Food

The Best Brussels Sprouts You’ll Ever Have

Wow, I’ll let this recipe speak for itself; take a look…

The Best Brussels Sprouts You’ll Ever Have
By Joy Cho of Oh Joy; photos by Bonnie Tsang

Growing up, I never actually had brussels sprouts because my parents only knew how to cook Thai food. But I had heard friends at school talk about them as this terrible vegetable that their moms made them eat. Brussels sprouts get a bad reputation for being bitter and boring, but when roasted, they’re pretty amazing. Ironically enough, in the last few years, Brussels sprouts seems to have made a resurgence on restaurant menus as chefs are redefining this vegetable into something that’s seriously delicious. My husband and I enjoy these at least once a week, and I love adding a touch of my Thai heritage to the mix. We’re huge garlic fans too, and always throw in some extra cloves to roast which is an amazing extra touch of flavor and texture. Here’s my go-to recipe…

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Garlic with Thai-Inspired Dressing
(Adapted from Momofuku’s recipe)
Serves 2-4 as a side dish

You’ll need:
For Brussels Sprouts & Garlic:
A bag of brussels sprouts (about 1 lb)
Olive oil
8-10 cloves of garlic (I like the pre-peeled packets to make it easier)

For Dressing:
1/4 cup of fish sauce (I like Tiparos or Red Boat)
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of sugar
3 tbsp. of finely chopped mint
2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro stems
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (1 1/2-inch) fresh red Thai chile, thinly sliced crosswise, including seeds

What to do:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with rack on the upper third.

Cut brussels sprouts in half, length-wise, and toss in a bowl with garlic and enough olive oil to lightly coat all pieces.

Place brussels sprouts with flat-side down (garlic can be tossed in any direction) on a shallow baking pan.

Bake until outer leaves are dark brown and appear crispy. Depending on the size of your brussels sprouts, this could be anywhere from 25-45 minutes, so start watching after 25 minutes and add time as necessary. Then, make a note of the timing for the next batch.

Make dressing while the sprouts are in the oven. Simply combine all ingredients and stir until sugar has dissolved. I like to put it into a small tupperware container and shake it up. Then, you already have the extra dressing in a container to save for next time. Once the brussels sprouts are done, pour into a bowl and lightly toss with dressing. You won’t need all of the dressing, so it’s great to save for later for your next batch. We’ve even added the dressing to some roasted potatoes!

Thanks, Joy and Bonnie!

P.S. More best recipes

(Photos by Bonnie Tsang. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series)

  1. Tried this tonight and SO UNBELIEVABLY GOOD!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Served it with Vietnamese grilled pork skewers, and grilled pineapple — perfect!

  2. I love sprouts…always fresh ones. I steam mine so there is a nice bite to them and then toss them in butter and add plenty of black pepper and a tad of salt….beautiful.

  3. My god, I want this in my life. Always looking for a way to make sprouts tastier!
    Your blog is great btw, always so refreshing to find a diamond in a haystack. x

  4. Even male wedding guests want to lie down for a top fashion show!

    Kaylees Bridal

  5. This has always been one of our favorite dishes – got this recipe on Epicurious a few years ago and now the only way my kids and hubby will eat brussel sprouts is if we oven roast them :) They’re a staple in our house. Sometimes if I’m in a hurry we just throw some olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt and brussel sprouts together and roast them. But this recipe is a favorite.

  6. I had these with my roast chicken yesterday. They are unreal.

  7. Paired these tonight with pistachio encrusted lamb chops … delish! Thanks for the recommendation :)

  8. omigosh – so timely. i was at trader joes this week and saw these BEAUTIFUL stalks of sprouts, but wouldnt have had a clue what to do with them. decided against buying them because i had no recipe! now i do. but, in the meantime, ive also realized theyd be GREAT decor in a vase too :)

  9. Roasted brussels sprouts are the best. Mmmm.

  10. I just had brussels sprouts at Chuko and this sounds like it might come close to Chuko’s magic! Thanks!

  11. I read this post yesterday and have been looking for something different. So for dinner last night I prepared these as a side to our meal. Everyone was interested and my 13 year old who pretty much picks out all vegetables from his food, he ate 6 without having to be asked(forced) they smelled so good. Got up this am and the house has a pleasant smell from them. They were so good, everyone loved them. Husband told me 3 or 4 times how good dinner was last night and I think it was the brussel sprouts that put it over the top! Thank You!

  12. Those look delicious! To be honest? I’ve always loved Brussels sprouts, even as a kid. I know, I’m a weirdo ;-)

  13. Even in Brussels, where I am from, kids hate Brussels sprouts ;-)
    But then you get reasonable and discover that they are delicious if well prepared. I use to cook/roast them with some potatoes and bacon, sometimes with a touch of vinegar. Mmmm !

  14. I think I need to make these right now. And maybe every other day of the week forever…

  15. skip the chili and sugar and add mike’s hot honey- made in brooklyn! and so delicious.

  16. i love brussel sprouts and recently had some roasted ones on the lower east side that were topped with chipotle aioli and were to die for!! (at macondo, btw). yummy!

  17. this looks amazing. i love all of these “the best…you’ll ever have” posts. I use the pasta one basically weekly, and it’s my boyfriends #1 favorite dinner that I make. I hope a “the best sauteed kale you’ll ever have” comes soon because i need some serious help in that department!

  18. I just used fish sauce for the first time the other day in a recipe for Pad Thai. Long story short, it smelled like something that’s too horrible to be mentioned here. And it bombed out our whole house. I don’t think I’m brave enough to try another fish sauce recipe just yet. :(

  19. I just had Brussels sprouts for the first time last month & think I’v really been missing out! can’t wait to try :)

  20. Yum! My previous obsession was homemade kale chips and now it’s roasted brussel sprouts. :)

  21. Never had brussel sprouts, so this is helpful! Thanks! :)
    Eat Cake

  22. Oh my goodness. I love Brussels sprouts and am always looking for ways to lure my family in to liking them as much as I do. I have tried roasting with lemon zest and poppy seeds and braising with cream a la Orangette, but this looks amazing! (I really am enjoying this series!)

  23. How funny, I had burssels sprouts for lunch today! I usually throw them in a skillet with some garlic and bacon. We’ve recently tried brussel sprouts risotto, which was divine – I was very wary about it in the beginning, though :) Thanks for sharing Joy’s recipe!

  24. I love to cook but have never actually attempted brussel sprouts before-I may give this a try! Was the original recipe made with butter and the olive oil is an alternative? It looks like butter in the picture but I don’t see it in the recipe. Just curious!

  25. Any suggestions for a good substitute for the Fish Sauce that would still bring in Thai flavors? My husband LOVES Thai food but hates fish, so I would need to use something else. But I’ve never used Fish Sauce before so I don’t know what would make a good substitute. Thanks!

  26. Ohhh yummy. I love to eat these (though my husband does not) and I like the sound of this dressing. I think I might try these tonight!

  27. Might have to try this. I have always looooved brussels sprouts – they’re my favorite veggie. Funny since I don’t like bitter foods much, but I guess I just don’t find them bitter. Same goes w. olives… I adore them… but many people find them bitter.

  28. Brussel Sprouts! I love adding in the thai chili and cilantro! Nice twist =)

  29. Oh I will so have to try this! I love love love brussel sprouts!

  30. Oh my goodness, I could eat brussel sprouts everyday. This recipe looks amazing! I have some sprouts in my fridge now…will just have to try this.

  31. I roast mine with sliced almonds and olive oil, then toss them with honey, parmesan, and salt. They turned my husband into a Brussels Sprout eater! Thanks for the new recipe!

  32. Brussel sprouts appeared on the table at Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year. I resisted as a child, but I’m glad my parents insisted I have a bite each time. I love them now, but for me, they were an acquired taste.

  33. YUMMY! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!!

  34. Ooh, yum! Lately I’ve been obsessed with the dijon braised Brussels sprouts recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but I really need to broaden my Brussels sprout repertoire. Definitely going to give this recipe a try!!

  35. I’m so glad that Brussels sprouts are “in” now. I’ve loved them for ever and many people just look at me like I have three heads when I tell them. Look who had great taste all along, sukkas. I’ll be adding this to my sprouts repertoire

  36. Love Momofuku! I got their brussel sprouts the first time I went and they inspired me to try them at home. So good! I love them roasted almost black with nutmeg. Mmm.

  37. i agree, brussels sprouts are on practically EVERY menu nowadays, and i’m totally not complaining! loving every second of it (FYI, new yorkers, JoJo on upper east side has an AMAZING dish with shredded brussels sprouts)

    we make a similar sauce using fish sauce here:
    http://www.beyondthestoop.com/2012/01/first-sauce-in-new-blender-spicy-lime.html

    but when we have meat drippings, they are SOO SOO good with the drippings, maple syrup, apples, and walnuts, found here:
    http://www.beyondthestoop.com/2012/06/save-your-meat-juices.html

    everyone needs to at least try sprouts, you will be shocked at how amazing they can be!

  38. Mark Bittman has an amazing recipe for cooking Brussels sprouts with figs, bacon, and a splash of balsamic vinegar that is amazing. Even better if you caramelize the bacon beforehand with a mix of brown sugar and balsamic:)

  39. This sounds delicious. I love the thai twist here. This will be on my Thanksgiving menu!

  40. I’m eager to try this recipe at home now! We love brussel sprouts but never know how to cook them!
    thanks!

    nykeiko.com

  41. I hate to admit that I LOVE brussel sprouts! When I was a freshman in college they served them in the dorm cafeteria and I swear I was the only one who ate them. This version looks soooo much better than the dorm ones ;) can’t wait to try them!

  42. Gotta try this. Brussels are my favorite veggie (of the moment), and I love cooking them for people. So many folks have bad memories of them, that presenting it as a side properly can totally blow their mind. My uncle-in-law *hated* them with a passion his whole life. After he tried mine he said “for the first 48 years of my life I thought I hated brussels sprouts. And then I tried yours, and now I love them.”

    He’s a bit of a picky eater when it comes to veggies. Turning him was a proud moment in my cooking life.

  43. I absolutely love Brussels sprout and am so excited to try this recipe. Love the idea of adding a dressing to it. Thanks!!

  44. I LOVE BRUSSELS SPROUTS. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

    I make a good recipe in the summer where you just toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried mustard, and then grill them on skewers. And it’s also good to do the basic recipe above, but instead of the Thai dressing, just throw in some diced dried apricots and chopped pistachios, then serve on a small bed of Greek yogurt (sounds weird, but trust me). Such a good veggie!

    Thanks for sharing this one!

  45. I never liked Brussels sprouts as a child. My mother only knew to boil them

    Your recipe looks great. I think I’ll sub oyster sauce for the fish sauce.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Dan Garner
    http://ZenPresence.com

  46. This sounds so good! Usually I just toss them in olive oil and sea salt– in fact, I think most veggies are so great like this when roasted, but that thai-inspired sauce might just take it to the next level! Thanks for sharing!

  47. There is a restaurant near me in Boston that makes THE BEST brussel sprouts. They shred them after cooking (or maybe before?) and they practically melt in your mouth.

    I think the key to making them taste good, though, is just cooking the hell out of them and adding a bunch of olive oil and salt! So tasty!

  48. Ooo, yum! This recipe sounds delish! I usually just roast them with garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil but this sounds SO much better. Thanks for sharing!