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Dinner Tonight: Momofuku Brussels Sprouts

Bussels sprouts from Momofuku

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Burnt brussels sprouts

If those brussels sprouts look wildly overcooked, it's because...they are. I don't know who was in the Gourmet test kitchen the day they sent this recipe off to the press, or if my oven is malfunctioning horribly, but I ended up with a mushy mess after the recommended 450°F and 40 minutes. I should have realized what a long hot cooking time that is, but I was blinded by a desire for that roasted, nutty, caramelized flavor on the sprouts, which is the best part of that vegetable in my book—when its natural sweetness come out and the off-putting odor reviled by so many American children disappears. So I didn't even peek at them until it was too late.

Luckily, the sauce these guys get coated in is marvelous. I first had these sprouts at Momofuku Ssäm Bar and they blew me away; seeing the recipe online immediately sent me to the grocery store. It was also a perfect opportunity to use my Thai red chilies and fish sauce from Iron Pot Chicken, which was once again stirred into sugar with a little water to make a dressing of surprising depth, instantly, with little effort. The inclusion of mint and cilantro gives it an herbal quality, the garlic some extra pungency, and the crispy puffed rice some crunch (the rice bit is optional, though). Usually I just do my brussels sprouts with a little olive oil and balsamic, which is a wonderfully simple combination, but just a bit more effort made for something extraordinary.

The ingredients list for this recipe is longer than usual for "Dinner Tonight," but you can easily skip the puffed rice, which doesn't add much to the flavor of the dish.

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