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[Photograph: Blake Royer]

There's just one secret to saving Brussels sprouts: caramelization. It's the boiled version that's to blame for their terrible reputation, when they tend to smell terrible and taste bitter. All it takes to fix that is a shimmering skillet, a blazing hot oven, or, in this case, a bath in the deep fryer. Brussels sprouts can take a serious amount of color (you can cook them until they're almost black) and instead of burning, they just taste better and better.

The method for this recipe from Food 52 is no doubt tedious: You have to peel the leaves apart from each individual sprout (I recommend making the job easier by using larger sprouts) then fry them in oil. But this presentation has appeared on a number of restaurant menus lately (in Chicago, the Purple Pig does it, and The Vanderbilt in Brooklyn inspired this recipe) and for good reason: It maximizes the surface area for flavor and leaves you with crisp, salty, delicious leaves.

To round it out to a full meal, I fried slices of tofu dredged in flour and cornstarch in the same oil, though this would be marvelous next to a fat pork chop, too. Oh, and that sauce—a simple mixture of honey, lime, and sriracha—is way better than it has any right to be.

Get the Recipe

Fried Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha-Honey Sauce ยป

About the author: Blake Royer is a food writer, photographer, and filmmaker based in Chicago; he has been writing for Serious Eats since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter @blakeroyer.

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