Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts.  Love ‘em or hate ‘em, this recipe might just win you over and make you change your mind.  Spicy, sweet, crunchy and cleverly disguised as your favorite Chinese take-out dish, these are worth the small bit of prep time they require. Topped with the requisite peanuts, you will like them so much you’ll forget that you’re eating a vegetable you weren’t so sure about.  Make extra.  They reheat well, and are even good cold.

I used Thai red curry paste in place of the sambal oelek, and since we’re being honest here, I used 1/4 cup of reduced sodium soy sauce in place of the 1/2 cup of the regular kind called for in the original recipe, mostly because of a too salty, bad experience I had making Beef with Broccoli.  This recipe is not one bit challenging, and I am going to even suggest that you think about sneaking some protein in and making yourself an entire dinner.  If you use 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of chicken, shrimp, beef, or pork, and double up the sauce ingredients, you’ve got take out. Minus the wait, and the delivery charge.

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved
  • canola oil spray
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons hot chili paste (sambal oelek)
  • 6 dried chiles de árbol, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup unsalted, roasted peanuts

Preheat oven to 425º.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with oil.  Toss Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons of oil; season with salt and pepper.  Roast, tossing once, until softened (but not soft) and browned, about 20-25 minutes.

Mix cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes.  Add chili paste.  Cook and stir until dark and fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add chiles, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil.  Stir in cornstarch slurry and simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and coats spoon, about 2 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Add Brussels sprouts and toss to coat.  Serve topped with peanuts.

– adapted from Kung Pan Brussels Sprouts – Bon Appétit, February 2015

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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