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Najib's Special Lebanese Cauliflower is EXACTLY like the famous cauliflower from Nuba restaurant in Vancouver. It's lemony, delicious, and served with a simple tahini sauce. It is totally irresistible!
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Najib's Special Lebanese Cauliflower is a tradition in Vancouver. Many hold it in god-like reverence. If you say ‘Najib's Cauliflower' to anyone who has spent time in the city, you'll be forced to endure a rant about how it's the best cauliflower in the world. They're not wrong.
Lebanese cauliflower tastes like roasted cauliflower, only about 1.4 bazillion times better. That's no exaggeration. We squeezed a bunch of lemon juice over top, sprinkled a good amount of sea salt, and served it with a simple tahini sauce, just like they do at Nuba.
If you don't live near Vancouver, or you just feel like eating at home, this Lebanese cauliflower tastes EXACTLY like Najib's Special Cauliflower from Nuba.
Oil – you'll want to use a high-heat oil for this recipe. Avocado oil works great, but so does peanut, canola, or sunflower.
Cauliflower – We use one large head for this recipe. Whatever you do, DO NOT wash the cauliflower. It's impossible to dry completely and any small droplets of water will make the hot oil spit dangerously. If there is any visible dirt on the cauliflower, use a dry cloth to brush it off.
Cornstarch – This is to coat the cauliflower. You can also use tapioca starch if you'd like.
Lemon and flaky salt – Once the cauliflower is cooked, we salt it liberally and squeeze the lemon over the top.
How to make Lebanese cauliflower
How do you make cauliflower taste like the best cauliflower in the world? It is far easier than you might imagine.
- The first thing you're going to do is take out a pot and pour 2 inches of oil inside. Now attach a deep-fry thermometer and bring the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Toss the cauliflower with cornstarch – not all of it will stick, and that's ok; It's to make sure that the cauliflower is completely dry. Now, carefully deep-fry the cauliflower for 5-7 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is frying, mix up the simple tahini sauce. (If you feel more comfortable, you can make this the very first step so that your attention is 100% on the cauliflower while it's cooking.)
- Now to serve the fried Lebanese cauliflower, sprinkle it with a good pinch of flaky sea salt and squeeze some lemon juice over top!
The full recipe is in the recipe card below.
Deep Frying Safety Tips
- Never leave a pot of oil unattended. It won't take long for the oil to burn and it can catch fire. Keep your eyes on it at all times.
- If you're working with a deep fryer, make sure whatever you put into it is 100% dry. Any water will cause the oil to splatter.
- If you're frying in a pan, make sure it has high sides. When you add the cauliflower, the oil will bubble, and you don't want it to boil over.
- Clear the area around your stove of anything combustible before you begin deep-frying, also make sure little children aren't around in case of splatter.
Tips for deep-frying cauliflower
- Use a neutral-flavored oil as the flavor of the oil will transfer to whatever you are deep-frying. We like to use avocado oil.
- Make sure to use clean-looking oil. You can save the oil by letting it cool and then straining it, but once it looks dark, it's time to discard it.
- Keep the oil at a constant temperature by keeping a close eye on the thermometer and adjusting the heat accordingly. For this recipe, you want the oil to be right about 350 degrees. It is better to have the oil a few degrees hotter before you add the cauliflower as it will cool a little once the cauliflower goes in.
- Never crowd the pan. Adding too many pieces at once will lower the oil temperature, and the food will absorb more of the oil and end up tasting greasy.
Also, try these deep-fry recipes
Can this recipe be baked?
Frying is what makes this cauliflower recipe taste like the Lebanese cauliflower from Nuba restaurant. While you can certainly bake cauliflower, season it with salt and lemon, and serve it with tahini sauce, it won't taste the same. But it will still be yummy.
Can this recipe be made in an air fryer?
You sure can! We suggest following the cooking instructions on this air fryer cauliflower recipe. But make sure to season it and serve it with our tahini sauce so it tastes like Lebanese cauliflower!
How long do leftovers keep?
Leftovers will keep for 4-5 days in a sealed container in your fridge.
How should I reheat the leftovers?
The best way to reheat Lebanese cauliflower is in an oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes about 15 minutes to get them warm and slightly crispy again.
More easy cauliflower recipes
- Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower with Tahini Yogurt
- Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower
- Baked General Tso's Cauliflower
- Skinny Bang Bang Cauliflower
- Oil (for frying (avocado oil works great))
- 1 medium head of cauliflower (cut into small florets (do NOT wash the cauliflower!))
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (can sub tapioca starch)
- 1 lemon (sliced)
- Sea salt
- Optional: cilantro or parsley to garnish
The Tahini Sauce
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove (grated)
- A pinch of sea salt
- Add 2 inches of oil to a medium sized pot with high sides. Attach a candy/ deep-fry thermometer to the side. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches degrees 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower the heat to medium and let the oil continue to heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit.Oil
- Toss the cauliflower with the cornstarch. This will ensure it is completely dry and safe to deep-fry. Fry the cauliflower, several pieces at a time, for 5-7 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown and soft. Remove the cauliflower pieces from the hot oil and set them on a paper towel lined tray. Keep them warm on low heat in your oven while you fry the rest.1 medium head of cauliflower, 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- While the cauliflower is frying, prepare the tahini sauce by mixing all the tahini sauce ingredients together with two tablespoons of water.2 tablespoons tahini, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 small garlic clove, A pinch of sea salt
- Once all the Lebanese cauliflower has finished frying, squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice over the cauliflower and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with extra lemon wedges on the side and a little cilantro or parsley over the top.Sea salt, Optional: cilantro or parsley to garnish, 1 lemon
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.
For more inspiration, check out all of our cauliflower recipes!