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These air fryer Teriyaki Tempura Cauliflower bites are so deliciously crispy. They use a baked tempura method and are not deep-fried. No air fryer? You’ll also find stovetop methods in the post.

a white bowl of teriyaki cauliflower with black and white sesame seeds and sliced green onions
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Crispy, crunchy, and topped with an amazing sauce, these tempura cauliflower bites will become your new favorite snack! Even better, we’re making them in the air fryer, with less than 2 tsp of olive oil.

There is something to be said about creative ways to make cauliflower. From Crispy Cauliflower Patties, to Roasted Frozen Cauliflower, to Quick Pickled Cauliflower, to Instant Pot Cauliflower, you have many delicious options for preparing ghost broccoli. And now? Air fryer tempura cauliflower! 

Ingredients on a white board for making cauliflower tempura

You can use any bottled sauce that you’d like for this tempura cauliflower. If you’re looking for a low-sugar option, check out our homemade Gluten-Free Teriyaki Sauce. Our creamy Vegan Aioli is also a great choice.

Can You Do Batter in an Air Fryer?

Tempura batter does not usually work well in an air fryer. BUT, we cracked the code on how to make it work. Once you dip the cauliflower in the tempura batter, you’ll lightly coat them in panko breadcrumbs.

The panko helps keep the tempura batter in place so you can air fry to your heart’s content. And yes, this will work with other veggies! You could try it with these Air Fryer Green Bean Fries, or Air Fryer Okra. Yum!

8 photos showing step by step how to make air fryer tempura

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Keep the tempura batter as chilled as possible. You can refrigerate it for up to 30 minutes, but it won’t keep well much longer than that.
  • Work quickly in batches of 4-7 pieces of cauliflower at a time.
  • If you have leftover raw cauliflower that you won’t use right away, try your hand at Freezing Cauliflower.
green chopsticks holding a piece of cauliflower tempura
5 from 1 rating

Teriyaki Tempura Cauliflower

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 18 minutes
a white bowl of teriyaki cauliflower with black and white sesame seeds and sliced green onions
These air fryer cauliflower tempura bites are so deliciously crispy.


Tempura Batter

Cauliflower Bites


Make the Air Fryer Tempura Batter

  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk all-purpose flour and cornstarch.
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Slowly pour in ice water, gently whisking to combine. Do not overmix – a few lumps are fine.
    3/4 cup ice water

Making Cauliflower Tempura

  • Add panko to a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
    1.5 cup panko
  • Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Pro tip: uniform sizes will cook more evenly.
    4 cups cauliflower
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and 1 tsp garlic powder.
    1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Toss cauliflower in the flour mixture, doing your best to coat all florets evenly.
  • Working in batches, drop 4-7 florets at a time in the tempura batter.
  • Using a fork, chopstick, or skewer, pierce a piece of cauilflower and dredge it through the tempura batter.
  • Shake off excess batter and transfer cauliflower to the bowl with panko. Repeat with other florets in this batch.
  • Gently toss cauliflower in the panko bowl until tempura batter is lightly coated. Transfer to a plate.
  • Repeat above process with remaining cauliflower.
  • Preheat air fryer for 5 minutes at 400 F.
  • Heavily spray breaded cauliflower with olive oil cooking spray. Allow everything to sit for 1 minute.
    olive oil spray
  • Transfer cauliflower to air fryer and cook at 400 F for 6 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes if needed.
  • Transfer crispy cauliflower to a bowl and drizzle with teriyaki sauce.
    1/2 cup teriyaki sauce


Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook all 4 cups of cauliflower in multiple batches.
Keep tempura batter cold before using.
Stovetop options:
If you are using the stovetop, you do not need to dip the cauliflower in the panko after dredging it in the tempura batter.
Heat ~2 inches of cooking oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Drop a small pinch of flour in the oil; if it sizzles, the oil is ready.
Working in batches, carefully add tempura cauliflower to the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes until the cauliflower is golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cauliflower and place it on a plate lined with paper towels.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 249kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 9gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 421mgPotassium: 454mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin C: 48mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American, Fusion
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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    1. I have reheated them and while they’re still tasty, I don’t think they’re as crispy.
      If you want to reheat them, I wouldn’t sauce them until after you warm them.