Growing up, I never ate brussel sprouts. After making these, I actually showed my mom a picture of them and she didn’t know what they were. Brussel sprouts are just not found in Chinese cooking. My first experience with them was in a dining hall in college. They were boiled way past their prime and actually tasted pretty awful, but as they disintegrated in my mouth, I thought, cooked the right way, they had potential.
Now I’ve never been to any of David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants, but it’s been on my to-try list for years, and these brussel sprouts have me thoroughly convinced. This is now the only way I make brussel sprouts, and it involves little more than trimming brussel sprouts and cutting them in half, tossing them in oil, throwing them in the oven, and when they’re done–tossing them in an addictive fish sauce dressing. These are the ideal vegetables to make for someone who doesn’t like vegetables. Sweet, salty, nutty, and so easy to pop in your mouth. Think of it like vegetable candy.
Fish Sauce Roasted Brussel Sprouts
(adapted from David Chang)
Ingredients for Brussel Sprouts:
2 lbs brussel sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
3 tablespoons oil
Ingredients for Fish Sauce Dressing:
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped mint (optional)
1 garlic clove, minced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss brussel sprouts with oil and arrange cut-side down in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring the sprouts once in the middle. Use your judgment on this one and take them out when the outer leaves are brown and crispy but not yet burnt.
While the sprouts are in the oven, combine all the ingredients for the fish sauce dressing and stir until sugar has dissolved. When the brussel sprouts are ready, transfer them to a serving dish and toss with just enough dressing to coat (you’ll likely have leftover dressing, but it’s also great on salad greens!).