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Grilled Whole Cauliflower with Miso Mayo

Photo of Grilled Cauliflower with Miso Mayo
Photo by Joseph De Leo, Food Styling by Anna Stockwell
  • Active Time

    25 minutes

  • Total Time

    40 minutes

Basting a head of cauliflower in a spicy butter sauce as it grills infuses it with flavor and turns it a nice orange color. Served over a lemony miso mayo and topped with scallions, it makes for an impressive-looking grilled vegetarian entrée, or you can serve it as a side alongside your favorite grilled meat.


4–6 servings

1 large head of cauliflower, leaves removed, stem trimmed
1/2 tsp. (or more) kosher salt
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup vinegar-based hot sauce (such as Frank’s)
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. white miso
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Step 1

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Sprinkle cauliflower all over with salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pierce plastic a few times with a knife to vent, and microwave on high until a paring knife easily slides into stem, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. (Alternatively, set a steamer basket in a large pot filled with about 1" salted water. Cover pot and bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower, cover, and steam until a sharp paring knife easily slides into stem, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.)

Step 2

Heat butter, hot sauce, ketchup, and soy sauce in a small saucepan on grill, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted, about 2 minutes. Brush cauliflower all over with sauce and grill, covered, 10 minutes. Turn cauliflower over, brush with sauce, and grill, covered, 10 minutes. Continue to grill, brushing and turning every 10 minutes and reheating sauce as needed, until cauliflower is lightly charred on all sides and fork-tender, 25–30 minutes. The sauce should be used up by now, but if not, brush any remaining sauce over. Transfer cauliflower to a plate and let cool slightly.

Step 3

Whisk mayonnaise, miso, lemon juice, and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Spread on a plate. Set cauliflower on top and scatter scallions over.

How would you rate Grilled Whole Cauliflower with Miso Mayo?

  • Whoa! This is seriously good! And it looks good on the serving plate as well. The guests *loved* it. Since I couldn't find white miso, I simply added a tbsp of soya to the mayo dip, and it was great. Wouldn't definitely make this again.

    • stephen8900

    • 6/13/2021

  • OMG, was this fabulous! The secret was in the microwave pre-cook, as well as the perfect baste and dipping sauce. WOW; can’t wait to make again!

    • amreing4249

    • NJ

    • 5/24/2021

  • I am attempting to incorporate more vegetarian main meals into our diet and this recipe sounded intriguing. Let me tell you that this raises the plain cauliflower to new culinary heights! Even my picky teenager loved it. And the presentation on the platter with the miso mayonnaise - really impressive. I'm taking it to my next pot luck. Earlier in the day I steamed the whole head in a steamer pot, not touching the water, for a good 15 min until a knife easily pierced the hard core. For dinner I then grilled the sauce-anointed cauliflower alongside some chicken thighs for about 20 min over direct heat, turning once when browned and crispy. Absolutely delicious!

    • SweetTart

    • Los Angeles

    • 5/21/2021

  • OMG -- this is SOOOO good and makes great leftovers as well (the miso mayo works on sandwiches, too). I served it to friends and they all wanted the recipe. The only advice I would give is to watch the heat content of the hot sauce. After making this several times, I got a different kind of sauce and it was too spicy for us. But I will continue to keep it in my regular rotation!

    • dgarrick

    • SF Bay Area

    • 5/18/2021

  • This is ridiculously good. For 3 of us we have decided no less than 2 heads of cauliflower will do. And it's easy too! It makes a lot of mayo; half recipe may suffice.

    • Anonymous

    • Maryland

    • 4/3/2021

  • Love miso mayo!!! Half of the recipe for this would be enough for the head of cauliflower but looking forward to the leftovers as a dip for other veggies. This was a nice side dish to grilled Cornish game hen. I used indirect heat for both and they were on the grill for approximately the same time (cut the game hen down one side of backbone and flattened-no need to remove the entire backbone).

    • einer21

    • Columbus, Ohio

    • 7/30/2020

  • Would this work with red miso if that is all one has on hand?

    • chelsns

    • Seattle

    • 7/20/2020

  • Hey , Katlambert , Did You Bother Reading Past The 4th , Fourth Sentence ???!!!

    • lillythedog

    • K.C.Mo.

    • 7/20/2020

  • Everyone loved this, teenagers and adults alike. I would cut the cauliflower next time to get more grilling surface and reduce the cooking time.

    • eck66

    • Toronto, On

    • 7/5/2020

  • Love this idea (so I'm rating it before I try it) and will try it but I'll put this out there: How would you do this without a microwave (I don't use one)? I'm thinking of cutting the head in half and doing a face down slight steaming first but don't want the florets to over-cook. Or might thick slices direstly on the grill avoid the precooking step?

    • Anonymous

    • Maryland

    • 7/4/2020

  • We LOVED this recipe! I agree with other reviewers that you could easily slice this into steaks and reduce grilling time. Biggest win is that cold leftovers the next day were also amazing!

    • Anonymous

    • Austin, TX

    • 6/17/2020

  • Great recipe! Would definitely make again. Instead of grilling it whole, I cut it in half, but microwave time and grill remained about the same. Also, we didn't have any miso around for the sauce, so I used soy sauce instead and it was still delicious!

    • mcfadden_laur

    • Philadelphia, PA

    • 5/31/2020

  • Made for family with kids so used vinegar and not hot sauce, and thought I had miso in the fridge (but did not) so improvised and used plain yogurt in place of the miso and mayo. It was a hit! All loved it and will make it again.

    • mahu6

    • Maine/Thailand

    • 4/15/2020

  • Really terrific! I made this for family and it was a unanimous crowd favorite. I followed the recipe which I never do, and wouldn’t change a thing. I made it again just last night we enjoyed it that much! Only addition I’d make extra sauce.

    • bhajost

    • Columbus, Ohio

    • 10/1/2019

  • A wow. Buffalo-style cauliflower, IMHO. Used the microwave to slightly cook and then sliced into florets and roasted in oven at 425 with an occasional toss. The dressing was a delicious element that added another level of intrigue and flavor profile. (Am using the leftover dressing on everything.) A fun and yummy food event. Thank you epicurious!

    • dropdeadcookie

    • Saugerties, NY

    • 9/1/2019

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