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Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Lettuce Cups with Rice Noodles

It’s hard for me to pick favourite recipes but this has to be one of my favourite plant based meals. Battered cauliflower florets in a sticky sesame sauce hits all the right spots. They are baked in the oven, making them a healthier option than fried, and are just as tasty the next day for lunch.

Serves 4 -  GF, DF, VEG, VGN




1 head of cauliflower

1 cup + 2 tablespoon rice flour

3 tablespoons cornflour/corn starch

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon ground pepper

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup water



½ cup low sodium soy sauce (or tamari/coconut aminos) 

¼ cup honey (or maple syrup)

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 teaspoons finely grated ginger

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon tomato paste

½ -¼ teaspoon chilli powder

2 teaspoons cornflour/corn starch

¼ cup cold water


To serve

100g vermicelli rice noodles

12 romaine lettuce leaves

1 stalk spring onion, finely sliced

1 red chilli, finely sliced

Sesame seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a large oven tray with baking paper.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into small bite size florets. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients for the cauliflower. Add the water and mix until smooth. Dip one of the pieces of cauliflower into the batter to test it’s thickness. You want the batter to coat the cauliflower without too much dripping off. Add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until you achieve a suitable thickness. 

  3. Add the cauliflower florets into the batter and mix to coat well. Use a fork to transfer the battered pieces to the lined oven tray, spacing them well and bake for 20 minutes.

  4. While the cauliflower is cooking, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce except the corn starch and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Mix the corn starch with the water and add to the sauce. Use a whisk to combine over the heat until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. 

  5. Cook or soak vermicelli rice noodles as per packet instructions and set aside. 
  6. Once the cauliflower has cooked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven. Use three quarters of the sauce (save the rest for serving) to coat the cauliflower by either brushing on with a basting brush in the oven tray or putting the cauliflower pieces into a large bowl, pouring the sauce over, mixing well, and returning to the oven tray. 

  7. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until the edges start to darken. Keep a close eye on them as they can burn quickly at this stage. 

  8. Serve family style for everyone to make their own cups or put a few lettuce cups on each plate, fill with rice noodles, top with some cauliflower pieces, drizzle with the extra sauce and garnish with spring onion, red chilli and sesame seeds. 

Don’t have rice flour? 

Rice flour is used here because it is gluten free and does tend to make the batter thicker and more crispy. Plain flour will also do the trick; you may just need to slightly adjust the quantity to achieve the right consistency.

About the author

Chelsea Shine

Chelsea Shine is a Holistic Health Coach and Private Chef who is passionate about helping people live deliciously healthy lifestyles.

She helps to bridge the gap between nutrition and being able to execute it with quick, healthy and delicious home cooking.

She helps clients take the stress out of cooking while making the process quicker and more enjoyable.

A foodie at heart, she believes health starts in the kitchen but goes much further than just what we eat.

She takes a holistic approach to health, coaching clients to make realistic changes and build healthy habits so they can feel their best and get the most out of life.



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