Thai Peanut Cauliflower Wings

These crispy, one-bite Thai peanut cauliflower wings are a delectable vegan appetizer for game night, or any night of the week.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Appetizer, Finger Food
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 8 side servings
Calories 170 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5-6 cups bite-size cauliflower florets (about 1 small head of cauliflower)
  • chopped roasted peanuts, sriracha, and sliced green onions for serving (optional)

For the Batter:

  • 1/2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand is vegan)
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (the kind that's just peanuts and salt)
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper (or black pepper)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water plus more as needed

For the bread crumb coating:

  • 1 1/2 cup Panko-style bread crumbs (check labels - some brands contain milk)
  • 3 tbsp white rice flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/8 tsp salt

For the agave soy dipping sauce:

  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Make the batter:

  • Whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth. The batter should be fairly thick, but still thin enough to fall off of a spoon - this is to ensure excess batter can be gently shaken off of the cauliflower florets. Whisk in water a little bit at a time to thin if needed.

Make the bread crumb coating:

  • Stir together all of the ingredients for the coating.

Prepare the Thai peanut cauliflower wings:

  • One at a time, take the cauliflower florets and dip them in the batter, shaking off any excess. Transfer to the breadcrumb mixture and toss to coat, then place on the baking sheet, leaving room between the wings. This is easiest if you use two hands - one for picking up a floret, battering it, and dropping it into the bread crumb mixture; and the other hand for coating in the bread crumbs and placing on the baking sheet. See the step-by-step photos in the post for more assistance.
  • Once you have filled the baking sheet (taking care not to crowd it), bake the Thai peanut cauliflower wings for 16 to 22 minutes (may vary more depending on floret size and oven style), or until cauliflower is crisp-tender and batter is firm and lightly browned.

Prepare the sauce:

  • Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. Adjust seasoning to taste. Drizzle over the cooked cauliflower wings or serve on the side as a dipping sauce (or both!). If serving to a crowd, I recommend using toothpicks and dipping. For a small group, we drizzle and then dip more to taste, but it gets a little messier.
  • Sprinkle roasted peanuts and green onions over the wings and sauce. Serve immediately.

Notes

Some brands of white rice flour can be gritty; I always use this superfine white rice flour made by Authentic Foods.
 
GLUTEN-FREE: Simply use the white rice flour option and substitute gluten-free panko-style breadcrumbs. I've found those in recent times in the "International" aisle of my regular grocery store; there's a vegan variety made by Kikkoman. The ones in the pictures are actually gluten-free, as I wanted to share them with my love! Also, make sure to use tamari instead of soy sauce.
 
THAI RED CURRY PASTE: This stuff luckily keeps for a long time in the fridge and I have many other recipes that use it (such as Thai butternut squash soup; triple P curry; and more)
 

This recipe was originally published in January 2016, but has been updated in January 2019 with a streamlined recipe (no more using a partial can of coconut milk); step-by-step photos; and new pictures by Yup, it's Vegan!
Thai peanut cauliflower wings inspired by Vegan Richa’s spicy baked cauliflower bites.
Keyword peanut cauliflower wings, thai cauliflower wings