Monday, July 15, 2013
Uchiko Brussel Sprouts Recipe - Sweet Thai Chili Brussel Sprouts
So in the Spring of this year I traveled down to Austin, TX to visit a good friend who was preparing for her wedding. In meeting with some of her friends I discovered the amazing culinary culture this Texan town has to offer.
The most momentous of the trip was a visit to the renowned restaurant Uchiko, which sampled a menu of asian inspired small plates and unique flavors. The members of the group who had already dined at Uchiko mentioned an amazing brussel sprout dish. To be honest, I had a strict aversion to brussel sprouts ever since I was a kid. My mother would always steam them in the microwave and season with margarine and vegisalt. For me this method of cooking never seemed to get that strange bitter cabbage taste out of them.
So with hesitation, I ate Uchiko's brussel sprouts. I can officially say my opinion of this green vegetable has changed. The brussel sprouts had an amazing crunch with a tangy, soy salted taste, and a glaze that was delectable.
After my inspired visit I decided this was a recipe I had to find. Of course being Uchiko this recipe was locked tight in their food vault so no secrets could be shared. Instead I started googling around and found a bunch of authors also attempting to duplicate this recipe. Some were very simple, some wanted me to buy exotic ingredients at my local asian food market, UGH.....NOT GONNA HAPPEN.
The following recipe contains a trial and error of the different recipe's I found and the concluding method I believe most closely matched the famous Uchiko Brussel Sprouts small plate. To be clear, I am not one to do anything with cooking that I feel will take too long or requires me to go to every grocery store in town to find the right ingredients. Instead I attempt to make good food my guests that will be easy to make and delicious!
The Recipe - Sweet Thai (Uchiko Inspired) Brussel Sprouts :
2 lbs of raw brussel sprouts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 juice and zest of one lemon
1.5 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1/2 cup of sweet thai chili sauce (found at any grocery store)
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp of soy sauce
Prepare brussel sprouts by halving or thirding each sprout. Keep them bigger to the size of a french fry. Put all sprouts in a roasting pan or big baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, brown sugar, lemon juice/zest, ensuring each sprout is covered. Roast on 400 degrees for 30 mins. DO NOT OVER COOK. Keep them a little crunchy. Remove and let cool for 15 mins.
UPDATED: If you want to make the sprouts quickly you can skip the whole roasting process. Although this is my preferred method of preparing this dish just flash fry the brussel sprouts for 1 minute at a high oil temperature 350 degrees. The sprouts should be raw with the bottoms cut. Remove excess oil and toss with the sauce preparation below! NOTE; BEWARE OIL WILL BOIL VIOLENTLY FOR THE FIRST 4-8 SECONDS!
Flash fry roasted sprouts in a light frying oil. I prefer corn or peanut oil for frying. Remember flash frying means hot hot oil (between 375 and 400 degrees) and only for a few seconds until lightly browned and crisp. 20-30 seconds. If you fry to long the sprouts will get soggy. After frying place the sprouts on paper towels to drain excess oil.
How to Flash Fry
(For those that do not have a deep fryer, I do not either, use a stock pot or WOK to fry. Use a candy thermometer to measure oil temperature. Be careful though, when you through the sprouts into the oil it will boil high so make sure you have room in the pot for the oil to rise and watch for splatter.)
Combine sweet chili sauce, fish sauce, and soy sauce in small sauce pan. Heat on medium until simmering.
Toss sprouts and sauce together by spooning sauce over sprouts. How much sauce you use is completely up to you!!
Enjoy!! These guys will disappear quick so double or triple the recipe!!
- Use chop sticks.
- Try and an appetizer or a side dish! Great with a stir fry.
- The sauce prepared is great for egg roles, spring roles, dumplings, or any other asian dippable.