A few months ago I helped make food for my friend Friede’s birthday party. I put together several different dishes, but most popular by far were these brussels sprouts – I have never had so many compliments on a meal before. This is not surprising as it is (slightly) adapted from a recipe in David Chang‘s Momofuku Cookbook (I have had previous success with his recipes before, indeed in Friede’s company). The sprouts themselves, though fried until crispy, do go a little soft when the marinade is added, but the rice krispies add a nice contrasting crunch, which brings the dish together.
David Chang’s Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Rice Krispies
(Serves 6 as a side or small main)
1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (tsp for the rice krispies, tbsp for the sprouts)
1/4 cup rice krispies (rice bubbles)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or, if you can get it, togarashi
14g (1 tablespoon) salted butter
1kg (2lbs) brussels sprouts
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped coriander (cilantro)
1 tablespoon chopped mint
In a large non-stick frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the rice krispies and cayenne pepper, and stir until browned just slightly, around 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and wipe out the frying pan.
Cut the ends off the sprouts, remove any tougher or damaged leaves from the outside, and halve lengthwise. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 14g salted butter on medium-high and add the sprouts. Cook the sprouts, flipping them over occasionally, until they are brown to burnt-looking on both sides, and feeling soft. This should take 10-15 minutes. (For a less hands-on option, you can place them in a baking tray and roast at 200°C (425°F) for 20 minutes or so, until they look brown and feel soft).
To make the dressing combine the garlic, fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, water and lime juice in a bowl, and stir until the sugar dissolves (or, as I did, put it in a jar and then just shake until mixed). Mix in the coriander (cilantro) and mint.
Place the sprouts in a large bowl, and toss with the dressing – I suggest only using a bit of the dressing at first, as you may not need all of it, and you don’t want a pool of dressing at the bottom of your bowl. Just before serving, sprinkle with the rice krispies – if you add them too early they won’t stay crispy. When I served this buffet style at the party, I put the rice krispies in a bowl next to the sprouts, and instructed people to sprinkle their own on as they served themselves.
Brussels sprouts are really a winter vegetable, so if you are in Australia now is the time to take advantage of them!