Crispy Buffalo Fried Cauliflower (Vegan) Recipe

A plate of crispy buffalo fried cauliflower, with celery sticks on the side of the plate.
Photograph: Vicky Wasik. Video: Natalie Holt.

How to Make Crispy Buffalo Fried Cauliflower

A vegan game-day snack made with ultra-crisp battered cauliflower tossed in garlicky buffalo sauce.

Recipe Facts



Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Active: 15 mins
Total: 35 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • 2 quarts peanut oil

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup vodka

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets

  • 1/3 cup hot sauce, such as Frank's

  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup picked celery leaves (optional)


  1. Preheat oil to 350°F in a large wok, Dutch oven, or deep fryer.

  2. Combine cornstarch, flour, baking powder, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk until homogenous. Add water and vodka and whisk until a smooth batter is formed, adding up to 2 tablespoons additional water if batter is too thick. It should have the consistency of thin paint and fall off of the whisk in thin ribbons that instantly disappear as they hit the surface of the batter in the bowl.

  3. Add cauliflower to batter. Working one at a time, lift one piece and allow excess batter to drip off. Carefully lower into hot oil. Repeat with remaining cauliflower until wok or fryer is full. Do not crowd pan. (You'll be able to fit about half of the cauliflower in each batch). Fry, using a metal spider or slotted spatula to rotate and agitate pieces as they cook until evenly golden brown and crisp all over, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season immediately with salt. Keep warm while you fry the remaining cauliflower.

  4. Combine hot sauce, garlic, and 1 tablespoon oil from fryer in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Toss fried cauliflower with sauce and serve immediately, sprinkled with celery leaves (if using).

Special equipment

Dutch oven or wok for deep frying, whisk, instant-read thermometer or probe thermometer

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
175 Calories
12g Fat
11g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 175
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 137mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 47mg 233%
Calcium 26mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 218mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)