Hot Tempura Cauliflower Bites (Gluten Free)

Here is something light and bright for you, that is punchy enough in flavour to bring lots of joy to your January. Although this is not a penitent January dish. It is fabulous all year round and deserves celebrating. Humble ingredients are the best and they are so easily elevated.

Have you met my friend Gojuchang?

Gojuchang, if you don’t know it yet, is Korean fermented chilli paste and it is an absolutely sublime ingredient. Hot, deep and rich, it tells lies about your cooking. It tells that you have cooked things for longer than what you have and that everything is far more complicated than you know it is. You have to have it in your cupboard.

Here, I make a very simple marinade for cauliflower with it before dusting it thoroughly with brown rice flour (white will do here too) and then dipping it and allowing it to bathe briefly in a brown rice batter that just happens to be also gluten-free. I serve them on a bed of gojuchang mayo which is a sublime condiment in most situations (try it with your burger, in a chicken sandwich and your next platter of fried chicken). Crisp curry leaves are the crowning glory but don’t panic if you can’t find them. Fresh coriander works really well here too, and you can fry that also if you want to try something new. Coriander phobes can try fried shredded kale, so delicious. Just make sure that you dry them first so that they crisp nicely.

Note: not all gojuchang pastes are gluten free but many are, so check the ingredients first if gluten is an issue.

Hot tempura cauliflower bites
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Hot tempura cauliflower bites


    tempura cauliflower bites
  • 1 small cauliflower cut into bite size florets
  • 2 tbsp gojuchang (Korean chilli paste)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari (gf)
  • 1 large egg
  • 150ml water
  • 80g brown rice flour + 100g brown rice flour for dusting
  • Curry leaves
  • 1 Spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1 lime
  • Oil for frying - vegetable, sunflower or groundnut are all good choices
    Gojuchang and lime mayo
  • 1 tbsp gojuchang, 3 tbsp mayo and a squeeze of lime, to taste


  • Make your marinade by combining the gojuchang, soy sauce or tamari and some lime juice, to taste. Massage into the cauliflower florets and leave to the side while you prepare your tempura.
  • Whisk the egg and water together with a generous pinch of sea salt. Add the 80g of brown rice flour and whisk. Add the remaining rice flour to the marinated cauliflower and toss gently ensuring that each piece is covered. this ensures that the batter will stick.
  • Heat about an inch of oil for frying in a frying pan (you can use a fryer if you have one, of course). Bring the oil to approx 180C if you have a thermometer, if you don’t test it by adding a small bit of cauliflower and if it sizzles immediately it is ready. Whisk the batter before coating again, then dip each piece in the batter ensuring it is well coated before adding to the frying pan. Fry in batches taking care not to crowd the pan. When crisp and golden remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
  • When all the cauliflower is fried, fry the curry leaves for about 30 seconds until crispy, taking care as the will spit. If you can’t source them you can use coriander which has a different flavour but also works really well. If you hate coriander (and I know some of you do!) try fried kale, it is delicious! Just make sure it is dry before hitting the oil.
  • Serve the cauliflower on a bed of gojuchang mayo sprinkled with the spring onion and fried leaves. Enjoy!

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    Written by Niamh
    Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.