Inspired by a recent trip I made to Sequim, Washington where I tried a new restaurant called Dynasty Chinese – I give you my version of Vegan Kung Pao Cauliflower.

bowl of kung Pau cauliflower with rice

If you’re new to eating a plant-based or a vegan diet, finding a legit restaurant with more than a few side dishes you can eat can be daunting.

Thankfully, there’s an app for your smartphone called HAPPY COW that makes it a little easier. And this is how I found Dynasty Chinese in Sequim. It didn’t look like much on the outside, but let me tell you the food was AMAZING and there was plenty of it.

I had the Kung Pao Tofu and my wife had the Moo Shu Veggie Wraps, both with steamed rice. It wasn’t really that hard a choice for me as I love spicy food, but there were 8-10 vegan entrees to choose from on their menu!

And THAT….is unusual in most restaurants!

Inspired by that meal, I set about to recreate it using cauliflower – and this is the result. You control the spice level in this dish so make it as mild or as spicy as you want.

My wife and I really enjoyed it and I hope you do too.

Ingredients For Vegan Kung Pao Cauliflower

photo of all the veggies needed to make Kung Pao cauliflower

You’ll need the following veggies but feel free to substitute with what you already have in your fridge.

  • a few ribs of celery, thinly sliced
  • a carrot, thinly sliced
  • a medium head of cauliflower, broken up into individual florets
  • a red bell pepper. sliced into strips
  • 3-4 green onions, the white part, and green parts chopped and separated
  • 2-3 cloves of minced garlic
  • a 1″ piece of ginger, finely minced
  • about ⅓ cup of peanuts or cashews (preferably unsalted)
  • about 2-3 oz (half a small can) of water chestnuts
  • 3-4 small red chiles (either Thai Chiles or Mexican Arbol Chiles will work)

Note: If you can’t find, or don’t want to use dried chiles, you can add red chile flakes or a little Sriracha (if you still have some) to spice it up if you wish. And while sriracha is virtually impossible to find now due to the shortage, the company also makes Sambal Oelek, a chile/garlic paste that adds a very nice level of spice. Look for the rooster on the label.

After all the veggies are washed and all cut or chopped – place them either in individual bowls or on a plate to make the stir fry process easier.

Kung Pao cauliflower veggies, all chopped and prep'd.

Sauce Ingredients for Vegan Kung Pao Cauliflower

And for the sauce, you’ll need the following:

  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Hoisin sauce (replaces the traditional dark soy sauce)
  • Rice vinegar
  • Maple syrup
  • Mirin (a Japanese cooking seasoning wine or you can sub it with cooking sherry)
  • Cornstarch
sauce ingredients for Kung Pao cauliflower

Vegan Kung Pao Cauliflower Cooking Instructions

This recipe is super easy.

First, make the sauce by whisking all the sauce ingredients together and then setting it aside. We won’t need it until the end.

Next, we’ll roast our cauliflower.

You can use your oven, or if you have an air fryer combo like me, you can use that. I have a Cuisinart I bought at Costco and it does a little bit of everything. Affiliate link below and yes, I do earn a little if you buy one. They’re nice as you don’t have to heat up your entire kitchen.

Spread the florets on a baking sheet, spritz with a little water, season with a little salt & pepper, and roast at 425° F for 15 minutes or until slightly browned. When done, set aside or keep in a warmed 250° F oven until needed.

roasted cauliflower in my air fryer

And finally, we make the stir fry.

Add the white parts of the onions and the carrots with a little splash of veggie broth to a large saute pan or wok and stir-fry over med-high heat for a minute or so.

Then add the celery and chiles and stir fry for another 30 seconds. Note: if you break the chiles into smaller pieces it will make the dish spicier.

Then add the red bell pepper, garlic, and ginger for another 30 seconds.

Finally add the water chestnuts, peanuts, and a few of the green onion tops for another 30 seconds.

Stir well and then add the cauliflower and the sauce.

Reduce the heat and fold everything together so it is evenly coated with that wonderful sauce. The sauce will thicken immediately.

Add more spiciness if you want, sesame seeds, sriracha, whatever you like, and serve with or on top of freshly made rice.

This will serve 2 people easily and maybe 4 if you can stand to share it. My wife finished off the rest of the pan before I even had my photos taken.

If by chance you have leftovers, they should keep easily in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days. I haven’t frozen it yet but something tells me it would be just fine if you did.

Thanks for all the comments and support and we’ll see you next weekend!

vertical Pinterest photo of my vegan Kung Pao cauliflower and a bowl of rice


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Vegan Kung Pao Cauliflower

  • Author:
    Chuck Underwood

  • Prep Time:
    20 min

  • Cook Time:
    20 min

  • Total Time:
    40 minutes

  • Yield:
    24 servings 1x

  • Category:

  • Method:

  • Cuisine:

  • Diet:


Inspired by a recent trip I made to Sequim, Washington where I tried a new restaurant called Dynasty Chinese – I give you my version of Vegan Kung Pao Cauliflower. 





  1. Whisk all the sauce ingredients together and set aside
  2. Prep all veggies and set aside
  3. Clean cauliflower and break it apart into single florets
  4. Spritz the florets with a little water, season with salt & pepper, and roast in a 425° F oven for 15 minutes
  5. Note:  Can also use an air fryer/toaster oven if you have one
  6. Set cauliflower aside and keep warm
  7. Heat a large saute pan or wok to med-high heat
  8. Stir fry the white onion pieces and the carrot for 1 min
  9. Note:  To keep it fat-free, use water or veg broth to stir fry instead of oil
  10. Add the celery and chiles and stir fry for 30 seconds
  11. Add the bell pepper, garlic, and ginger and stir fry another 30 seconds
  12. Add the water chestnuts, peanuts, and green onions, and stir fry another 30 seconds
  13. Add the cauliflower and sauce and reduce the heat
  14. Fold everything together until the sauce thickens and everything is coated
  15. Serve with your favorite rice

Keywords: vegan Kung Pao cauliflower

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