How to Make The Morrie’s Kung Pao Cauliflower

Make The Morrie’s vegan Kung Pao Cauliflower dish with this copycat recipe.
Photograph by Kailey Howell.

The Morrie is a “quintessential neighborhood gathering place” that offers classic American bar cuisine. Their dinner menu offers everything from French onion dumplings to blackened catfish tacos, burgers, smoked chicken wings, and of course, Kung Pao Cauliflower.

Learn how to make The Morrie’s Kung Pao Cauliflower, which puts a vegan twist on classic Kung Pao Chicken, with this delicious recipe.


Sriracha Peanuts

  • 1/3 cup peanuts
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup sriracha
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar

Kung Pao Sauce

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup blended oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorn
  • 1⁄2 cup shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1/8 cup garlic cloves
  • 1⁄2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 3 1⁄2 cups soy sauce
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 1⁄2 cups water
  • 2 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plum wine
  • 1⁄2 cup whole chilies
  • Cornstarch slurry (6 1⁄2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1⁄2 cup water)
  • Flour
  • Soda water
  • 1 head cauliflower


To make Sriracha Peanuts:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine peanuts, olive oil, sriracha, and sugar. Mix well.
  3. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool to room temperature and set aside until ready to use.

To make Kung Pao Sauce:

  1. Combine the first seven ingredients (through kosher salt) in a saucepan.
  2. Cook on low, stirring often, for 3-6 minutes, until shallot and ginger are soft.
  3. Add ketchup, soy sauce, pineapple juice, water, sugar, vinegar, plum wine, and whole chilies.
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and then whisk in cornstarch slurry.
  5. Combine equal parts cornstarch, flour, and soda water in a bowl.
  6. Mix and then dredge the cauliflower florets.
  7. Deep-fry breaded cauliflower florets in canola oil heated to 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes, until crispy.

To assemble:

  1. Add fried cauliflower and Sriracha Peanuts to Kung Pao Sauce and toss to coat.
  2. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

The Morrie is located at 511 S. Main St., Royal Oak. Call 248-216-1112 or visit for more information. 

This story is from the December 2022 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition, and find even more recipe ideas at