Traditionally, Brussels sprouts are cooked with (browned) butter or butter and bacon, although this is delicious, it can get quite repetitive. Here is a recipe from a fabulous chef who has transformed this vegetable to something absolutely delicious.
The history of brassicas is fascinating and includes everything from cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and about 500 other species including Brussels sprouts. They are considered the "feral" plant of the vegetable world because of their ability to spread and develop into new varieties in new locations due to a high level of genetic evolutionary abilities. The oldest cultivation records of brassicas are from the Roman and Turkish times but some records from India and China show they were consumed in these parts 4000 years ago. Brussels sprouts were engineered and developed in Brussels and this vegetable has taken over as a favorite amongst this class of vegetables.
This recipes highlights this with its bold and beautiful confluence of flavors. Sweet from the honey, sour from the lime, spicy from the sriracha, nutty from the sesame seeds and charred from the pan, this dish is irresistible. Tongue-tickling good, the crunchy Brussels sprouts are delicious, this is a dish I will make often.
This is a cookbook that I have been wanting to cook from for a while, and finally this is one of the easiest and most approachable recipes from it. A cookbook for the committed chef, the recipes are amazing. This restaurant is definitely on my bucket list when in London, oh when can we travel again?
For more recipes from this amazing cookbook, click here.
For the dressing:
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
For the Brussels sprouts:
3 tablespoons oil
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
Salt, to taste (Note: the dressing is also very salty)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup shallots, sliced
3 tablespoons white or black sesame seeds, or mixed
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Mix all the ingredients for the dressing till well combined and set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok on a high flame. Add the Brussels sprouts, careful they may splutter, and fry till they are browned on all sides, about 1-2 minutes. Let them get well charred, it is part of the flavor profile.
Toss the fried Brussels sprouts with the dressing, salt, pepper, shallots, sesame seeds, (keep some sesame seeds for garnish) and most of the cilantro. Cook for another 1-2 minutes till the dressing has reduced and sticks to the sprouts. Turn out into a bowl or flat plate and garnish with the left over cilantro and sesame seeds. Serve immediately. You want the sprouts to be cooked on the outside but still crunchy on the inside, they should have some texture and not be mushy.
NOTE: this is not a dish that can be made ahead of time and served later. It needs to go from the frying pan to the table. Over time the flavors dull and the sprouts get soggy.