I used to hate brussel sprouts, I mean really hate them. I hated them so much one time when I was a kid I gagged at the dinner table because my parents forced me to eat them. They were the most awful thing I have ever put in my mouth, and I will never forget that.
That wasn’t until I went to David Chang’s Momofuku ssäm bar for dinner for my friend Nicole's birthday party a couple of years ago.
Somebody ordered a couple of servings of roasted Brussel sprouts; and for some reason the waiter put them in front of me.
I looked at them for quite some time, trying to decide whether I should give Brussel sprouts another chance.
I hesitated for a couple of minutes, but then I realized I was ripe (and brave) enough to try them again.
And luckily I did, because they blew me away.
See? People change.
The moment I saw the recipe in the Momofuku’s cookbook I knew I have to make them at home.
The secret of these Brussel sprouts is the sauce/vinaigrette they’re coated in, a true umami delight.
It has a surprising depth. The inclusion of mint and cilantro gives it an herbal quality, the garlic some extra pungency, the red chiles a bit of kick and the rice vinegar paired with the fish sauce activate the umami.
Trust me when I say that this recipe will turn Brussel sprout haters into Brussel sprout lovers.
Adapted from Momofuku
1 lb / 453 gr Brussel sprouts
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped mint
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup / 60 ml fish sauce (I used Red Boat)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (I used Marukan)
Juice of ½ lime
2 tablespoon raw organic honey
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Bird's eye chili, thinly chopped
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a rack in the middle.
Combine cilantro, mint, fish sauce, water, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, honey, garlic and chili and set aside.
Peel away any loose or discolored outer leaves from Brussel sprouts. Trim the dry end of the stems with a knife, and cut the sprouts in half (or in quarters if large). Do not wash the sprouts, but if you must, dry very well.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in an oven-safe skillet. Add the Brussel sprouts cut side down.
When they begin to brown, transfer the pan to the oven and roast for further 15 minutes.
If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, grease a baking sheet with olive oil and spread Brussel sprouts cut sides down. Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, tossing them around with a spratula once they start to brown nicely.
When ready to serve, transfer Brussel sprouts to a bowl, top with the dressing and toss once or twice to coat.
One serving yields 143 calories, 7 grams of fat, 19 grams of carb and 4 grams protein