Black Pepper Cauliflower Recipe

This Black Pepper Cauliflower recipe brings a burst of flavor to your table, combining the piquant taste of black pepper with the hearty texture of cauliflower. It’s a delicious and easy way to enjoy this versatile vegetable with an Asian-inspired twist.


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

For the Marinade:

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or use tamari for gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons cornstarch (or use tapioca starch for gluten-free)

For the Sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ inch ginger, minced
  • 2 dried red chilies, such as cayenne (adjust based on heat preference)
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • ¾ cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or use tamari for gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon or more freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoons cornstarch (or use tapioca starch for gluten-free)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) water


  • Green onion
  • Sesame seeds


  1. Prep the Cauliflower:
    • Wash and cut the cauliflower into florets, ensuring they are bite-sized for even cooking.
  2. Marinate the Cauliflower:
    • In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, ketchup, oil, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add the cauliflower florets and toss to coat evenly.
    • Sprinkle the cornstarch over the cauliflower and toss again until well coated. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Cook the Cauliflower:
    • Heat a skillet or a wok over medium-high heat. Add the marinated cauliflower and fry until all sides are golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Prepare the Sauce:
    • In the same skillet, add 1 teaspoon oil. Sauté garlic, ginger, and dried red chilies until aromatic.
    • Add the red onion and celery and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
    • Mix in the soy sauce, maple syrup, black pepper, and white pepper. Cook for another minute.
  5. Thicken the Sauce:
    • Combine 1.5 teaspoons of cornstarch with ½ cup water and pour into the skillet. Stir well and let it simmer until the sauce thickens.
  6. Combine Cauliflower and Sauce:
    • Add the fried cauliflower back to the skillet and toss to coat evenly with the sauce. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  7. Garnish and Serve:
    • Transfer the black pepper cauliflower to a serving dish. Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
    • Serve hot as a delightful side dish or a main over rice.


  • Adjust the Heat: You can modify the amount and type of chilies based on your heat tolerance.
  • Serving Suggestion: This dish pairs wonderfully with steamed rice or noodles for a satisfying meal.

This Black Pepper Cauliflower is not only flavorful but also offers a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your meals. It’s sure to be a hit with both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Enjoy your culinary creation!