31 May 2023

Chilli Garlic Broccoli with Sesame Sauce

Roasted chilli garlic broccoli with a creamy Chinese-inspired sesame sauce, like the type you'd find in the Taiwanese cold noodle dish Ma Jiang Mian. It's a little spicy, tangy and nutty and the perfect side dish for a pan-Asian small-plates feast, like with this fried rice, aubergine or black garlic tofu or as part of a summer BBQ.

This dish is incredibly easy to make, chop up your broccoli and toss with some sesame oil and chili garlic paste before roasting until a little charred. Then to make your sauce mix together the ingredients and arrange together topped with a little chili oil.

If you can't get your hands on Chinese sesame paste (roasted, unhulled), you can sub in tahini (unroasted, hulled sesame paste), which isn't quite as rich in nutty in flavour, but it still creates a delicious sesame sauce for your broccoli. As for the black vinegar, it's milder in flavour than some kinds of vinegar but adds a distinctly rich and fruity note with a little umami, it's available at most Asian supermarkets and is amazing in noodle dishes and dumpling dipping sauces. I'd highly recommend tracking some down as a bottle lasts a long time, but if you can't 2 tsp of rice vinegar + dash of balsamic can be subbed instead, with an extra pinch of sugar to cut through the acidity.

Chilli Garlic Broccoli with Sesame Sauce | Serves: 4 | Time: 20-25 mins 

You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Baking tray + greaseproof paper (I used resusable)


  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp chili garlic paste or sriracha
  • 3 tbsp Chinese sesame paste or tahini
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp black vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground Sichuan (Szechuan) peppercorns
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • 2-3 tsp Chinese chili oil
To garnish:
  • Black & white sesame seeds
  • 2 spring onions, sliced


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Chop the broccoli into small-medium florets, remove the outer parts of the stem and chop this into small pieces. Add to a large mixing bowl and combine with sesame oil and chili garlic paste.
  3. Spread out on a baking tray and roast for 10-15 minutes until a little charred.
  4. Meanwhile, mix together the sesame paste, soy sauce, black vinegar, sugar and Sichuan pepper into a paste, then add in the water to thin out.
  5. Pour the sesame sauce onto a serving plate and top with the roasted broccoli, then drizzle with a little chilli oil and sprinkle over the sesame seeds and spring onions. Serve up and enjoy!

Cassidy xx