Chargrilled Broccoli and Beans with Chilli, Garlic and Sweet Soy Rice Noodles

10 Jul

I know broccoli isn’t usually the most exciting of vegetables. I know it can be a bit bland and boring. Time to rethink that. With this treatment it transforms into a shining star.

Seriously, we can’t get enough of it. The Washer Up, my toughest critic, has claimed it his favourite thing. To quote “This is the best thing you’ve ever made”. You can’t argue with that can you?

My best friend Tara bought me the Ottolenghi cookbook for my birthday. I am steadily working my way through it and every recipe that I have tried has been a definite winner. It’s all about the flavour and colour which is the kind of food I love. It has a definite Middle Eastern theme, but not solely. There are recipes from all over the world.

What I noticed, while flicking through, was that a lot of the food is cooked on a griddle pan. It adds to the flavour and appearance of a dish, giving a certain smokiness and the attractive black stripes that make such a difference to the overall impression.

I didn’t own griddle pan. I do now. Get ready for chargrilled everything.

It is chargrilling the broccoli and then drenching it in a garlic & chilli infused olive oil that makes this dish so special. You can serve it on its own, as a side dish with anything, or make it the star on top of some sweet soy rice noodles. Either way it’s delicious. You need to try this. 

Chargrilled Broccoli & Beans with Garlic, Chilli & Sweet Soy Rice Noodles

serves 2 -3, vegan, gluten-free. Adapted from Ottolenghi The Cookbook

  • 1 large head broccoli
  • a handful of french beans
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced (or 1 hot red chilli)
  • sea salt & black pepper
  • 250 gr fat (XL) rice noodles (or any noodles)
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) or use soy sauce plus 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce (vegetarian)
  • 1 tbsp lemon/lime juice
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • a handful of cashew nuts or flaked almonds, toasted

Separate the broccoli into florets with small stems still attached. Trim off  the stalk ends of the beans. Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water for exactly 2 minutes (no more). Then quickly transfer it, with a slotted spoon, to a large bowl of iced water, to stop the cooking. Now do the same with the beans.

Drain the broccoli & beans in a colander and then spread them out on a clean tea towel and leave to dry completely.

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, drain and rinse under the cold tap to stop them sticking together. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the dried veg with 3 tbsp olive oil and season generously with salt & black pepper. Place a ridged griddle pan over a high heat and leave it for 5 minutes to heat up. Grill the veg in batches so it’s not too crowded. Leave them for a minute on one side then turn them over so they get nice char marks on all sides. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and continue to griddle the rest.

Meanwhile put the 75 ml olive oil in a small saucepan with the sliced garlic & chillies. Cook them over a medium heat until the garlic just starts to turn golden brown. Don’t let it burn. Remove from the heat and pour the hot oil over the bowl of hot broccoli & beans and toss together well. Check seasoning.

Heat up a wok, or large frying pan, over a medium high heat, add in the cooked noodles, kecap manis (or soy sauce & honey), sesame oil and oyster sauce. Heat through the noodles and then throw in the veg. Toss everything together well and serve in deep bowls.

Squeeze over some lemon/lime juice and sprinkle with the toasted nuts and chopped coriander.

You are going to love this. Broccoli has never tasted so good, honestly. If you don’t own a grill pan go out and buy one now.

It’s just a bit of a bitch to clean….. Apparently.

Things that made me smile today…..



And bugs…

Hasta Luego!!


99 Responses to “Chargrilled Broccoli and Beans with Chilli, Garlic and Sweet Soy Rice Noodles”

  1. Saveur July 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    This is the best thing you’ve ever made – wowzas! Rob loves broccoli, so I think we will both really enjoy this. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide July 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    I love broccoli and this recipe is great. Love the pictures. We have so many dragonflies down here (South U.S.). I don’t remember seeing so many when I grew up on the East Coast.

  3. chicaandaluza July 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    High praise indeed! I adore broccoli – we gre some last year but it all came together at the same time and we couldn´t keep up with it. This is a lovely recipe and I have my trusty grill pan from Ikea in Malaga so will give it a go. And yes, it´s a right ***** to clean!

    • foodblogandthedog July 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

      We tried to grow some last year in pots but no go. The courgettes went mental though! I have the same pan from Ikea too!!

  4. Lindsay July 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    You are so in my brain. I saw this cookbook at a friend’s house, and ordered it so I could make this recipe.

    Mmmm, I do have a grill pan and I’ve been wondering what to do with it! BRILLIANT!

    Can’t wait to try it!

  5. Visda July 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Gorgeous recipe. I never thought of grilling broccoli and I always get tired of eating them the same steamed way. This is a wonderful meal. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Maris(In Good Taste) July 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    This is such an awesome broccoli recipe! Love the bowl it’s in too

  7. Nami @ Just One Cookbook July 11, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    Broccoli and flat noodles! This looks delicious Natalie. Chargrilled broccoli gives a nice flavor to this simple noodles. I love it!

  8. happywhennothungry July 11, 2011 at 3:00 am #

    This dish looks beautiful! I love all the flavors especially the rice boodles as well. Beautiful photos too!

  9. Ilke July 11, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    I love chargrilled veggies. Broccoli does not look boring at all!

  10. Medeja July 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    You have really great noodle recipes, dear 🙂 I’m glad that I know your blog 🙂

  11. tiffany July 11, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    I don’t think broccoli is bland or boring! Especially not when prepared like this! Looks great!

  12. Jill Colonna July 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    Call me boring but I adore broccoli – and done this way chargrilled sounds absolutely fantastic. Love all the flavours in there. Love also your smiley photos at the end – what talent since these must be so difficult to shoot! Beauties.

  13. Angie's Recipes July 12, 2011 at 6:25 am #

    I could have this everyday in summer time! Looks so GOOOOOOOOOOD!

  14. Tes July 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    I love what you’ve done with broccoli. It looks so fresh and delicious 🙂

  15. forgottenbeast July 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    Broccoli not exciting? Never! But this recipe DOES look good! Broccoli is delicious in just about everything!

    And dragonflies make me smile too! Lovely pictures. I had to go look at where you live after seeing that butterfly–how exotic!

  16. kankana July 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    The idea of broccoli and noodle makes me hungry. I love that char look on the broccoli. Delicious healthy looking dish.

  17. Marmande July 13, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    I love broccoli, and the idea of grilling it sounds great. If all my meals for the rest of my life were spicy and vegetable based, I would be a happy girl!

  18. tony ward July 13, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    stupendo guapa……..we are having friends to supper today and will give this a try.They are NOT vegetarian but if you don’t tell them, I wont !!
    Lovely, lovely pic’s of the wildlife…….que memorias eh ?? xx

  19. Kelly July 13, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    What a great, healthy dish! The colors are so vibrant and this looks delicious! 🙂

  20. Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen July 14, 2011 at 1:55 am #

    Wow, gorgeous! If this won’t entice people to eat their veggies, I don’t know what will. Beautiful blog!

  21. marvie2008 July 14, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    Wow! It felt like I could smell the grilled veggies by just looking at these mouth-watering photos. Oh and brocolli! This little miniature tree look-alike is one of my favorites! I Just bookmarked the recipe 🙂

  22. banbamama July 14, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    Oh I like the sound of chargrilled broccoli 🙂 I love my griddle pan. I am going to try this. Broccoli is great with sauteed onions and flaked roasted almonds. Lovely photos and I especially like the last one of the bug on the yarrow. Nice contrast in colours. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  23. Mikalee Byerman July 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Love the recipe, and love love LOVE that last photo of the ladybug!


  24. Serena July 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Hi! I’m so happy to see another foreigner in Andalucia around here, and a vegetarian one! (Well I’m not technically a foreigner any more I got citizenship, but I’ll always be from a foreign culture.) Whereabouts in Andalucia do you live? I live on the Costa del Sol. Great to meet you!

  25. kellie @ foodtoglow July 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    I’m a big Yotam Ottolenghi fan too, and it’s certainly cheaper to make his food than buy it! I do my own version of his explosive black pepper tofu (not posted it though). Thanks for sharing your take on this recipe. I’m a big broccoli fan (all the brassicas really) and love it on the griddle too – transformative. Lovely photos too, esp the flora/fauna!

  26. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide July 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Woo hoo, you’re on Freshly Pressed. Way to go!

    • foodblogandthedog July 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      I know, just seen it because my traffic started going up!! My peaches are on foodpress too! Can’t believe it, thanks!!

  27. be awake July 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    mmm tasty!
    remember guys — do not cook broccoli to a pulp! 🙂

  28. Baby Pickel July 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    Found this post on the homepage of wordpress today – enjoyed it, thanks for the read! Would you ever be open to sharing a story with our blog?

  29. gaycarboys July 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Simple and summery. Sounds yummy

  30. thebigbookofdating July 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Mmmm food looks good!

  31. allaboutgoodlife July 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    I so love the pictures! Broccoli is one of my fave veggies. I haven’t tried grilling it but I will try doing soon as a new dish on our dinner table! In my country, we love the combination of garlic and noodles too!

    The insects ang bugs you posted are truly incredible. I remember my younger years out in the field!

    I love the whole blog! It makes my day complete. Thanks to you!

  32. michelle091 July 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    You have such gorgeous pictures and I think this recipe looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

  33. erica banks krug July 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    YUM! This looks delicious! I cannot wait to try it… Congrats on freshly pressed!

  34. steph July 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    yum, that looks delicious! and the butterflies are pretty too.

  35. bonkasaurus July 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    OMG these pictures got my attention immediately. i love grilled vegetables because it’s so summery and healthy. I definitely have to try this.

    -Bianca at

  36. Evert Taihuttu July 14, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    Yummm thanks!
    thats look really good! 😀

  37. 300hikes July 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    This looks DELICIOUS, and it’s vegan! I have a post on vegan cupcakes on my blog, and am soon to post a fantastic vegan chocolate chip molasses cookie recipe. Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to give it a try.

  38. Serena July 14, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    Congratulations for getting onto Freshly Pressed, of course that’s how I discovered your blog! Otherwise I never would’ve known that it existed, I don’t usually browse recipe blogs (even though I love to cook and I love to eat!). I’m going off to make this for dinner right now, I just happen to have some broccoli at home, and I have some noodles. 🙂

  39. Jaulleixe July 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Great post, great photo, very interesting vegetarian recipe: this blog seems a nice place to meet peacefulness and simplicity. Really KAWAY 🙂

  40. trialsinfood July 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    looks yummy and this is coming from someone who doesn’t like broccoli. i’ll have to make it for my husband, who loves it! great photos!

  41. E July 14, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    this looks delicious! I for one am a big fan of broccoli, especially chargrilled (and definitely, especially with chilis), and will be trying this out! Great blog!

  42. caravelajewellery July 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    Looks lovely. I will definitely give it a go. Great photos!

    • Smallpeace July 14, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

      I LOVED this recipe. I also live in a blended household that includes a vegetarian and a non-veggie, so I’m always looking for hearty, satisfying dishes that please us both. Thanks for this.

  43. Lakia Gordon July 14, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    I really like broccoli and you’ve definitely shown me a different way to cook it at home. Thanks for sharing.

  44. wmpnotary July 14, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    This dish looks very good. It must be calorie freindly.

  45. truthspew July 15, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    Broccoli is not boring , I adore it. The crunch, the flavor. Delicious. But carmelized like that? I bet it was something else.

  46. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts July 15, 2011 at 1:05 am #

    Yum!! Grilled veggies – so much more flavor!

  47. brianlamew July 15, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    Great photos and delicious looking broccoli. Thanks for your post.

  48. chanelle July 15, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    looks amazing, welldone

  49. Linda July 15, 2011 at 2:05 am #

    Darn at this point I think I would trade the nice food processer that I just bought for the grill pan. I hate broccolli but I have to start making changes for the better in my diet. This looks great! I am going to try it.

  50. beally5u July 15, 2011 at 2:39 am #

    The photography only enhances a truly delicious recipe and of course when i try, it will only look like a disaster. I know new idea digestible photos?.

  51. Auspicious Wedding Dates July 15, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    Sounds like a pretty healthy meal 🙂

  52. Barbara Rodgers July 15, 2011 at 3:55 am #

    Looks scrumptious! Love the wonderful dragonfly pictures…

  53. food-it FOWARD July 15, 2011 at 4:22 am #

    Wow! That looks really good AND HEALTHY! I like the use of Asian flavors! Have you ventured into Filipino food at all? Got some recipes on my site if you want to check it out! 🙂 #fooditforward

  54. nasrulbintang July 15, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    wow looks delicious broccoli really … so want to eat and hungry … hehehe

  55. ihatewheatgrass July 15, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    Man, I usually hate broccoli, but this actually makes me want to try it again – excitement! 😀

  56. skinvitamin July 15, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Hhmmm…. enaaakkkk…. aq mauuuu…. mupeng nih… :)~

  57. dustedoff July 15, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    Oh, my goodness. This sounds ABSOLUTELY gorgeous! My husband and I love broccoli, garlic, beans and Oriental flavours – so this is certainly coming up on next week’s menus. Thank you!

    • foodblogandthedog July 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

      I really hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

      • dustedoff July 21, 2011 at 9:49 am #

        I made this last night, and both of us loved it! Thank you – this is definitely going into my list of ‘recipes I love so much and make so often I don’t need to refer to them each time!’

  58. whatsaysyou July 15, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Yummy and thanks for the post. By the way, broccoli is my favourite vegetable

  59. richannkur July 15, 2011 at 11:27 am #


  60. CONIEFOX July 15, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    wow.. it looks so yummy! my mouth is watering as we speak

  61. Sacha Calagopi July 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    your photos are amazing! i love how the light brings out the beautiful colors of your recipe. i also love your chopsticks, bowls and placemats and how you’ve arranged everything to looks so beautiful. thanks for the inspiration. i will now look at what a griddle pan is and see if there’s one available here so i can try your recipe. best wishes in your blog!

  62. spicegirlfla July 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Congrats on FP! and with that I found your blog! I love the taste of grilled or roasted broccoli, adding that nuttiness! Wonderful dish, I’m looking forward to checking out more of your recipes. While I’m not “vegetarian”, I do tend to follow more vegetarian-type eating.

  63. kat July 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    Oh that looks so delicious!! I finally got the courage to start my own blog! Please check it out and let me know what you think! 🙂

  64. the dish diva July 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    This looks absolutely delicious! I’m always looking to integrate a vegetarian entree at least once a week to our menu. Will definitely be giving this one a try. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  65. maydelory July 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    I’ve tried a recipe something like this and loved it. I’m going to try this one soon.

  66. frugalfeeding July 15, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    My girlfriend just asked me to bookmark this. Looks amazing.

  67. shil July 15, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    That looks good and yummy !! And great pictures.

  68. birdieshealthchatter July 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Yummmmmmy! Maybe I can finally get my husband to eat some veggies!!! Thanks for this 😀

  69. Derrek July 16, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    beautiful place. so peaceful. thank you for sharing.

  70. James July 17, 2011 at 6:52 am #

    Gorgeous recipe. This is a wonderful meal !!

  71. Lori Lynn July 18, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    Sounds fabulous. But we heart broccoli anyway 🙂
    Love your critter pics.

  72. thediaryofsugarandspice July 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Delightful! My mouth is watering! I’ve been looking for more vegetarian dishes to add to my diet – this looks SO good! Will be trying it this week!! 🙂

  73. mouseblossom July 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Hi, so glad I found this blog, we were in dire need of some new veggie recipes and yours look amazing, thanks!

  74. watermeloun July 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Oh my God, it looks SO Yummeee!!

  75. newfattitude July 18, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    This looks fantastic! I’m a big broccoli fan, but I’ve never thought of chargrilling it- I definitely will now!

  76. denise @ quickies on the dinner table July 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    This is the kind of food I love and the kind I should be cooking more often. I have been lazy and eating out more. So much on my plate at the moment 😛 I can dream and drool though 😉 And that book will be mine soon!!! Your photos are stunners, as always – love the dragonfly shot…

  77. EscRiBiTioNiSt® August 19, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    Love broccoli.

  78. Beth Michelle August 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    I love broccoli. This recipe looks amazing. I love everything you did with it. I wish you lived coser so I can just come over and eat it all!!

  79. Coco August 22, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    This looks really yummy. I adore broccoli! I am looking forward to making this soon.

  80. Ashley November 8, 2011 at 2:27 am #

    This looks DELICIOUS. It’s looks so simple but so great! I love being a vegetarian sometimes. I might just sit here and get some more yummy ideas 🙂


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