[Photograph: Austin Bush]

I was surprised to see a recipe calling for Brussels sprouts in Andy Ricker's new Pok Pok cookbook. Brussels sprouts aren't Thai, are they? As it turns out, Ricker has spotted a similar vegetable (a cross between Brussels sprouts and bok choy) in stir fries in Northern Thailand. He prepares them simply, in a Chinese-Thai hybrid of a sauce made with oyster and fish sauces. The result is a sweet, salty, and spicy dish that'd fit in with just about any spread of seasonal dishes—Thai or otherwise.

Why I picked this recipe: Thai-style Brussels sprouts? Had to try 'em,

What worked: This dish was the easiest I made this week. But, between the pungent chiles and garlic and the funky mix of oyster and fish sauce, it was certainly no less flavorful than the more complex dishes.

What didn't: Nothing.

Suggested tweaks: You could stir-fry just about any vegetable using this sauce and method. You'll want to blanch heartier vegetables like the Brussels before stir-frying.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Pok Pok to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.


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