No need to deal with a pot of hot oil to get crispy battered cauliflower. These oven-baked florets come out crackly and just rich enough before getting bathed in a sticky-sweet gochujang glaze.
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cup all-purpose flour
tsp. baking powder
tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt
large head of cauliflower (about 2½ lb.), cut into large florets
cup gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
Tbsp. soy sauce
Tbsp. pure maple syrup
tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
Steamed rice, toasted sesame seeds, and thinly sliced scallions (for serving)
Preheat oven to 400°. Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl to combine. Whisk in 1 cup water to create a thin pancake-like batter (you may need to add more water to achieve the right consistency). Using your hand or 2 forks and working one at a time, dip cauliflower florets into batter, letting excess drip back into bowl, and divide between 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake cauliflower until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown, 20–25 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk gochujang, soy sauce, maple syrup, mirin, and 1 cup water in a medium bowl. Pour sauce into a skillet large enough to hold all of the cauliflower florets (a 12″ skillet should do it) and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Cook, whisking, until sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, 8–10 minutes. Stir in vinegar and remove pan from heat.
Using tongs, transfer cauliflower to skillet with glaze and toss until florets are evenly coated in sauce.
Divide rice among shallow bowls and spoon cauliflower over. Top with sesame seeds and scallions.