Sticky chilli broccoli is a quick and easy side dish. It’s so tasty you might just want to eat it all by itself. The spicy umami rich sticky sauce is almost addictive. Add tofu or tempeh and serve with rice for an easy but delicious vegan meal full of bold Asian flavours.
Broccoli is such a delicious vegetable, it doesn’t really need a lot doing to it. But as with all things, it’s good to ring the changes sometimes. Coating it in a rich sticky chilli sauce is an excellent way to ring that change.
Sticky Chilli Sauce
Sauces are a great way to give a flavour boost to vegetables. This sticky chilli sauce is so quick and easy to make and so delicious, it’s become one of my go to sauces. It works particularly well with all types of broccoli and calabrese. But do try it with other vegetables too.
Start by mincing or finely grating some garlic and ginger into a large pan. I use my microplane to grate both the ginger and the garlic. It’s quick, easy and makes a minimum of mess. I’d be lost without it. Once you’ve done that, the rest is super easy peasy.
Finely chop a mild, medium or hot red chilli, depending on how much heat you like. It’s up to you whether you leave the seeds in or not. Seeds generally mean the chilli will be hotter, so take them out if you’re not a chilli head like me. It does depend on the type of chilli you use, however. Add the chilli to the pan.
Now add sesame oil, if you have it. If not peanut oil is a good substitute or you could use sunflower oil, though it won’t have quite as much flavour. Finally, add a sliced spring onion (scallion) good quality soy sauce and some sort of sweetener. I tend to use dark brown sugar, but maple syrup or honey will work too.
Mix everything together and cook it over a medium heat for a minute or two. The rich aroma wafting up from the pan will have your saliva glands working overtime. Then all you have to do is add boiled or steamed vegetables and stir. I told you it was easy.
Sticky Chilli Broccoli
Both CT and I like our broccoli, so we tend to have more of it rather than less. How much you use for this sticky chilli broccoli really depends on what else you’re eating it with; 200g is enough as a side dish for two, but we think 300g is better in most cases.
You need to cook the broccoli before you add it to the sticky chilli sauce. I generally boil broccoli in a little water, but you can steam it if you prefer. How long you cook it is a matter of preference. I can’t stand mushy broccoli and like to have a bit of bite to mine. Cooking time should be around five minutes, although this will depend on how small you’ve cut your broccoli florets and stems.
Once cooked, drain the broccoli in a colander and leave it to steam dry for a couple of minutes. Then stir it through the sticky chilli sauce until it’s well coated. Continue to cook and stir for a minute or two. You want the broccoli hot and the sauce nice and sticky.
Transfer to a serving dish, squeeze a little lime or lemon juice over the top, then scatter with sesame seeds and slices of spring onion (scallions).
What Goes with Sticky Chilli Broccoli?
In my book sticky chilli broccoli makes a great accompaniment to loads of dishes. Just ponder on the types of meals you’d normally serve with a green veg and ask yourself if this would go with it. If the answer’s yes, don’t hold back.
If you use my brown sugar version or maple syrup, it’s completely suitable for vegans. So why not include it as a side for a vegan roast dinner? It would be a wonderful addition to my lentil and brazil nut roast, whether that’s for Christmas or any other time. Just saying.
With its South-East Asian signature flavours, it makes a lovely addition to a rice bowl. In fact it also bolsters and enhances this quinoa bowl with roasted squash. You can always swap the quinoa for rice if you prefer. Similarly, it goes well with both tofu and tempeh.
For a main meal, I often add cubes of tofu or tempeh to the sticky sauce, prior to adding the broccoli. If I do this, I usually need to add a little of the water the broccoli’s cooked in, so that it doesn’t burn. This sticky chilli broccoli tofu or tempeh served with rice makes for an easy and most delicious meal.
Other Asian-Style Recipes You Might Like
- Samphire noodles with miso marinated tofu
- Simple laksa noodle soup with tofu
- Spicy peanut butter noodles
- Teriyaki rice bowl
- Thai green curry with jasmine rice and cashew nuts
- Vegan teriyaki sauce
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you try my sticky chilli broccoli, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more side dish recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Sticky Chilli Broccoli. PIN IT.
Sticky Chilli Broccoli – The Recipe
Sticky Chilli Broccoli
- 200-300g broccoli florets or tenderstem broccoli
- ½ lime or lemon
- 1 spring onion – sliced (optional)
- ½ tsp sesame seeds (optional)
Sticky Chilli Sauce
- 1 tbsp good quality soy sauce (I use tamari)
- 2 tsp brown sugar or 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- thumb sized piece of ginger root – grated
- 1 plump clove garlic – grated
- 1 tbsp sesame oil for preference otherwise peanut oil or sunflower oil
- 1 red chilli – finely chopped seeds left in if you like it hot, otherwise take them out
- 1 spring onion (scallion) – sliced
- Trim the broccoli stems, then cook them in boiling water for about five minutes. The exact time will depend on how firm / tender you like them. They should be just about cooked, but definitley holding their shape. Drain through a colander and leave to steam dry whilst you get on with making the sticky sauce.
- Place all of the sauce ingredients into a large pan and stir. Bring to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the broccoli, stir and cook for another couple of minutes until the broccoli is hot and the sauce has reduced enough to stick to the broccoli. Be careful, not to burn it though.
- Turn the broccoli into a warm serving dish. Squeeze over a little lime or lemon and scatter with the sesame seeds and raw spring onion slices, if using.
I’m sharing this quick and easy recipe for sticky chilli broccoli with Lost in Food for #CookBlogShare.