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.
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.
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!
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.
Note on cooking times: Brussels sprouts can very tremendously in size, ranging from the size of a large egg to as small as a 5-cent coin. Make sure to adjust your cooking times depending on the size that you end up cooking. Also, try to select all the same sizes for consistent cooking.
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! Brussels Sprouts can very tremendously in size. Sdepending 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
- 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
- 1 Tablespoon corn starch
- 1 Tablespoon water
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.