Kung Pao is a popular Sichuan sauce that’s best known for dressing Kung Pao Chicken – a classic Chinese stir fry with an assortment of mixed vegetables, chicken, chili peppers, and peanuts. While Kung Pao Chicken originated in Sichuan, it quickly spread throughout other provinces in China and eventually the rest of the world. Over the years, this dish has grown in popularity throughout the U.S. and has inspired many adaptations and customizations.

Today, we’re giving Kung Pao Chicken a vegetarian twist; and one that is every bit as good as its carnivorous counterpart. Crunchy, crispy, sweet, and spicy, and doused in a dark, salty sauce, our Kung Pao Cauliflower holds nothing back.

For this dish, we’ve created a zesty, citrus flavor and a hint of heat using PSC Lemon Pepper Seasoning instead of the traditional Sichuan peppercorns.


About PSC Lemon Pepper Seasoning: A blend of black pepper and lemon that adds a burst of tangy flavor to any dish. It’s perfect for grilling, roasting, and seasoning vegetables, meat, or seafood.

About PSC Garlic and PSC Ginger: At PSC, we have an extended line of dried herbs, including many options for garlic and ginger. Dried herbs are fantastic to have on hand because they give you more flavor for less product, and reduce risk of waste due to their long shelf life. Click here to learn more about the value of dried herbs.

About PSC Chiles de Árbol: With their earthy, smoky, nutty flavor, and bold heat, Chiles de Árbol can be used in dishes like salsa, soups, and stir fry to add heat and spice.



1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp granulated sugar
¼ cup vegetable stock
1 tsp PSC Garlic Chopped
3 pieces of PSC Ginger, tea bag cut
1 tsp PSC Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1 tsp cornstarch
3 tbsp safflower oil, split
1 head cauliflower (2 lbs), cut into 2-inch florets
2 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated.
1 green or red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 PSC Chiles de Árbol, whole
⅓ cup roasted peanuts

Optional: Serve with steamed rice


Make the Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, vegetable stock, PSC Garlic Chopped, PSC Ginger, PSC Lemon Pepper Seasoning, and cornstarch. Set aside.

Note: adding dried PSC garlic and ginger to the sauce in this step will rehydrate them.

Cook the Cauliflower:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F.
  2. Drizzle two tablespoons of safflower oil over cauliflower florets and toss.
  3. Place in the air fryer basket in a single layer and air fry for 8-10 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until tender and starting to brown.

Put it all together:

  1. In a wok, add 1 tablespoon safflower oil, white part of the scallions, bell pepper, and PSC Chiles de Árbol. Stir for 1 minute.
  2. Add sauce and stir for 2-3 more minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower and peanuts and toss until well coated.
  4. Garnish with green scallions


vegetarian kung pao


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 4 servings


  • Make it your own! Try it with broccoli instead of cauliflower and/or add your veggies of choice!