Spicy broiled broccoli with sesame-scallion oil on a plate.

Last summer, this spicy green bean recipe opened my eyes to the wonderful world of blistered string beans, reminding me, too, that harnessing the power of a few heavy-hitting ingredients — capers, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes — can pay off big: super-flavorful vegetables in no time.

It also reminded me of maybe the most neglected tool in my kitchen: my broiler!

In the winter, I get in such a routine of roasting sheet pan after sheet pan of vegetables for what seems like forever. But in a fraction of the time, the broiler can do similar work. The flavor of broiled vegetables is not the same as roasted — i.e., they don’t taste caramelized — but broiled vegetables are cooked nonetheless and, in some instances, cooked better.

Take for instance broccoli. What I love about a broiled broccoli spear is that its florets char, while its stems remain vibrant, brilliant green in hue with a nice al dente texture, a feat achieved in 5 to 6 minutes total.

Seasoned merely with olive oil and salt, this broccoli is delicious on its own straight from the broiler, but upon being hit with a sauce, an infusion really, made from both coconut and sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, scallions, and chili paste (Sambal Oelek or Sriracha), it becomes truly irresistible.

As with the green beans, I could eat this whole platter of broccoli alone, but when I feel like sharing, I’ll tuck them aside this warm tofu with spicy sesame scallion sauce (see below) or this broiled ginger-soy salmon, or I’ll heap them onto a scoop of this Instant Pot brown rice, crack a poached egg over top, and call dinner done.

PS: Roasted broccoli is also delicious. As is pan-seared.

A board with chopped broccoli aside the condiments to make spicy broiled broccoli.
Here’s the play-by-play: Cut broccoli into spears.
Chopped broccoli on a board.
Cut larger spears in half again or into quarters.
A sheet pan lined with foil topped with cut broccoli tossed with oil and salt.
Transfer to a foil lined sheet pan and toss with olive oil and salt.
Broiled broccoli on a sheet pan.
Broil for 5 to 7 minutes total, flipping the spears over halfway.
Broiled broccoli on a plate.
Transfer broiled broccoli to a serving platter.
Ingredients for the spicy sesame-scallion oil.
Meanwhile: slowly heat together a tablespoon each of sesame oil, coconut oil, soy sauce, Sambal Oelek (or other hot sauce), and sesame seeds. Add 4 thinly sliced scallions.
Sauce for the spicy broiled broccoli simmering in a small skillet.
In the time it takes for the broccoli to broil, this flavorful oil will be done.
Spicy broiled broccoli with sesame-scallion oil on a plate.
Pour the sauce over the broccoli.
Spicy broiled broccoli with sesame-scallion oil on a plate.
Serve immediately or at room temperature.
A bowl of tofu with spicy sesame scallion sauce aside spicy broiled broccoli.
I’ve been loving it aside this warm tofu with spicy dipping sauce, an oldie but such a goodie.
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Spicy broiled broccoli with sesame-scallion oil on a plate.

Broiled Broccoli with Spicy, Sesame-Scallion Sizzle

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Inspired mostly by this blistered green bean recipe but also this homemade ranch with scallion sizzle.

As noted in the post, I like serving this broccoli with this warm tofu. This broiled salmon would be another nice option. 


For the sizzle:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

For the broccoli:

  • 1.25 lbs (roughly) broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
  • kosher salt
  • flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for finishing, optional



  1. Heat the broiler to high for at least 15 minutes. Line a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil.
  2. In a small skillet, place the sesame oil, coconut oil, sambal oelek or Sriracha, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and scallions. Turn the heat to low and let the oils slowly infuse.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the broccoli: cut the head into spears; then cut larger spears into half or quarters.
  4. Toss the broccoli on the prepared sheet pan with the tablespoon of neutral oil and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Taste a small spear of broccoli raw — it should taste nicely seasoned. Transfer pan to broiler and cook 2 minutes. Check. If the broccoli isn’t beginning to char, return it for another minute. Check again. If the spears are charring, remove the pan from the oven, and flip each spear over; then return pan to the broiler for another 2 minutes. Check again. Remove pan from the oven when the broccoli is charred to your liking, about 5-7 minutes total. (Note: When my broiler has preheated sufficiently, my broccoli consistently cooks to my liking in 5 minutes with a flip after 3 minutes. Every oven is different, however, so be vigilant!)
  5. Transfer broccoli to a serving platter.
  6. Meanwhile, the oils in the skillet should be gently shimmering and the sesame seeds and scallions should be beginning to frizzle. Turn the heat up to medium or high and keep a close watch. As soon as you see the oil bubbling more rapidly, remove the pan from the burner and pour the oil over the broccoli.
  7. Gently toss. Taste. Season with sea salt if desired — if your broccoli was nicely seasoned before going under the broiler, you might not need any additional salt. Serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Broiler
  • Cuisine: Asian