If you enjoy Chinese-style lemon chicken, this is a delicious healthier version. Panko crusted cauliflower bites are baked until crunchy and then drizzled with a sweet and savory lemon garlic sauce.
A few weeks ago, we went to my parent’s place for the weekend and while we were there I was able to pick lemons from my friend’s overflowing lemon tree. And when I say “I,” what I really mean is I stood there and watched while Mr. K climbed the ladder and picked the lemons. With a large bag of lemons packed in my suitcase, I knew I had to start cooking with them.
Enter this lemon cauliflower dish. It’s a delicious alternative to Chinese-style lemon chicken and I really enjoy the sauce. I couldn’t stop “tasting” the sauce while it was cooking. It’s garlicky, lemony, savory and sweet. It’s perfect on a bed of rice, salad, or whatever you else you prefer.
- 1 medium head of cauliflower cut into bite sized florets
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs I prefer Kikkoman brand
- 2 large eggs whisked
for the sauce
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
- 6 tbsp fresh lemon juice about two lemons
- 4 tsp grated lemon zest
- 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 4 tsp cornstarch completely dissolved into 1/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Set whisked eggs aside in a small bowl. Add about 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs into a ziploc bag. Line an extra large baking sheet with parchment paper. I use an 18 inch by 13 inch commercial half sheet, but you can also use two smaller sheets too.
- Dip cauliflower in egg mixture and then shake a few times so that excess egg drips off. You don't want to dampen your breadcrumbs with excess egg because then they won't stick to the cauliflower. Set aside dipped cauliflower on a cutting board or plate, so that more excess egg has a chance to drip off. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
- Take an egg dipped cauliflower and place into bag of breadcrumbs. Seal and shake a few times until it is completely covered in breadcrumbs. Remove and place onto baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cauliflower, adding an additional 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs to the bag whenever you run out. You can do a few cauliflower at a time, but I don't recommend more than 3-4 because your cauliflower won't be as well covered in breadcrumbs.
- Bake 15-20 minutes until breadcrumbs turn a dark golden brown and are crunchy.
- While your cauliflower is cooking, make your sauce. Add all sauce ingredients, except the cornstarch dissolved in water, into a small saucepan over low heat. Bring sauce to a simmer. Add in the cornstarch dissolved in water, stirring constantly so that the cornstarch does not cook in clumps. Allow sauce to come to a simmer again while stirring. Let the sauce simmer for about 2 minutes until thickened. Remove sauce from heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes (about 5 minutes). While it's cooling, it will thicken further.
- Allow baked cauliflower to cool about 15-20 minutes until they are no longer too hot to touch. Pour sauce over cauliflower. Serve warm over rice, salad, pasta or whatever else you prefer.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.