Broccoli and Cauliflower Vegan Umami Explosion
Sides, Vegan

Vegan Broccoli and Cauliflower Umami Explosion

Cooks in 30 minutes Difficulty Easy

If we could only eat one dish for the rest of our lives, it would probably be this one. It has all the things we love: veggies, tahini, crispy chili oil. Wait, what, crispy chili oil and tahini? How is that even possible?

We got inspired by cold sesame soba noodle salad. This dish has been super popular on the internet, but we’re not sure if it’s authentic Japanese. Mixing tahini with chili and other umami-boosting ingredients is also the secret of the oh-so-popular tantanmen ramen: a think and creamy ramen with a nice punch to it. And yes, you could also make the sauce and have it with soba or ramen noodles. It will be delicious. But we went another way and paired it with broccoli and cauliflower to create a side dish that’s highly addictive and works with almost everything.

And if you follow our instructions, you will be rewarded with crispy broccoli that is still crunchy on the inside and not mushy at all. Just make sure you sear the broccoli in a hot pan with loads of oil and salt. When it’s super brown, please put it on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Don’t overdo it. We still want some texture.

If you’re not a fan of broccoli, you can switch up the veggies to your liking. We even had it with Brussel sprouts, beets, or cabbage. Everything was super delicious.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Vegan Umami Explosion

Broccoli and Cauliflower Vegan Umami Explosion

When crispy veggies meet a thick and creamy tahini sauce. Inspired by cold soba noodle salad and tantanmen ramen.
Total Time 30 mins
Course sides
Servings 4


  • 1 Cauliflower
  • 1 Broccoli
  • 100 g tahini
  • 20 g soy sauce
  • 20 g dark rice vinegar
  • 15 g lao gan ma crispy chili oil aka the only thing you truly need in your life
  • 50 g water
  • Few drops sesame oil
  • Neutral oil
  • Flaky salt
  • Black sesame


  • Break the cauliflower and broccoli down to florets. Then cut each floret in half to create a flat surface on one site.
  • In a large pan, add a shallow layer of oil, generously sprinkle flaky salt, then place the broliflower cut side down.
  • Work in batches – do not overcrowd the pan!
  • Fry on medium heat, until dark brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer florets into an oven dish.
  • Roast for about 10 minutes at a 180c oven, till cooked through but still have some bite.
  • Prepare the sauce: blend tahini, soy sauce, vinegar, lao gan ma, sesame oil and water together till smooth.
  • Dress a flat plate with plenty of sauce, arrange the cauliccoli on top.
  • Drizzle with extra laoganma and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.