Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts with Mom’s Chili Fish Sauce

by on September 30, 2013

Fried Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Mom's Sweet Chili Fish Sauce Dip from White On Rice Couple

Update: Click here for more fabulous Brussels Sprouts Recipes.

Finally, I think Mom would approve of this recipe, or at least my hacked version of her chili fish sauce. You see, I’ve been known to break many culinary rules and Mom has pretty much warmed up to my kitchen shenanigans and fiendish ways of using fish sauce. Seriously, who would take a traditional Vietnamese spring roll and make a BLT out of it? I did. She also raised both eye brows when I told her that I made a fried egg Vietnamese sandwich called a “Bang Me”. Oh please, it’s just a sandwich. A freaking good one, at that. And last but not least, I took her beloved pork banh mi and made little tapas, open faced bites out of it. She actually giggled about that one.

I love to make kitchen trouble. Or trouble in the kitchen. Or at least anything that has to do with fish sauce. It’s in my blood, I tell ya.

My friends, you must make this and support me. If you like it, I’ll collect all your positive responses and show Mom that I’m not all that crazy. And if you don’t like it, then you’re a bit crazy too because fried brussels sprouts and fish sauce is a delicious combination. A match made in brussels sprouts heaven.

Fried Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Mom's Sweet Chili Fish Sauce Dip from White On Rice Couple

It started back in 2011 when we ate our way through Austin IACP and had our minds blown at East Side King. His version of crispy brussels sprouts was out of this world. Circle around again to 2013 when we were at BlogHer Food Austin, we experienced another addictive version of crispy brussels sprouts at Uchiko and again at East Side King. We just had to do a double take on crispy brussels sprouts in two different restaurants because we just couldn’t get enough.

Now the cravings start to come around again and the cheapest way to indulge in this dish is to make it at home, rather than to fly out to Austin. The crispy fried brussels sprouts is a must for anyone who haven’t plunged their brussels sprouts into hot oil yet. The deep fried flavor and crispy outside, slight charred leaves of the brussels sprouts is a flavor that’s hard to describe. Add on top of that, my hacked (corn starch thickened) version of Mom’s Chili Fish sauce and what you have is about 2 pounds of goodness that you will want to eat all by yourself.

Fried Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Mom's Sweet Chili Fish Sauce Dip from White On Rice Couple

You can’t go wrong on this recipe if you like brussels sprouts, if you love fish sauce and if you don’t care about calories.

Plunge your brussels sprouts in hot oil, I tell ya!

Do it, try it and trust me. I also love the chili fish sauce so much that I might fry a batch of potatoes and toss this addictive sauce on top. Next post!



Fried Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Mom's Sweet Chili Fish Sauce Dip from White On Rice Couple

P.S. I dedicate this post to Miss Rachel because she’s the only person I know of who can out eat me when it comes to brussels sprouts.

More Brussels Sprouts Recipes:

Cheesy Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha and Mint
Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce and Lime
Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar

Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts Recipe with Mom's Chili Fish Sauce

Yield: Serves 1-4

Total Time: 30 min

You might have some left over chili fish sauce dip, but that's ok. Save it for your next batch of fried brussels sprouts, egg rolls, fresh fries or even baste the sauce on steak or chicken. It's a winner! Also, depending on your size of brussels sprouts, cut them to appropriate bite sized pieces. If your brussels sprouts are small, cut them in half. If they are very large, cut them in quarters. How ever you decide to cut them, make sure they're all about the same size so that they can cook evenly in the hot oil.


  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and quartered
  • oil for frying

For Chili Fish Sauce

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce (use Tamari for Gluten Free)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 fresh chiles, minced (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

For slurry:

  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 Tablespoon water


  1. Make the Chili Fish Sauce: Combine all chili fish sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring the sauce to a boil. As the sauce is coming to a boil, make the corn starch slurry by combining the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Make sure to stir the slurry well and break up any lumps of cornstarch.
  2. When the fish sauce comes to a boil, gently stir in the corn starch slurry. Slowly stir the sauce till it thickens. Once the chili fish sauce thickens, turn off heat. Allow chili fish sauce to cool.
  3. Fry the Brussels Sprouts: In a large work, deep pot or dutch oven, fill oil to about two inches high. Heat the oil to about 350 to 375 degrees. Test the oil by frying one piece of brussels sprouts first. If it sizzles and cooks quickly, then the oil is ready.
  4. Fry the Brussels sprouts in batches, so start by frying about 1/4 of the brussels sprouts till they are golden brown. Remove them from oil and blot them on paper towels to remove excess oil. Repeat the frying for the rest of the brussels sprouts.
  5. Once all brussels sprouts are fried and crispy, combine them in a large bowl. Toss the crispy brussels sprouts with the chili fish sauce and serve warm.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Belinda @themoonblushbaker September 30, 2013 at 1:43 am

You have no idea how much tradition means my grandparents. Like your mom, my grandmother thinks anything but her recipe is too weird. Her idea of using chilli and garlic is to make it hot enough and garlicy enough to over load your head, this means it taste goof :P.
I love the way you used fish sauce on sprouts, fell for this combo in the momofuku bar cook book but I think this way I can have it everyday.


2 Averie @ Averie Cooks September 30, 2013 at 1:47 am

Those are such beautiful Brussels Sprouts! I love them and yours are just popping off the plate with all that color and texture. Ive never tried them fried, and never even dawned on me…but gosh, now I’d love to try!


3 Tieghan September 30, 2013 at 5:27 am

Fried brussel sprouts? Wow, that sounds so good and with the chili fish sauce too! Yum, I know I would love these!


4 Andi September 30, 2013 at 7:49 am

YUM X a million!


5 Lizthechef September 30, 2013 at 7:58 am

Only you could take a drop-dead gorgeous shot of my fav, Brussels sprouts -


6 Deanna September 30, 2013 at 8:23 am

There’s a restaurant in Santa Ana that serves fried brussels sprouts with fried potatoes and its heaven. Crispy, crunchy, creamy (from the potato) heaven. I can’t wait to make these. Ooh, and if I put a fried egg on top it’s dinner.


7 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious September 30, 2013 at 10:19 am

Umm yeah, any sandwich called a “bang me” should be on my plate! Lol… There’s a place here in Long Beach that sells brussels similar to these as an appetizer, but it’s so easy to just get them and eat as much as a main course!


8 Ash-foodfashionparty September 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I’ve never tried them this way, your looks so good. The kids would fall in love with anything fried and garlicky.


9 Kiran @ September 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Fried bsprouts with chili fish sauce?!? Get in my belly :D


10 Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas September 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm

You guys are the BEST for creating this recipe! Those brussel sprouts at Uchiko were out of this world. Can’t wait to try this!


11 Emily September 30, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I love Brussels sprouts but rarely make them because no one else likes them. I bet this will change their minds!


12 Megan {Country Cleaver} September 30, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I love crispy brussels sprouts! True confession, I’ve never had fish sauce – I know, the horror. Clearly it’s something that needs to be remedied immediately. This looks divine.


13 Eliza B October 1, 2013 at 7:26 am

Brussel sprouts don’t have calories anyways, whatever form they are in.


14 Sophie October 1, 2013 at 11:19 am

Wow — a thickened nuoc cham for dipping?! That is so genuis. I’m sure your mother is proud! I love another commenter’s idea of an egg on top HELLO YES, and this is altogether the best brussels idea I’ve heard since David Chang’s book came out. I can always count on you two for the best!


15 tara October 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm

This looks amazing! As a recent convert to brussels sprouts, I can’t get enough-and this sounds awesome!


16 Debra Rose October 2, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Brussels sprouts are the best! Thanks for a great recipe.


17 kc October 3, 2013 at 8:04 pm

What brand of fish sauce did you use in this recipe?thanks!


18 White on Rice Couple October 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Our house favorite fish sauces are the Flying Lion brand and Red Boat brand fish sauce. For this recipe we used Flying Lion.


19 Amber November 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Just made this with some quite old Brussels sprouts (a month expired?), and it was AMAZING. Thanks for this delicious recipe, can’t wait to make it with fresh ones!


20 Rebecca November 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Sooooo excited to try these! The Brussels sprouts at Uchi here in Houston (same chef as Uchiko) are my favorite thing on the menu. Do you think they could be fried in advance, then reheated in the oven before tossing with the sauce? Or would they lose their crispiness? Thanks!


21 Karen November 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Would love to try this recipe. Can you tell me what kind of chilis you use in the recipe? I live in Texas, but I’m sure you’re using some kind of Asian chili.


22 White on Rice Couple November 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm

The most common chili that we use for this recipe would be Thai chilies. Although I’m sure in Texas you’ll have a great bit of options to chose from.


23 Monique December 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I just tried this for the first time and it is AWESOME and tastes wonderful. I live in Austin and to be able to cook this dish so perfectly made me proud.
The oil I used was sunflower because i just wasn’t sure and it tasted very light.


24 bta January 30, 2014 at 10:00 am

i pan fried the brussel sprouts instead, and they were so yummy! (also, i think the fish sauce i used was a little saltier than normal, so next time i’d adjust the water/fish sauce ratio.)


25 Jake June 3, 2014 at 7:22 am

Any chance this could be made with frozen brussels sprouts?


26 White on Rice Couple June 24, 2014 at 9:51 pm

We aren’t sure. Probably but we haven’t ever tried. You might need to soak up any excess water from the frozen brussels sprouts. If you give it a shot we’d love to hear how it comes out.


27 Lisa August 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Could you roast the brussel sprouts instead of frying them?


28 White on Rice Couple September 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Hi Lisa,
Sure. The texture would be a bit different, but the sauce would be great on a roasted brussels sprouts, too.


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