These spicy cauliflower bites get a golden crunch from being baked, not fried.


Omari McQueen’s sister was notorious for hating vegetables – until the young cook managed to tempt her with his crunchy cauliflower bites.

"She eats them all because I use different seasonings, I experiment with flavours," explains the 12-year-old cookbook author.

Serves: 4

  • 100g plain flour
  • 1tsp jerk spice mix
  • ½tsp garlic powder
  • 175ml oat milk
  • 1 whole cauliflower, leaves removed, broken into large bite-size florets
  • ½-1 tsp hot sauce, to taste (it’s pretty hot!)
  • 1tbsp maple syrup
  • 1tsp sunflower oil
  • Salt and black pepper


  1. To make the batter, mix together plain flour, jerk spice mix, garlic powder and oat milk in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°FC/Gas 5. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  3. Dip the cauliflower florets, one at a time, into the thick, spicy batter until coated all over. Let them drip a little over the bowl to remove any excess batter, then place them slightly spaced apart on the lined baking tray.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once, until light golden all over and the batter sets.
  5. Meanwhile, mix together the hot sauce, maple syrup and sunflower oil.
  6. Carefully remove the baking tray from the oven. Brush the hot sauce mixture over the cauliflower bites until coated, then put the tray back in the oven for another 20 minutes until golden. Place in a serving bowl then tuck in, dunking them into a sweet chilli mayo, if you like.

Omari McQueen's Best Bites Cookbook by Omari McQueen, photography by Xavier Buendia is available now.