My buttermilk deep-fried cauliflower is a delectable dish combining the crispiness of deep-fried batter with the tangy richness of buttermilk. These delightful morsels are easy to prepare and will soon become a family favorite.
By marinating the cauliflower bites in buttermilk it imparts a unique flavor and helps to give your flour dredge something to stick to when frying the cauliflower. This results in a crispy golden brown delight for your taste buds.
Ingredients for Deep Fried Cauliflower Bites
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make my deep-fried cauliflower recipe. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
Can I use other seasonings?
My recipe is very easy to adjust, and you can use any seasoning blend that you and your family enjoy. Lemon pepper, Italian seasoning, cajun seasoning, and Old Bay are some of my favorites.
For a change of pace try adding chili powder, thyme, curry, nutmeg, coriander, or allspice to your seasoning blend. For a spicier version add a little cayenne pepper to the buttermilk. For a touch of sweetness add a little brown sugar or honey to the buttermilk.
How to make Deep-Fried Cauliflower
- Cut the cauliflower florets into bite-size pieces, then rinse the pieces of cauliflower in a colander. Set aside to allow the moisture to drain off from the cauliflower pieces (or pat them dry with paper towels).
- Add the buttermilk, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, turmeric, and cumin to a large bowl.
- Whisk to combine.
- Add the dried cauliflower pieces to the buttermilk mixture.
- Gently mix to coat the pieces with the seasoned buttermilk.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.
- Add the all-purpose flour, salt, and black pepper to a shallow bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add 2-3 inches of vegetable oil (or soy oil, peanut oil, or your favorite frying oil) to a large skillet and place on the stove over high heat. Heat the oil to 365 -375 degrees F.
*Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the oil is hot enough. If the oil is not hot enough, the bites will be greasy.
- While the oil is heating, add the marinated cauliflower to the flour mixture. *When you remove the cauliflower from the buttermilk marinade, let the excess buttermilk drip off before placing them in the seasoned flour.
- Get a good coating of flour on the bites.
- Add the floured bites to the hot oil, frying the bites for 7-10 minutes until golden brown. You may have to turn the cauliflower bites over so both sides cook evenly.
*Do not overcrowd the pan; cook in batches if necessary.
- Place the deep fried cauliflower pieces on a wire rack to drain.
*For extra crispy cauliflower bites add a tablespoon of baking powder to the flour mixture. It will help dry them out and give you an extra crispy coating.
*Make sure the oil is hot enough or instead of that perfect golden brown crispy coating, the bites will be soggy and greasy.
If you love deep frying food, you can use my favorite deep fryer to make these delicious little bites.
My Deep-Fried Cauliflower Bites are perfect for your next get-together with friends and family, game day or just to treat yourself. They make a delicious side dish or a great appetizer for get-togethers.
I promise this will become your favorite cauliflower recipe!
For added deliciousness, coat the deep-fried cauliflower bites with buffalo hot sauce and watch the crowd go wild!!
Store any leftover cauliflower bites refrigerated in an airtight container for 2-3 days. To reheat place them in a 400-degree oven, toaster oven, or air fryer until hot and crispy.
When it comes to choosing an oil for deep frying, it’s important to choose oils with a high smoke point and neutral flavor to ensure the best results. Vegetable oil, peanut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil are all good options.
Blanching cauliflower in boiling water for a few minutes (2-3 minutes) can help soften the florets and reduce frying time. However, If you prefer a crunchier texture, it’s not necessary.
Absolutely. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Place the bites in a single layer in the air fryer basket and spray with oil or cooking spray. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket occasionally for even cooking.