I tried to deep fry cauliflowers (without breading; I am NOT making tempura), but they turned out soft.

I have seen that done on TV where cauliflowers are freshly deep-fried and turn out to be crunchy. But when I tried doing that, the cauliflower ended up soft and somewhat soggy. I increased the frying time thinking that may help evaporate the moisture inside the cauliflower but it then turned out soft and soggy with oil instead of water.

Are there preparations that I need to do to the cauliflower, or are there something special that I need to add to the oil?

  • First of all, what vegetables did they fry in on TV? I can see this working for starchier vegetables... but definitely not for something like onion which is made mostly of water. You would need batter for something like that. Even a really thin one would work.
    – Jay
    Mar 16, 2012 at 2:18
  • Cauliflower exactly. Plain cauliflower. I deep fried it and it turned soggy with a mix of oil and water..
    – KMC
    Mar 16, 2012 at 2:19
  • 1
    flowerettes or sliced? i'm guessing stem is longer cooking than flower and evening the 2 out by slicing would reduce frying time... just guessing. They won't have a chance to brown, just heat thru, without going soggy cooked. I reckon just seconds til they reach hot-stirfry-crunchiness at 160c
    – Pat Sommer
    Mar 16, 2012 at 10:40
  • 4
    Florets, guys. Just FYI. Mar 17, 2012 at 13:56
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    Foods tend to get soggy with oil when they're fried in oil that's not hot enough. Maybe instead of, or as well as, increasing the time fried, increasing the temperature might help? Or maybe cooking fewer pieces at a time, since the more food added, the more the added mass can cool the oil, then it needs time to heat up again.
    – Megha
    Feb 24, 2017 at 0:55

2 Answers 2


You need to cover soft vegetables in egg or batter first. Normally the vege's are steamed first to actually cook, cooled, then egg washed or lightly battered and flash deep fried in hot oil just to set the thin batter

Try Indian style spicy pea/chickpea flour batters


Fresh cauliflour definitely not frozen.Boil for 5 to 10 min.Batter to your preference including spices of your preference and deep fry for another 10 min

  • Why not frozen? I'd understand you don't want frozen because of ice crystals splattering when deep frying, but if you boil it anyway?
    – Robert
    Feb 23, 2017 at 19:04
  • 1
    @Robert : freezing damages the cell walls, and typically turns vegetables mushy ... which you said you're trying to avoid.
    – Joe
    May 3, 2019 at 17:26

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