When things are quiet around here it’s usually one of two things: I’m eating the same thing on repeat, or my 35-year-old body is giving out with toddler sleep regressions. Thankfully it’s the former this time around. 

This is an easy side to make and it features heavily in our meal rotations. Even easier if you have chilli oil on hand, but here’s a quick workaround if you don’t. 

Blanch some broccoli and green beans until tender. Rinse under cold water and set aside. In the meantime pulse together dried red chillies, ginger, and garlic. You’re looking for coarse bits and not a paste. Heat oil in a pan and sauté your aromats until fragrant and the chillies induce a 30 second sneeze fit. This is essentially a chilli oil, but with way less oil since you don’t need to store it. 

I like to add some sugar and oyster sauce at this stage to temper the heat and give the dish depth. Tip in the blanched veg, toss, and serve. Great as a side with rice, or if your life and sleep patterns can accommodate it, it’s even better with fried rice and fried eggs.


Servings: 4 people


  • 750 grams broccoli
  • 350 grams green beans
  • 4 dried red chillies
  • 9 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce (veg or non-veg)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, to serve
  • Salt, to serve


  • Chop the broccoli into small florets. Slice the outer layer of the main stem and discard. Use the fresher interior. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Remove the ends of the green beans and halve them.
  • Blanch the broccoli and green beans in boiling water for 5 mins. Rinse under cold water and set aside.
  • Add the chillies, ginger and garlic to a small blender jar. Pulse until coarsely chopped. You don’t want a paste here, just small bits.
  • Heat the oil in a large wide pan. Add the chilli-ginger-garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the oyster sauce and sugar. Cook for 2 mins.
  • Tip in the cooked broccoli and beans and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot with sesame seeds sprinkled over.


Serves 4 as a side with rice and eggs.


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