Fried cauliflower steaks drizzled with honey and hot sauce. A delicious vegetarian twist on fried chicken!

Fried Cauliflower Steaks with Honey and Hot Sauce

I’m going to keep today’s post short and sweet. Actually, in this specific case…spicy and sweet.

This is mainly due to the fact that I stayed up way too late last night discussing wedding tents and wedding room capacities. And, as a result, I feel like eating all.the.fried.foods.

These fried cauliflower steaks are vegetarian take on fried chicken with honey and hot sauce. Wait, hear me out! Because I can already feel the eyes starting to roll.

Crystal Hot Sauce

A few short months ago, Connor and I visited an amazing new restaurant in DC (Rose’s Luxury), and I encountered the best fried chicken of my life. And yes, I could probably count the number of times I’ve consumed true fried chicken in my life on one hand…but trust me, this was the real deal.

The dish was pickle-brined fried chicken and it was lightly tossed with honey, benne seeds (sesame), and came with a side of Louisiana’s pure crystal hot sauce. It was crispy, a little bit sweet, salty, and perfectly cut by the spiciness of the hot vinegar sauce.

If I didn’t happen to have been surrounded by strangers at the time, I probably would have licked the bowl clean. That is how good it was. I was sort of blown away.

Cauliflower Steaks

It’s been a dish I’ve been wanting to recreate in a new, funky way for a long time! And somewhere along the brainstorming process, I came up with the idea of making it vegetarian and using cauliflower instead. Obviously fried cauliflower does not taste like fried chicken. The taste is not replicable, nor was that the intention behind this dish,. 

The combination of cutting the cauliflower into ‘steaks’, coating them in a simple breadcrumb and flour coating, and pan frying gives them a similarly satisfying crispness. The addition of black sesame seeds adds just enough contrast and texture! Since the cauliflower is relatively delicate, I chose to simply drizzle the pieces with honey (rather than toss them in a bowl) right before serving.

This dish is definitely different, but just similar enough in flavor that it brought me back to that restaurant meal! It is playful, not meant to be taken too seriously, and would best be served as a fun appetizer for a crowd!

Fried Cauliflower Steaks

Fried Cauliflower Steaks with Honey and Hot Sauce

Fried Cauliflower Steaks with Honey and Hot Sauce

5 stars (5 ratings)
Fried cauliflower steaks drizzled with honey and hot sauce. A delicious vegetarian twist on fried chicken!


  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (120 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • cup breadcrumbs regular or panko for extra crunch
  • ¼ teaspoon ground paprika
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • toasted black sesame seeds


  • honey for drizzling
  • hot sauce for drizzling


  • Steam the Cauliflower: Slice the cauliflower into ¾-inch to 1-inch thick steaks (see this post for step by step photos). Some slices might need to be halved if they are too large. The most important step in this process is creating a flat surface on both sides of the cauliflower so they fry evenly (don’t worry if some of the pieces or florets break off).
  • Set the steaks (and any leftover trimmed pieces)in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet over medium heat and pour in ¼-inch of water. Do not crowd the pan, this step might need to be done in batches. Bring the water to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover the pot, and allow the cauliflower to steam until it is barely fork tender, roughly 4 to 6 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the cauliflower. Repeat until all of the cauliflower has been steamed.
  • Use a spatula to carefully transfer the cauliflower steaks and pieces to a plate or wire rack. Allow them to cool completely, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Breading Assembly: Whisk together the eggs in a bowl and set aside. Combine the flour, breadcrumbs, and paprika on a seperate shallow plate or bowl for breading. Season flour mixture with salt and pepper.
  • Dip the cauliflower steaks in egg on both sides, then coat in the flour mixture. Be sure to cover the cauliflower as completely as possible. If the cauliflower steaks break up, don't worry, just coat and fry the pieces.
  • Set aside a half sheet pan lined with wire rack.
  • Add oil to a large skillet until it is at least ½-inch deep. Place over medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer, gently add the breaded cauliflower steaks. Do not overcrowd the pan. Fry until they are golden brown and crisp, roughly 2 minutes. Flip and repeat. Transfer them to the wire rack and immediately season with salt and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
  • Repeat with the remaining cauliflower steaks, replacing the frying oil if necessary. Serve the fried cauliflower on a large platter and honey and hot sauce for drizzling.
Inspired by the fried chicken dish at Rose’s Luxury.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 325kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 93mg, Sodium: 356mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g