Note: Thai bird chilies are very hot. For a milder version, replace 3 to 4 Thai bird chilies with 1 single jalapeño or serrano pepper, or omit entirely.
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- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 to 2 limes
- 3 to 4 Thai bird chilis, finely chopped (see note above)
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced on a microplane grater (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 quarts vegetable, canola, or peanut oil
- 2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, outer leaves removed, split in half
- 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
Combine fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, chilies, garlic, and cilantro in a small bowl. Whisk until sugar is dissolved.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with a triple layer of paper towels. In a large wok or Dutch oven, heat oil to 400°F. Add half of Brussels sprouts and half of shallots. Oil temperature will drop to around 325°F. Adjust heat to maintain this temperature. Cook, stirring and agitating with a metal spider until Brussels sprouts are deep golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheet. Reheat oil to 400°F and repeat with remaining sprouts and shallots.
Transfer sprouts and shallots to a large bowl and add dressing. Toss to combine and serve.