Friday, December 14, 2012

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Puffed Rice

I love brussels sprouts! Not sure if I have said this enough, but it is very high up on my favorite vegetables list. So when I read this recipe on my iPad on my Epicurious app, it had me wanting to make it immediately.

Deep-fried Brussels sprouts are a popular side dish at Ssām Bar. Cooked in a hot oven (easier for the home cook), they still get that nutty sweetness and nicely browned crisp exterior. Rice Krispries, standing in for Indian puffed rice (which is more difficult to find), add crunch, while sous-chef Tien Ho's Vietnamese-style dressing lends the sprouts an offbeat complexity.

This was an absolute hit at lunch today, and it will surely be a recipe that we will make again!

Below is my variation on the recipe. The minor tweaks were the use of soy sauce instead of fish sauce, as we were serving vegetarians for lunch today. As much as I believe the fish sauce would have done wonders to the recipe, the soy sauce worked very well too. Instead of shichimi togarashi powder I used some of my good old Indian red chili powder. I also increased the amount of puffed rice, as I loved the idea of more crunch to the dish. The amount of dressing felt like too much, which is why I a reduced the amount in the recipe below.

Makes 8 first or side-course services

For brussels sprouts
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lenghtwise
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For dressing
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (or soy sauce for a vegetarian version)
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro stems
1 garlic clove, minced
2 fresh red Thai chiles, thinly sliced crosswise, including seeds (be generous if you like the heat)

For puffed rice
1/2 cup Indian puffed rice (or Rice Krispies, if not available)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

For garnish
Cilantro sprigs
Mint leaves
Scallions, chopped


  1. Roast brussels sprouts: Preheat oven to 400F. Toss brussels sprouts with oil, then arrange cut sides down, in a 17-by-12-inch baking pan. Roast, without turning, until outer leaves are tender and very dark brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Add butter and toss to coat.
  2. Make dressing: Stir together all the dressing ingredients until sugar has dissolved.
  3. Make puffed rice while sprouts roast: Cook cereal, oil, and red chili powder in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking skillet and stirring, until rice is coated and begins to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cook, stirring occasionally.
  4. Finish dish: Put Brussels sprouts in a serving bowl, then toss with just enough dressing to coat. Sprinkle with puffed rice.

Cooks' notes:
Puffed rice can be made 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
Dressing, without mint and cilantro, can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature and add herbs before using.

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