Vegan Bang Bang Broccoli

entrees | December 16, 2016 | By

I feel like when the weather starts to get chilly is when I want to start frying things. In the summer time, fried food just doesn’t appeal to me. It is heavy and greasy, which sucks in the heat of summer, but is an amazing comfort in the chill of winter and fall. 


Last week, I had the insane pleasure of going to Dirt Candy in New York City. It was hands down in the top 5 meals of my entire life. One of the many dishes I had was the Korean Fried Broccoli. It was so frickin’ delicious. My husband wasn’t with me, so I immediately sent a picture, suggesting(ferociously) that he try to make the dish for me! I found the recipe for it on the internets! We then got to talking about making our own fried broccoli entree, and after careful thought and brainstorming, we came up with a test for Bang Bang Broccoli!


This fried broccoli is so good and filling and comforting, but still light and crisp. The perfect comfort food for a cold night in! The whole recipe has only 12 ingredients (including the oil for frying), the sauce is only 3! A customary Bang Bang sauce has sweet chilli sauce and honey. I thought that was WAY too much sugar, so I went with a simple Vegan mayo, chilli paste and agave. So easy, so sweet and spicy, but not too sweet:) The batter is only 5 ingredients, and everything is just thrown together. After dipping into the batter, you just toss it in panko, and it is ready to get nice and brown and crispy. 


Then a quick drizzle with the Bang Bang sauce and you are ready for one of the best meals ever. My husband and I made some veggie fried rice to go with it, and bam! Oh yeah! You can also use this basic batter and sauce recipe for pretty much anything, I thought about tempeh and tofu, cauliflower and chickpeas. The possibilities are endless. 



Vegan Bang Bang Broccoli
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Asian inspired broccoli panko fried to perfection drizzled with a creamy sweet and spicy sauce. 
Course: Main Course
Author: Lauren Hartmann
Bang Bang Sauce
  • 1/4 C. Vegan mayo
  • 2 Tbsp. Chili paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Agave nectar
  • 1 C. Almond milk
  • 1 tsp. Apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 C. All purpose flour
  • 1/2 C. Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Hot sauce
And the rest
  • 2 C. Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Head of Broccoli
  • Oil for frying
  • Chives for garnish(optional)
  1. Make the sauce, whisk together the mayo, chilli paste and agave in a small bowl. Set aside.

  2. Make the batter, add the apple cider vinegar to the almond milk in a small bowl and let sit for a few minutes to make vegan buttermilk. Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt to a medium sized mixing bowl, then add the hot sauce and almond milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk together until combined.

  3. Put the panko in a separate bowl.

  4. Cut broccoli into florets, then heat the oil on medium high in a large pan, I like to use a cast iron skillet, you need about 1/2-1 inch of oil at the bottom of the pan.

  5. Dip each floret of broccoli in the batter, then into the panko and coat thoroughly. Once the oil is hot add the broccoli to the hot oil. Fry for about a minute or two on each side, or until brown and crispy. Drizzle with sauce and serve immediately.


  1. Sara Field

    February 13, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Saw this on insta , was so tempted that I had to visit this. Amazing idea . Totally gonna try making this one. Thankx for this one

    • Lauren Hartmann

      February 13, 2017 at 11:28 pm

      Thank you so much! It is so delicious, I hope you enjoy!

  2. Kim

    March 13, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Can this be baked instead of frying?

    • Lauren Hartmann

      March 13, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      Yes. You should be able to. I would bake at a high temperature, and maybe spray them with oil of your choice. I love avocado oil spray!

    • Roxanne

      April 16, 2017 at 12:56 am

      I baked it at 425 for 20 min. It was perfect except for the colour. It was not golden brown but white. But it was delicious! I also replaced the floor with quinoa flour and agave with a heaping TBSP of organic unsweetened apple butter. ….YUMMY!

      • Lauren Hartmann

        April 16, 2017 at 12:59 am

        Yay! Sounds delicious! Yeah, to get it to brown, you probably have to give it a spray of oil. However, if you are trying to avoid oil all together this sounds like a great alternative! Thank you for sharing and the feedback!!

  3. Brandon

    March 14, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    This was great, and the only criticism is when to put in the hot sauce, as it is slightly ambiguous in the recipe details. Does one place it right into the milk and vinegar mixture? This is obviously a minor note, and thank you for the wonderful recipe.

    • shoshi

      April 18, 2017 at 1:00 am

      hot sauce of your choice is in the batter. The mayo and chili paste is a dipping sauce. In the directions you add hot sauce to the batter, and after it’s all done you dip or drizzle

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  5. Shannon

    May 11, 2017 at 6:47 am

    My boyfriend doesn’t like mayo based sauces, so I am going to do a separate sauce for him. Is there something else I can use? I was thinking to replace the mayo with veggie broth and thicken it with flour. Do you have any advice?

    • Lauren Hartmann

      May 11, 2017 at 10:53 am

      I think it needs to be creamy. How does he feel about avocado? You could do a creamy avocado sauce blended with veggie broth and then mixed with the agave and chili paste. Or you could use vegan plain yogurt? Or you could just mix the agave and chili paste without the creaminess. It would still be delicious! I hope that helps! Let me know if none of these appeal to you! I will do more brainstorming!

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  8. pom7756G

    June 29, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Wondering if anyone has tried this with an air fryer? Looking for yet another reason to dig in and buy one…and this recipe must might be the push!

    • Lauren Hartmann

      June 29, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Actually, yes! Someone sent me a picture a few days ago of the outcome of the using an air fryer for this recipe. They said it was amazing, and it looked really good!

  9. Lesa

    July 6, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    This is delicious. I replaced the 2nd tsp of chili pepper with agave. I don’t like hot, hot. Thanks

    • Lauren Hartmann

      July 6, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      Yay! I’m so glad you liked it! You are so welcome!

  10. Karen B Zimmer

    July 9, 2017 at 11:22 am

    I like my broccoli cooked, not raw or crunchy… does the broccoli soften up or is it still hard?? Maybe i can steam it a tad first. I know… I am weird but I like all veggies cooked. 😦

    • Lauren Hartmann

      July 9, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      It definitely gets soft, but you can try and steam it a bit first if you want. I do think it gets soft enough just frying, so it is up to you. I am not sure how well the coating would work on steamed broccoli. However, you could give it a try.

  11. Cary Adkison

    July 11, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Made this evening. Used coconut milk instead of almond. Whole family LOVED it!! Definitely making it again. Thanks for the recipe

    • Lauren Hartmann

      July 12, 2017 at 2:06 am

      Yay! You are so welcome!

  12. Angela

    July 16, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    has anyone made this using frozen broccoli? I have some on hand and was just curious…

    • Lauren Hartmann

      July 16, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      I have not tried that, and I am not sure if anyone else has. However, you could definitely give it a try! I would just defrost it first and then coat it like you would with fresh. I can’t guarantee it will work, but I would love to know if it does! I think it will!

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  15. Zuzu Petals

    July 22, 2017 at 2:26 am

    I appreciate vegan recipes with good flavor!! Thanks for this.

    • Lauren Hartmann

      July 22, 2017 at 10:42 am

      You are so welcome!

  16. Cindy

    July 31, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Thank you. can’t wait to try it…looks delicious!

  17. Cindy

    July 31, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Is 1/2 cup cornstarch a typo? Holy cow, that seems like a lot

    • Lauren Hartmann

      July 31, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      Nope, not a typo. It is mixed with flour to make the batter. So it just makes a nice light crispy batter. I promise it works😉


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