Sticky Lemon Stir-Fry with Crispy Cauliflower and Tofu

A delicious healthier Vegan alternative to the Chinese classic Lemon Chicken but with crispy baked cauliflower and tofu and a thick sticky lemon sauce which is perfect served with fresh stir-fried vegetables and noodles for a super filling meal. 

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I was so excited to make this when I decided that I fancied creating some Chinese food because admittedly it isn’t something I ever go out to eat and very rarely make at home except for the occasional stir-fry because it is super easy, quick and a very convenient weeknight meal where you can make extra and heat it up during the week! 

So I have a basic idea of Chinese sauces as I’ve been creating my own quick stir-fry sauces for a few years now. I know I’ll never be as good as the restaurants but I am confident in knowing it’ll be healthier and better for me which is always a winner. I had a few extra lemons laying around in the fridge after making these delicious lemon mousse bars so I knew I had to follow it with something savoury and I also knew I wanted to have a go with panko breadcrumbs as I also haven’t used these before and bought them on a visit to my local Asian supermarket whilst buying my jack fruit for my BBQ ‘pulled pork’. 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting the sauce right here was a little trickier than I anticipated but after a few trials I am super happy with it and it will be on the menu in my house on a regular basis I’m sure! I think the trick with making a decent sauce is definitely to taste as you’re cooking which I am guilty of not doing, like ever when I’m cooking. I’ve created this sauce to suit my taste buds as when trailing it a few times I wasn’t satisfied by the lemon flavour coming through, then the sweetness and then I felt it needed a tiny little kick of heat and voila I think I’ve got it.

For my recipe I have used a mixture of panko coated cauliflower and tofu because I love both but you could use either here as they both work perfectly. Your cauliflower needs to be in bite-sized florets and the tofu needs to be drained and pressed to release as much liquid as possible.
* I marinated my tofu overnight in a simple marinade of garlic and ginger paste, soy sauce, lemon juice and rice vinegar and then drained this away from the tofu before coating, but reserve this for later.

To coat the cauliflower and tofu you need to create a batter mixture by mixing together flour, milk and an optional tsp of lemon pepper or just a pinch of salt and pepper. Also have a bowl of panko breadcrumbs ready for dipping. You will need to do this one by one to coat the cauliflower/tofu in the batter and shaking off any excess mixture and then dip in the panko and shake off any excess crumbs. Repeat this process until all pieces have been used and then place them on a lined baking tray and bake for approx. 30 minutes or until browned and crispy.

Whilst your cauliflower and tofu are baking you can prepare your sauce by making sure you’ve got all of your ingredients together. The sauce is super easy to make and requires just one pan to combine all the ingredients over a small flame on a low-medium heat to heat and simmer slightly but not boil. Once it’s been cooking for about 5 minutes, add the cornflour mixture to create the thickness and stickiness required. You can leave this on a low-heat or turn off the heat and set aside and re-heat just before serving. 

The next step is to prepare and cook your stir-fry vegetables and noodles so simply stir-fry your vegetables in a large wok over a medium heat and stir-fry in sesame oil and add the reserved marinade from the tofu and stir-fry for approx. 5-10 minutes or until tender. Place a pan of water over a high-heat and bring to a boil, then add your noodles and simmer over a medium heat for 3- 5 minutes or until softened according to pack instructions. 

Once everything is cooked, assemble your plate by placing the ingredients in order in a large pasta type bowl; noodles, stir-fried vegetables, some sauce, panko coated cauliflower and tofu and then some more sauce as desired. Serve warm and best-served at the time of making.

I hope you enjoy this, and if you make them please let me know, leave your comments and check me out on Facebook and Instagram! 🙂 xo


Sticky Lemon Stir-Fry with Crispy Cauliflower and Tofu
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Vegan
Cuisine: Chinese, Main
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
Sauce:
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons and some zest)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • ½ tsp hot sauce or chilli pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp cornflour and 2 tbsp water, combined
Cauliflower and Tofu Coating:
  • ½ cup wholemeal flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ tsp lemon pepper or pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 400g block firm tofu, drained, pressed and marinated* (see above)
  • 400g bag stir-fry vegetables, to serve
  • Wholegrain noodles, to serve
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Firstly, create a batter mixture by mixing together flour, milk and an optional ½ tsp of lemon pepper or just a pinch of salt and pepper. Also have a bowl of panko breadcrumbs ready for dipping, do this one by one to coat the cauliflower/tofu in the batter and shaking off any excess mixture and then dip in the panko and shake off any excess crumbs. Repeat this process until all pieces have been used.
  3. Place them on a lined baking tray and bake for approx. 30 minutes or until browned and crispy.
  4. Whilst your cauliflower and tofu are baking, prepare the sauce by placing a medium sized pan over a small flame on a low-medium heat to heat and simmer slightly but do not allow to boil. Once it's been cooking for about 5 minutes and the liquid has reduced, add the cornflour mixture. Continue to cook on a low-heat or turn off the heat and set aside and re-heat just before serving.
  5. Now prepare and cook your stir-fry vegetables in a large wok over a medium heat and stir-fry in sesame oil and add the reserved marinade from the tofu and stir-fry for approx. 5-10 minutes or until tender.
  6. Place another medium sized pan of water over a high-heat and bring to a boil, then add your noodles and simmer over a medium heat for 3- 5 minutes or according to pack instructions.
  7. Once everything is cooked, assemble your meal by placing the ingredients in order in a large pasta type bowl; noodles, stir-fried vegetables, some sauce, panko coated cauliflower and tofu and then some more sauce as desired.
  8. Serve warm and best-served at the time of making.

@untaintedtastes

@untaintedtastes

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