructions 

  • Add all the dry ingredients for the batter in a bowl and mix well(flour, starch, garlic powder, salt, baking powder). Add the soy sauce, oil, and 1/3 cup water, and mix. Add water 1 tbsp at a time to make a thick smooth batter.
  • Add cauliflower florets to the bowl and toss to coat. Sprinkle panko aon the florets. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake at 415 F(210 C) for 25-28 minutes. Check if the cauliflower is done at 25 mins. Remove from the oven when done and set aside

For the sauce

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilis and stir. Cook until the garlic is golden ,2-3 minutes.
  • Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook until golden . 8 minutes.
  • Add in the sauces. The Asian chili sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, black pepper, and sugar and bring it to a boil.
  • Mix together corn starch in 1/2 cup of water then add it to the skillet. Cook until the sauce comes to a good boil and thickens. Taste and adjust seasoning. Adjusting the soy sauce for salt and heat with black pepper or Asian Chili Sauce.
  • Once thickened, cool for 5 mins, then add your baked cauliflower and toss to coat. Top with green onions and serve immediately. See notes for storage

Video

Notes

  • Baked manchurian is best served immediately. If planning to serve later as in not later than a few hours. Keep the Baked cauliflower and sauce separate. Heat the cauliflower in the oven again for 7-9 mins then toss in the warmed Sauce and serve  
  • You can sub some of the cauliflower with firm tofu, rehydrated soy curls, or seitan for added protein.

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 784mg, Potassium: 689mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 186IU, Vitamin C: 96mg, Calcium: 90mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Ingredients:

  • cauliflower – cut into same-size florets
  • batter: the dry ingredients are a mix of flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and garlic powder. The baking powder will help the cauliflowers crisp up in the oven.
  • batter: as wet ingredients, we use a blend of water, oil, and soy sauce
  • a small amount of panko makes these bake up extra crispy
  • sauce: we create a typical Manchurian sauce base by sauteeing onion, garlic, ginger and chili
  • finely chopped bell pepper and celery add some texture to the Manchurian sauce
  •  for the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors, Asian chili sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, black pepper, and sugar
  • a cornstarch slurry will help thicken up the sauce slightly and add a glossy shine.

Tips:

  • Make sure that the florets are not too small and all the florets are of a similar size so it bakes evenly in the oven.
  • Lining the baking sheet with parchment paper will make it less messy!
  • You can sub some of the cauliflower with firm tofu, rehydrated soy curls, or seitan for added protein.

How to make Baked Gobi manchurian (step pics)

dry mix for cauliflower manchurian batter in a white bowl

Add all the dry ingredients except for the panko and mix well.

batter for cauliflower manchurian in a small white bowl

Add the soy sauce,oil and 1/3 cup water, and mix. Then, add water 1 tbsp at a time to make a thick smooth batter.

cauliflower florets being added to batter to make gobi manchurian

battered cauliflower florets being tossed with panko to make cauliflower manchurian

Add cauliflower florets to the bowl and toss to coat. Sprinkle the panko over the cauliflower in the bowl once it has been coated. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

battered cauliflower florets on a lined baking sheet

Bake at 415 F for 25-28 minutes. Check if the cauliflower is done at 25 mins. Remove from the oven when done and set aside.

minced chili, garlic, ginger and onions in a sauteeing pan

For the sauce, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilis and stir. Cook until the garlic is golden for 2-3 minutes. Now, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook until golden brown. 8 minutes.

finely minced sauteed ginger, chili, garlic and onions in a pan

Add in the sauces. The Asian chili sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, black pepper, and sugar and bring it to a boil.

cauliflower manchurian sauce ingredients in a saucepan

Mix together corn starch in 1/2 cup of water then add it to the skillet. Cook until the sauce comes to a good boil and thickens. Taste and adjust seasoning. Adjusting the soy sauce and salt and heat with black pepper or Asian Chili Sauce.

cauliflower manchurian sauce in a saucepan

breaded baked cauliflower florets being added to Manchurian sauce in a pan

Once thickened, add your baked cauliflower and toss to coat.

vegan cauliflower manchurian in a saucepan

Top with green onions and serve.

a serving of cauliflower manchurian in a white bowl with a golden fork on the side

 

 

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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4.95 from 20 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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38 Comments

  1. Karyn says:

    5 stars
    Richa thank you for this lovely recipe. My boyfriend and I have prepared this about seven times and every time it comes out perfect. It is our all time favorite! You are the best. You’ve made our lives as a plant-based family so much richer with this and other recipes, especially your Instant Pot cookbook.

    We don’t have ketchup in the house, so we substituted that for Gochujang, and used about 1/2 tbs of that and 1/2 tbs of Chinese chili paste. YUM!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Thank you for taking the time to comment! Glad you liked it.

  2. Terri says:

    5 stars
    I just got a giant cauliflower from my farmers market and I was going to do ‘wings’. Then I came across this recipe.
    🔥🔥🔥🔥
    What a flavor bomb!! I cooled the sauce like she said and it became thick so it glazed the florets beautifully! I made according to the directions. So, so flavorful!!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Yay!! Glad you liked it.

  3. Kaitie M says:

    5 stars
    I just made this for dinner and O.M.G. This is probably the best thing I’ve ever made, insanely good, insanely filling, and so healthy with minimal oil. I’m so impressed. 10/10 so glad I found your page!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Yay! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  4. Annelies says:

    5 stars
    Never left a comment before but just wanted to let you know I’m making this dish monthly. It’s so delicious, everyone loves it. The flavors are just perfect together!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Thank you for commenting! So glad you enjoy!

  5. Janet says:

    Looks so good! Question…just sprinkle the panko on top? You don’t coat all the florets with it?
    When I make General Tso’s cauliflower, I dredge them in batter then roll each floret in panko, then bake. I

    1. Richa says:

      You can coat each florets, you’ll need more panko then. Just sprinkling some works well here for quicker recipe

  6. Andrew says:

    5 stars
    Made this last night and fed 4 of our neighbors (who are meat-a-holics, not vegans)…and they all RAVED about it. I skipped the oil and it still turned out perfect. Thank you!

    1. Andrew says:

      5 stars
      Oh and I also used wheat bran instead of panko…and it was fantastic!

      1. Vegan Richa Support says:

        Wonderful!

  7. Sarah says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for a restaurant favorite. Cauliflower was so crispy, it was great!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      So glad that you liked it.

  8. Alok says:

    I am curious what your thoughts are if I skip the panko crumbs. How much would it affect the texture & crispiness?

    1. Richa says:

      You can omit them

  9. Jess says:

    5 stars
    Made this for my friends who were visiting. I kept the cauliflower and sauce separate. Cauliflower in the warm oven. warmed up the sauce just as we all sat for dinner. What a fabulous appetizing dish!

    1. Richa says:

      Yay!!