Crispy cornmeal and crumb coated cauliflower is baked to golden perfection before being tossed in a delicious creamy and spicy sriracha spiked sauce in these tasty lettuce wraps. This healthy plant based meal or appetizer has flavor, texture, ease-ability… the whole shi-bang.
Make that the whole shi-bang bang.
In my pre-vegan days I used to eat a lot of shrimp. Popcorn shrimp, coconut shrimp, beer battered shrimp, shrimp scampi… I ate it in all the ways Bubba described, without ever a thought to what I was actually eating and how it got on my plate. Right before I stopped eating seafood for good (which was some time before ending my consumption of dairy and later eggs… my own path that led me to veganism and plant based eating was a long and winding one, where I sort of educated myself and dropped things in steps) I caught wind of a dish called bang bang shrimp, and I of course had to try it. Even then, I knew that the two main features that made it so delicious were 1) the breading; and 2) the sauce.
For some reason bang bang shrimp came into my head the other day and I knew it had to be veganized. Because I love cauliflower, and I know it to be one of the most versatile vegetables known to man (and also because I’ve used it to replace breaded shrimp before) I decided my go-to veggie would be perfect in this healthy plant-based remake. While bang bang cauliflower is out there on the webs, it almost always has egg. For this version I created a dredge using plant milk and vegan mayo, to help the crumbs stick. It worked perfectly and I was so happy with the results. Also, the recipe is simple with just 10 ingredients, and can be made oil free and gluten free as well.
Feel free to serve the bang bang cauliflower over rice, or with other veggies, in a tortilla wrap, or any other way you can think of! I hope you love it as much as we did!
Bang Bang Cauliflower Lettuce Wraps – Vegan, can be Gluten Free and Oil Free as well)
serves 2 – 3
For the cauliflower:
- 1 head of cauliflower, washed and chopped into bite size florets
- 1/2 cup panko or gluten free bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup cashew, soy, almond or other plant milk
- 2 tbsp vegan mayo or my homemade oil free vegan mayo
- 1/2 – 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the sauce:
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo or homemade oil free vegan mayo
- 1/4 cup sriracha sauce
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
For the wraps:
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, leaves washed and separated
- fresh cilantro or sliced green onions for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or lightly spray with avocado oil.
Set up a dredge and crumb station: Mix the panko, cornmeal, salt, and garlic powder in one shallow dish; and stir together the cashew milk and vegan mayo in another medium bowl. Use one hand to dredge the cauliflower florets through the wet mixture, drop it in the bread crumbs and use the other hand to roll it around. Place it on the baking sheet and repeat until all are coated (eventually I was doing a handful at once). Spray with a light coating of avocado oil before baking or skip this step to keep it oil free
Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until breading is golden and the cauliflower is tender.
Stir together the ingredients for the sauce and either drizzle over the cauliflower or carefully dump the cauliflower in a large bowl and stir in the sauce to coat each floret. If coating them instead of drizzling, you may want to make extra sauce for serving.
Fill romaine leaves with cauliflower, drizzle with extra sauce if desired, sprinkle on cilantro or green onions, and enjoy!