Asian Inspired Brussels Sprouts
First, of course, this is not an actual Asian recipe – all the usual disclaimers about being authentic to Anne’s Kitchen and New York City 21st Century Fusion. It’s also not a real stir fry, though it borrows heavily from that technique.
I don’t actually Do Things with Brussels Sprouts very much. Besides steam them and eat them, I mean… We both like them, the first sprouts of the season are a real treat, they are often on my Thanksgiving table. (And if you see them on the stem, usually at a farmer’s market, not only does it look fanciful and delightful – but it keeps the cut ends from drying out…)
I got an idea, though, and decided I wanted to try it. I had half a large carrot I wanted to finish, and I’d gotten a new stem of ginger (having run out) and those scallions are much too big and, well, oniony for salad, and… this started forming itself in my mind… Last year, I seared them in a pan with bacon – perhaps a variation of that?
I started with the sprouts – which I should have measured. A cup, maybe? They don’t really measure well, because there’s so much space around them (most of these were fairly big.) I washed them, and trimmed the ends – and then quartered them. (Some of the outer leaves fell off – I put them aside.)
Then I scrubbed the carrot and trimmed it, and cut it in small pieces. (And will cut it in smaller pieces, the next time I do this – these ended up a little harder than I wanted.) And I cleaned and trimmed a large scallion, cut the white part in sections, and the green ends in longer pieces which I put with the reserved sprout leaves.
I also took the new stem of ginger, peeled the end, and used my handy dandy ginger grater to grate – oh, about half an inch? from the end. Now, if you don’t have a fancy Japanese grater (I’m still surprised that I do, it was a gift) you can use the pierced side of a box grater, or just slice and mince. I did that until very recently, and it works fine.
And I wanted to be able to add flavorful liquid quickly, so I measured rice vinegar and soy sauce into a small bowl and put it handy. (I, of course, used a gluten free soy/tamari sauce.)
I used my cast iron skillet, and heated it, then added oil. I added the ginger to the oil and stirred it around to mix – the idea is to then be able to distribute it thoroughly through the vegetables. Then I added the quartered Brussels sprouts, the carrot, and the white part of the scallion (still reserving all the loose cut leaves) and stirred it all well to coat with the ginger flavored oil. I lowered the heat to medium, and let it all cook about five minutes, stirring every minute or so.
Then I added the scallion and sprout leaves, and the vinegar soy mixture, stirred well, and covered the pan. Let that cook another 3-4 minutes, until the sprouts were done to our taste, and the carrot could be pierced easily with a knife. (As I said, it seemed cooked enough, but when eating it, I would have preferred it a little softer – I’ll cut the pieces thinner, next time. Not a major problem…)
We liked it. The seasoning was very subtle – might not have consciously noticed it if I hadn’t known it was there, but it did add a grace note. The whole thing became more a central dish than a side dish – I served it with plain rice and poached chicken, and that felt right.
Asian Inspired Brussels Sprouts
- 1/2 pint Brussels Sprouts
- 1 small carrot
- 1 large scallion
- fresh ginger root
- 2 T rice vinegar
- 1 T soy sauce or tamari
- oil for pan
- Wash and trim Brussels sprouts, and cut in quarters, reserving loose leaves. Scrub carrot, and cut in inch long pieces, then cut them in thin sticks. Trim scallion, cut in sections, reserving the green leaves with the loose sprout leaves.
- Grate or mince about half an inch of ginger root. Mix vinegar and soy sauce in small bowl.
- Heat a heavy pan until hot, add the oil and heat it. Add ginger, and stir to blend.
- Add quartered sprouts, carrots, and the white parts of the scallion, and stir to coat with seasoned oil. Let cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the leafy parts of the sprouts and scallions. Add the vinegar soy mixture, and cover. Cook another 3-5 minutes, until sprouts are done to taste.