Crispy ‘popcorn’ cauliflower recipe with kimchi sauce


This delicious Korean-inspired dish is ideal as a tasty side for a cosy night in. It also makes a healthier alternative to one you might find in a restaurant or takeaway. Enjoy your popcorn cauliflower deep fried in rapeseed oil, or roasted for a healthier but not-so-crispy dish.

Pair with a delicious kimchi sauce for a real burst of flavours. Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish that’s very popular in both North and South Korea. It’s eaten most mealtimes, so it’s no surprise Koreans each get through 25kg a year. This sweet-sour Korean staple is a spicy pickle fermented in brine (in the same way as German sauerkraut).

Kimchi is easy enough to make at home – take a look at our guide here. It’s made with seasonal vegetables – often cabbage or sometimes radish, cucumber or onion – combined with seasonings such as chilli, garlic and ginger. Because it’s fermented, kimchi is probiotic and rich in good bacteria, which promotes good gut heath. If you’re keen to save time, shop-bought kimchi is a delicious alternative to making your own.

Serve with a scattering of spring onions and seasame seeds to give your popcorn cauliflower a final flourish.

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    For the cauliflower

    • 1 cauliflower head
    • 150ml oat milk
    • 2 organic eggs, whisked
    • 150g oatmeal (or roughly blitzed oats)
    • 4tsp Korean red pepper flakes (or 2 tsp chilli flakes)
    • Drizzle of sesame oil
    • 150-200ml rapeseed oil for frying
    • Sea salt

    For the sauce

    • 1tbsp kimchi
    • 2 tbsp honey
    • 2tsp soy
    • Half a lime, zest and juice
    • 1tsp red pepper flakes/chilli flakes
    • 1tsp Gochujang paste (optional)
    • 2 spring onions
    • Sesame seeds to serve


    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/gas mark 6 and line a roasting tray with parchment if roasting.
    2. Cut the cauliflower into small, bite-sized florets. Boil for around four minutes until they’re tender. Drain the cauliflower florets and dry on some kitchen paper.
    3. Set out a bowl with the oat milk and mix together with the eggs. In another bowl, mix the oatmeal with a pinch of salt and chilli/red pepper flakes. Dip each floret individually in the bowl with the oat milk and egg, and carefully coat in the oatmeal.
    4. Place on the roasting tray. Repeat with each floret, then pop the tray in the oven for around 20 minutes, checking half way to turn, until they’re crispy and golden.
    5. Alternatively, for extra crunch, you can deep fry the florets in a saucepan with 5cm deep of sizzling hot rapeseed oil.
    6. To serve, mix together the sauce ingredients and drizzle on top (have some to the side, too). Finish with a scattering of spring onions and sesame seeds.