Spicy BBQ PopCorn Cauliflower

Ready PopCorn Cauliflower 6  

Are you finding it difficult to pursue a vegan way of eating? What are the main reasons that stop you from consuming nutritious food, omitting the meat and dairy products?

Let me guess – you miss the fatty texture of some meats and the gooey flavour of the melting cheese. What if you could get the same feeling after trying something vegan? After all – being vegan doesn’t hurt, it actually has numerous health benefits. It protects you from lots of illnesses, controls blood pressure, helps you lose weight, prevents heart-disease, strokes and many other things that you can read about by clicking on the link above.

First of all I am against putting labels on food. Some people really turn their heads away straight after reading the name of a recipe. If they see it’s vegan, or dairy free, or gluten free, paleo etc. they already know that they will never try it. It’s a subconscious thing. They make fun of that type of food. To me it’s all about trying it and then you can share your opinion. You can’t just ignore something because of its name.

Second of all – I am talking from the point of view of someone that cooks and eats vegan food everyday. It really contributes to a healthier being and it can be delicious. It also shows you the creative part of being a chef. You really need to improvise a lot when you want to find a substitute for something you loved as a meat eater. Every recipe can be transformed into vegan with all natural products.

Today’s recipe is for those who want to recreate the texture of sticky chicken nuggets coated in spicy barbecue sauce.

I did this chili barbecue “popcorn” cauliflower look exactly like fried chicken in order to draw your attention to that post. Trust me – it tastes as good as it looks.

I like having it because it reminds me a bit of General Tso’s Chicken – sticky, spicy and full of flavour. I sprinkled them with coconut flakes and spring onions. Of course that’s optional – you can sprinkle them with parsley, chives, sesame seeds etc. I just love the extra sweetness that the coconut brings and the fresh taste of spring onions.

Serving that to the table as a starter is a very good way for your dinner show to begin. It wakes up the taste buds and a little bit of spicy food will always inflame your appetite.

It takes exactly 45 minutes to cook this amazing show stopper. Preparing for the whole process is exactly 10 minutes, so in under an hour you will have that served to your lucky guests. I will now give you the ingredients list for 3-4 servings.

Spicy BBQ PopCorn Cauliflower Recipe

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 head of cauliflower

For the batter:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 tbsp of all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of paprika
  • A pinch of salt

To coat in breadcrumbs:

  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp of coconut flakes
  • A pinch of salt

For the Spicy BBQ Sauce:

  • 4 tbsp of ketchup
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of chili flakes

To garnish:

  • A sprig of fresh spring onion
  • 1 tsp of coconut flakes


  1. The first thing you need to do is prepare your cauliflower.

  2. Wash it and break it into small pieces.

  3. Now prepare the batter. Mix all the ingredients into a bowl until smooth.

  4. Prepare yourself a plate with the breadcrumb and coconut flakes mix, next to your bowl with the batter.

  5. Start dipping the cauliflower florets into the batter and then straight into the breadcrumb mix, until they are fully coated.

  6. Put into a baking tray and place into the oven, set to 375 F, for 25 minutes.

  7. While the florets are going through the first phase of their cooking process, you have to prepare the BBQ sauce.

  8. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce into a bowl. That’s it - there’s no cooking needed for that step.

  9. When the 25 minutes have passed, take the florets out and dip them into the sauce until perfectly coated.

  10. Now it’s time to place them back in the baking tray and finish them off with another 15 minutes in the oven. This will help the sauce to become sticky and caramelized.

  11. You can now serve them with a sprinkle of coconut flakes and some fresh spring onions.


Wash the cauliflower and break it into small florets.

Cauliflower prep


Using a bowl, mix in the flour, water, paprika powder and salt until smooth, without any lumps of flour.

Batter prep


Next to your bowl with the batter you should put a plate with breadcrumbs, coconut flakes and salt – all mixed together. That way you are making your life easier – organizing your working space is really important.

Prep the breadcrumbs


Start by dipping the florets into the batter, then coating them in the breadcrumb mix. The last step is placing them in the baking tray.

Now when the cauliflower is coated and put into a tray it’s time for the first stage of its cooking. Bake in the oven, set to 375 F, for 25 minutes.

Dip cauliflower in batter  Coat cauliflower in breadcrumbs

Oven ready cauliflower


In a bowl, mix in the ketchup, maple syrup, soy sauce and chili flakes. That’s all it takes – no cooking involved in that step.

Homemade bbq sauce prep 3 


After the first 25 minutes in the oven, take out the cauliflower and start dipping in the sauce. When they are all nicely coated, put them back in the tray and let them cook for another 15 minutes until perfectly glazed and caramelized.

Coat in bbq sauce  Back in the oven


After the final 15 minutes, it’s time to take the ready popcorn cauliflower out and serve.

When you place it in your plate of choice, sprinkle with spring onions and coconut flakes. Enjoy!

That’s the whole process you need to go through in order to amaze the hungry eaters. You can see how easy it is. Of course if you don’t like some of the products that you see in that recipe you can always substitute them with the ones you like. If you don’t like spicy food you can remove the chili flakes from the sauce and it will work out perfectly fine. If you are not a fan of cauliflower do the same with broccoli and see what you get. If you don’t want to smell of fresh spring onions throughout the day, use parsley to sprinkle.

Ready PopCorn Cauliflower 6

Please let us know in the comment section below, what’s your favourite vegan recipe that reminds you of meat.

Have a nice day!