Coconut Milk + Crispy Cauliflower = A Dynamic Taco Duo

We dare you to tell us otherwise.

Published Jan. 20, 2022.

Is there anything more versatile than a taco? It can be crunchy or soft. Grilled or fried. It can taste citrusy, spicy, smoky, or a combination of all three! Pork, chicken, beef, fish—you can throw almost anything in a tortilla and call it a taco.

Even cauliflower.

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You heard me. Cauliflower. The vegetable that constantly shows up uninvited to multiple party foods. But these Baja-style cauliflower tacos are seriously the real deal. Hunks of cauliflower get dunked in coconut milk, coated in unsweetened coconut, and baked until they’re golden brown and crisp. And my goodness—like a match made in vegetable heaven, the coconut magically magnifies cauliflower’s nuttiness. The coconut doesn’t overstep. It complements. 

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These tacos are like biting into the best part of coconut shrimp: the batter. But wait, there’s more! A bed of slaw with juicy mango and spicy jalapeño brings crunch, sweetness, and heat. A drizzle of supersimple creamy cilantro sauce ties it all together. Fresh, citrusy, and delicious. There’s a lot going on. But it all works. 

You’ve gotta try these tacos. After one bite I went from a skeptic to the giddiest supporter. Did I mention these are also 100 percent plant-based? Cha-ching.

Baja-Style Cauliflower Tacos with Cilantro Sauce

Serves 6 

Serve with pickled radishes and lime wedges, if desired.

Cilantro Sauce

  • ¼ cup plant-based mayonnaise or egg-based mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup plant-based sour cream or dairy sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt

Cauliflower Tacos

  • 3 cups (7½ ounces) coleslaw mix
  • ½ mango, peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces (¾ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño chile
  • 1¼ teaspoons table salt, divided
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ head cauliflower (1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed

1. FOR THE CILANTRO SAUCE: Whisk all ingredients together in bowl. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

2. FOR THE CAULIFLOWER TACOS: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine coleslaw mix, mango, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño, and ¼ teaspoon salt in bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. Spray rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Combine coconut and panko in shallow dish. Whisk coconut milk, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt together in bowl. Add cauliflower to coconut milk mixture; remove from coconut milk mixture, letting excess drip back into bowl; then coat well with coconut-panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Transfer cauliflower to prepared sheet.

4. Bake until cauliflower is tender, golden, and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes, flipping cauliflower and rotating sheet halfway through baking.

5. Divide slaw evenly among tortillas and top with cauliflower. Drizzle with cilantro sauce and serve.

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