Servings: 6 Prep: 10 mins Cook: 15 mins Total: 25 mins
I’m pretty sure that everyone loves a small fried nibblet, of some kind. Even those of that that scoff at the idea of frizzle fried food stuffs, I secretly suspect that you privately pine for these greasy snacky tidbits. You know it’s true! Throw a little bacon into the mix and it becomes almost transcendent.
These little fried nuggetlettes aren’t so different from my chicken nuggets. The primary difference being the lack of chicken and the introduction of cauliflower. Additionally, chicken has a higher moisture content than raw cauliflower. The breading has a tougher time adhering to the outside of the cruciferous vegetable. As a result, I’ve added a light dusting of the hungry coconut flour to the process. This helps the eggs adhere to both the cauliflower, as well as the “breading”.
For whatever reason, the breading clumped up much more with this ingredient than it did with the chicken. I can only imagine that with less overall moisture, that the “crust” wasn’t as thick, resulting in more left behind in the dredging vessel. Towards the end, I was essentially putting balls of the raw almond meal mixture into my palms, placing a floret into the middle of the ball, and then squeezing the mixture all around it, prior to frying it up. This absolutely worked, while also making a thicker crust!
Fryer Fat Note: Good “high smoke point” oils for frying are: coconut oil, lard palm oil, and clarified butter (ghee). Avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and manmade trans-fats. Processed oils like canola, corn, vegetable and soybean should be avoided.
Photo Note: I made a special Hollandaise sauce for this, as a dipping sauce. However, rather than using butter as the fat, I used rendered bacon fat. This made for a more bacon-y flavor, while also giving me a use for the bacon fat I’ve always got lying around the house! Here’s a Béarnaise sauce recipe. Use this as the basis for your Hollandaise. Just leave out the herbs. To make it lighter in color and bacon flavored, simply swap out the fats!
Fried CauliflowerPrint Rate
- 1 cup high smoke point oil (see recipe notes)
- 1 head large cauliflower
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 cup parmesan cheese finely grated
- 2 tsp fresh oregano (thyme rosemary, sage and/or marjoram), rough chop
- 4 each garlic clove minced
- 1 large egg
- salt fresh cracked black pepper and chile flakes, to taste
- Pre-heat your oil to a temperature between 325 and 350 degrees, in a wide skillet over medium-low heat.
- While the oil heats, in a bowl, dust your cauliflower florets with coconut flour. It will just create a very thin layer.
- In a seperate large and wide-mouthed bowl mix your almond meal, parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and optional chile flakes. (I actually used a large wide Tupperware with a lid) Remove half of the mixture and set aside.
- In third bowl, whisk together your egg with 2 tbsp. cold water. Add a little salt and pepper.
- Add your cauliflower to the eggs and mix well.
- To the best of your ability, spread the almond meal mixture evenly along the bottom of your large bowl or container.
- Evenly drop the florets around the almond meal mixture, so that they don't really touch one another.
- Dust the tops of the cauliflower with the remaining almond meal mixture.
- Shake the cauliflower. If you've got a lid, add the lid and shake shake shake, Senora. Otherwise, just get in there and make sure the nuggets are evenly coated. If all the dredge doesn't fully stick, you can literally just "squeeze" it on, by applying pressure with your palms.
- Once the nuggets are evenly coated, carefully drop them evenly into their own spots within the heated oil. At this point, you probably want to increase the temperature of the burner, as the cauliflower will drop the temperature of the oil. (be careful not to let the oil go much higher than 350 F, however).
- As one side turns golden brown, flip them to the other side. Continue frying and turning until they are cooked through and golden brown.
- Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a towel to absorb any extra fat.
- Note: If you chose to do a deep fry, rather than a pan fry, as long as your oil never went above 350 F, you can strain it through a coffee filter and re-use one more time. BE CAREFUL not to burn yourself.
STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note, I only ever endorse products that are in alignment with my ideals and I believe would be of value to my readers.
* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition …
12 thoughts on “Fried Cauliflower”
Hi, thanks for the recipe. I am going to try it this weekend. But I can never, and I mean never get the coating to stay on. As soon as it hits this oil it just floats off. I have tried everything people suggest but with no luck. Do you have any suggestions?
Hi Joyce! I honestly had no problem with it, whatsoever. I think what did it was the fine coating of coconut flour. It’s a hungry substance and really helps things stick. I also, quite frankly, just packed the stuffing on, by making little balls of dough with my fists. I didn’t need to do it for the first half of the batch, but it quickly needed my assistance. Just pack little balls of dough around each nice sized floret and it should work. Beyond that, don’t crowd the fryer and don’t stir the cauliflower, until it’s "set". I hope this helps. Please let me know how it turns out!
Hmmm. This makes me think of the spicy bite-sized "Manchurian" veggie appetizers that sometimes appear at Indian restaurants. I think your recipe would be a good starting point to make these treats! Thanks for doing the great groundwork! (And for all of your yummy recipes, of course.)
Yep, I agree! Throw some exotic spices into it and it would be tasty, to be sure! Thanks for the kind words! 🙂
Stupid question –
How do I know what temp my oil is? I have a glass candy thermometer. Would that work? Thanks.
Hi Karen, not a stupid question at all! Anyone without a fryer might be stuck. Most meat thermometers don’t go that high. I’m not even sure that everyone knows what a candy thermometer is! There are special thermomters you can get, designed for oil, and they clip on to the edge of a pot, but … I’ve already got a glass candy thermometer, so this is what I’ve always used. Just be careful! I’m glad you asked! 🙂
OMG!!! I miss fried cauliflower the most! I am trying this VERY soon! Thank you DJ FOODIE!
Is there a good substitute for coconut flour? My husband is allergic to coconut.
Unknown, try using tapioca flour or arrowroot. It’ll add a few carbs, but will actually hold everything together even better. Only enough to coat them with a bit of powder is necessary, so it’s not really a whole lot. I hope this helps! 🙂
LOVE cauliflower fritters!!
Me too, Rosemary! 🙂
Hi! Did you precook your cauliflower before coating and frying? (Sorry if I didn’t see it written somewhere already)
—Reply posted by DJ on 1/5/2015
Hi Milena, nope! It’s not necessary. It’ll cook while it fries. Enjoy it! 🙂