Extra crispy, sweet, and spicy, sesame crusted cauliflower with pomegranate ponzu sauce. Crispy oven baked cauliflower breaded in a mix of Panko bread crumbs and sesame seeds, and served with a quick homemade pomegranate ponzu sauce. It’s kind of like your favorite Asian takeout, but better, healthier, and easy enough for any night of the week.

overhead photo of Sesame Crusted Cauliflower with Pomegranate Ponzu Sauce

Mondays in January are my favorite. I’m still in the “New Year” mind-set, crossing things off my to-do list, and working on tackling my 2019 goals. I’m not really the type of person that believes in resolutions. Or even one who thinks much of making the New Year a big deal for setting goals. If I have an idea, or something I want to do, I’m just going to do it. Or I’ll at least start taking the steps to do it, right there and then. I definitely don’t wait for New Year’s Eve to roll around to make big changes. I set my goals as they come! That said, I do think this is such a great time to sit down and reflect, do some brainstorming, and make goals for where you might want to be in a year…or even 5 years.

Did I just contradict myself? I think I did.

I’m sure if you were in my head you would understand what I’m trying to say (wink, wink). Basically, I love this time of year because it feels fresh and exciting. I love the idea of setting goals for the year, but if I have something I want to do, I’m going to do it. No matter what time of year it is.

Am I making any sense at all? Probably not, but let’s just move on.

Point is that I love Mondays and I’m feeling especially excited for this next week. The weekend was spent catching up on work, celebrating my mom’s birthday, and also just trying to stay warm. Oh winter…

overhead photo of Sesame Crusted Cauliflower on baking sheet Pomegranate Ponzu Sauce with juiced oranges on table

This is yet another recipe I made over Christmas, when my family was all in town. I’ve been incredibly excited to share this recipe. It’s a really fun way to enjoy cauliflower that feels new and exciting.

Up until this recipe, I had never made cauliflower “steaks” before. My almost sister-in-law, Lyndsie, told me I needed to make Panko crusted cauliflower steaks. That sounded good, but for some reason, sesame crusted sounded so much better.

Sooo. I did what I do, and I played around with some recipes, tweaked a few things, and this is the recipe I got in return.

It. Is. GOOD. Like Asian takeout, but better, and healthier. And pretty easy too!

overhead close up photo of Sesame Crusted Cauliflower with Pomegranate Ponzu Sauce

First up, slice the cauliflower in to “steaks”. This is really easy to do, but you’ll only get 2-3 “steaks” per head of cauliflower. The rest of the cauliflower will fall apart into florets, you can just bread those the same way you do the “steaks”.

For the coating, I used a mix of Panko bread crumbs (you can certainly use gluten free, if needed) and sesame seeds. As the sesame seeds roast in the oven, they slowly become toasted and add an incredible flavor to every bite of the cauliflower.

While the cauliflower is baking, make the ponzu sauce. This is so easy, as it’s really just a mix of fresh citrus juice, rice vinegar, ginger, and chili sauce. I added pomegranate for a sweet flavor, and simply because it’s my favorite winter fruit.

side angle photo Sesame Crusted Cauliflower with Pomegranate Ponzu Sauce being drizzled on cauliflower

Everything together is delicious. The cauliflower is tender on the inside, but crispy on the outside, with flavors of nutty sesame seeds throughout. So good on its own, but better with the sweet and spicy ponzu sauce for dipping.

I served this as more of a main course, with a side of steamed rice (very typical of me). But you can also serve as a side dish or appetizer. If broken in to florets instead of steaks, this would make a great super bowl recipes. Like vegetarian Asian wings. I might just have to do that.

Either way you end up serving them they’re going to be delicious and well loved. AND, this dish makes for a great meatless Monday dinner too. Just saying.

overhead photo of Sesame Crusted Cauliflower cut in half

If you make this sesame crusted cauliflower, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

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4.38 from 29 votes
The Recipe

Sesame Crusted Cauliflower with Pomegranate Ponzu Sauce.

Crispy oven baked cauliflower breaded in a mix of Panko bread crumbs and sesame seeds, and served with a quick homemade pomegranate ponzu sauce. Delish!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 0 4
Calories 228 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 medium heads of cauliflower, each cut into 2-3 (1 1/2 inch) steaks
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup raw sesame seeds
  • kosher salt and black peppers
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • extra virgin olive oil, or sesame oil, for brushing

Pomegranate Citrus Ponzu Sauce

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed clementine or orange juice
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 inch fresh ginger grated
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • fresh cilantro for serving

Instructions

  1. 1. Stand the cauliflower on its stem and cut into 1½ inch thick steaks, you should get 2-3 slices per head. Reserve smaller florets for another use. 

    2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

    3. Add the Panko, sesame seeds, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine. Add the egg to a separate shallow bowl or pie plate.

    4. Working in a line, dredge both sides of the cauliflower steak through the egg and then through the Panko, coating all sides. Lightly brush the cauliflower with olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then flip and continue cooking another 10-15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and turning golden brown.

    5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a glass jar or bowl, combine the soy sauce, orange juice, lime juice, rice vinegar, honey, chili sauce, and ginger. Add the pomegranate seeds.

    6. Serve the cauliflower steaks warm, with the ponzu sauce drizzled over top, add fresh cilantro. Enjoy! 

horizontal photo of Sesame Crusted Cauliflower with Pomegranate Ponzu Sauce