Chilli Cranberry Hoisin Parsnips

A classic Christmas side, with a bit of a Chinese twist. It’s all about the sticky glaze, which combines cranberry sauce with hoisin, chilli, Sichuan peppercorns and a host of delicious store cupboard staples. The whipped tahini is optional as the parsnips are delicious on their own, but it really does round out the dish.

  • Author: zenak
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 500g parsnips
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cranberry sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sichuan peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 orange, juice
  • small handful pecans, finely chopped

For the whipped tahini (optional):

  • 100g good-quality tahini (see Notes)
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 75ml cold water


  1. Heat your oven to 220°C / fan 200°C. Top, tail and quarter the parsnips. If they’re on the smaller side, halve them instead.
  2. Place the parsnips in a large roasting tin. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast, tossing once halfway through, for 30 minutes, or until just tender. Note: the roasting time is entirely dependent on the size of the parsnips, so focus on checking for doneness rather than specific time instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, place the cranberry sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, honey, chilli flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, ginger and orange juice in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. Add half of the glaze to the parsnips and toss to coat. Return to the oven and roast for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly caramelised.
  5. Whisk the tahini and toasted sesame oil until smooth, then add the water and whisk again until smooth. It will split and look like it won’t emulsify but trust the process! After a couple of minutes, it will come together in a thick, creamy sauce. Season with salt, to taste, whisk again to combine and set aside.
  6. Just before serving, bring the rest of the glaze to a boil in a small saucepan.
  7. To serve, spread the whipped tahini onto a large plate. Top with the sticky parsnips and finish with the rest of the glaze and pecans for crunch – enjoy.


Not all tahini is created equal. Poor-quality tahini is thick, clumpy, gritty, and bitter. Good-quality tahini is smooth, pourable and balanced, not bitter. Where possible, I recommend avoiding supermarket own-brand tahini and opting for Middle-Eastern versions instead. Some of my favourite tahini brands are Baracke, Al Nakhil, Al Taj and Belazu.

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