Deep-fried cauliflower with Korean spicy ketchup recipe

To finish, scatter with the sesame seeds and garnish with sprigs of coriander
To finish, scatter with the sesame seeds and garnish with sprigs of coriander - Matt Austin

This battered and deep-fried approach, teamed with the punchy sauce, works just as well with pieces of chicken or fish (such as monkfish) as it does with cauliflower or broccoli.

Gochujang – a Korean chilli-pepper paste made with fermented soya beans and glutinous rice – is available in many supermarkets. It’s pretty intense on its own so it needs diluting, or to be added to another sauce, but it’s an ingredient that’s well worth having to hand in your kitchen.


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes




  • 1 medium cauliflower, trimmed

  • 100g gluten-free self-raising flour, or as needed

  • vegetable or corn oil, for deep-frying

  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds

  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds (optional)

  • a few sprigs of coriander

For the sauce

  • 120g gochujang

  • 100g tomato ketchup

  • 30ml soy sauce


  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and halve them if large. Cook in boiling salted water for 5-6 minutes, then drain and leave to cool.

  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Mix together the gochujang, tomato ketchup and soy sauce, and add just enough water so the mixture still coats the back of a spoon.

  3. Whisk the flour with enough water to make a smooth, thin batter and season.

  4. Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large thick-bottomed saucepan or a deep-fat fryer.

  5. Dip a test piece of cauliflower into the batter to ensure it sticks and is not too heavy; adjust accordingly with more flour or water if needed.

  6. Coat the cauliflower with the batter a few pieces at a time, then fry them in batches (depending on the size of your pan or fryer), turning them in the oil with a slotted spoon until golden (about 2 minutes). Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.

  7. To serve, arrange the cauliflower pieces on a plate and spoon over the sauce. Scatter with the sesame seeds and garnish with sprigs of coriander.