We love steamed broccoli and it’s so easy to make it in the microwave. Here’s a recipe that takes basic steamed broccoli and upgrades it with a super flavorful sesame dressing, which is also made in the microwave. It takes 15 minutes—a quick and easy side dish that doesn’t even require you to turn the stove or oven on. This would be delicious with something sweet and savory, like bulgogi, braised short ribs, and gochujang chicken thighs served with a big bowl of rice.
How To Make an Easy Yet Flavorful Sesame Dressing
The sesame dressing is made by first heating oil in the microwave and then stirring raw grated garlic and ginger into the hot oil. The ginger and garlic mellows out and lightly infuses the oil. A generous splash of apple cider vinegar adds acid (you can use red wine vinegar instead) and the nutty toasted sesame oil balances out the grassy broccoli. We love how the dressing soaks into the broccoli florets, giving them so much flavor.
Our Easiest Broccoli Sides
Microwave Broccoli with Sesame Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, grated
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (from a 1-inch piece)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
6 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 2 pounds)
3/4 cup water
Make the sesame dressing:
Pour the oil into a small microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and use a paring knife to poke a hole in plastic wrap so steam can escape. Microwave on high until the oil is very hot, about 3 minutes.
Carefully remove and discard plastic wrap. Stir in the grated garlic and ginger (you should hear sizzling), and let it stand for 5 minutes. You can cook the broccoli in the meantime.
Whisk in the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes, if using.
Cook the broccoli:
Place the broccoli florets in a large microwave-safe bowl (we used a 8-cup glass measuring cup) and pour 3/4 cup water over the broccoli. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until broccoli is tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring halfway through and re-covering the bowl.
Carefully remove the plastic wrap and drain the broccoli into a colander set in the sink, and transfer it back into the bowl.
We developed and tested the recipe using a 1,200-watt microwave. Depending on the power of your microwave, you may need to cook the broccoli for longer, adding more time in 1-minute intervals. Look for visual cues—the broccoli is ready when it’s bright green, and tender, but not mushy.
Toss and serve:
Pour the prepared dressing over the cooked broccoli and toss to evenly coat. Garnish with more sesame seeds. Serve immediately or let it stand at room temperature for 20 minutes to let flavors meld.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 12g||15%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||8%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||19%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 102mg||508%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|