Black Pepper Cauliflower

Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable known for its versatility, has been reinvented in countless ways. From creamy cauliflower mash to cauliflower rice, this unassuming veggie has found its way into the hearts of health-conscious food lovers. But if you’re looking to take your cauliflower game up a notch, Black Pepper Cauliflower is here to tantalize your taste buds.

This dish brings together the earthy and slightly nutty flavor of cauliflower with the bold and zesty kick of black pepper. The result is a spicy, aromatic, and utterly satisfying creation that transforms cauliflower into a star of the dinner table. Black Pepper Cauliflower is not your run-of-the-mill vegetable side dish; it’s a flavor-packed experience that can be enjoyed as a main course, a side, or even as a delightful snack.

The beauty of Black Pepper Cauliflower lies in its simplicity. It’s a recipe that elevates the humble cauliflower by highlighting its natural taste while adding a burst of heat and depth with freshly ground black pepper. The combination of flavors is truly enchanting, as the cauliflower absorbs the spiciness, creating a dish that is both comforting and exciting. Whether you’re a lifelong cauliflower fan or someone seeking a new way to introduce this cruciferous vegetable into your diet, Black Pepper Cauliflower is an ideal choice.

In our journey through the world of Black Pepper Cauliflower, we’ll explore the key ingredients and the steps to achieve the perfect balance of flavors and textures. So, get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that marries the simplicity of cauliflower with the boldness of black pepper, creating a dish that’s nothing short of extraordinary. Your taste buds are in for a treat as we delve into the magic of Black Pepper Cauliflower.


– 3 heaping cups (300 g) cauliflower florets (from a small head of cauliflower)

*For the Marinade:*
– 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten-free option)
– 1 teaspoon ketchup
– 2 teaspoons oil
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
– 2-3 tablespoons cornstarch (or tapioca starch)

*For the Sauce:*
– 1 teaspoon oil
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/2 inch ginger, minced
– 2 dried red chilies (such as cayenne, or use California red for less heat, or Chinese, Indian, or Thai chilies for a spicier kick)
– 1/4 cup chopped red onion
– 3/4 cup chopped celery
– 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten-free option)
– 1 tablespoon maple syrup
– 3/4 teaspoon or more freshly ground black pepper
– 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
– 1.5 teaspoons cornstarch (or tapioca starch)
– 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
– Green onion and sesame seeds for garnish


1. Begin by chopping the cauliflower into small to medium-sized florets and place them in a large bowl.

2. In a separate small bowl, combine the soy sauce, ketchup, oil, salt, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour this marinade over the cauliflower and toss thoroughly to ensure an even coating (toss for about half a minute). Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cornstarch over the cauliflower and toss again until all the florets are well coated. If there’s any sauce remaining in the bowl, add a bit more cornstarch. The cauliflower florets should not be wet and should have no dry patches of cornstarch.

3. Once the cauliflower florets are evenly coated, transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading them out so they don’t touch each other.

4. Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 24-28 minutes. Check at the 24-minute mark to see if the cauliflower florets are done; if not, bake for an additional 5 minutes or until they achieve the desired texture.

5. While the cauliflower is baking, prepare the sauce. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, and once it’s hot, add the minced garlic, ginger, and dried red chilies. Stir for a few seconds, then add the onion, celery, and a pinch of salt. Mix well and cook until the onion just starts to turn translucent. Add the soy sauce, maple syrup, black and white pepper, and mix. Combine the cornstarch with 1/2 cup of water, then pour the mixture into the pan. Stir well, and once the sauce comes to a boil and thickens, remove from heat.

6. Take the cauliflower out of the oven and add it to the sauce, tossing to coat thoroughly. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Serve as is or with rice or quinoa.

7. Store any leftovers in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This dish can be a light dinner on its own, served over rice, or as a side salad. For a heartier meal, serve it over quinoa or replace half the cauliflower with tofu to make Black Pepper Cauliflower Tofu. Enjoy the spicy delight of Black Pepper Cauliflower!


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