Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Stir fried brussel sprouts

Brussel sprouts seem to bring out the strongest reactions in people, with most of them being of the 'eeeeewww!' variety. I have heard that one of the most common reason for people not liking brussel sprouts is because they tend to have them overcooked/overboiled, resulting in a mushy texture and a bitter taste. The overcooking of brussel sprout leads to a sulphuric chemical to be released, which gives it that unpleasant smell and taste. Depending on their size, they only need to be steamed or boiled for 4 to 7 minutes. The bright green color should be retainedl; if the colours has faded, they are overcooked.

Select brussel sprouts of similar sizes so that they would cook evenly and at the same time. Wash them and put into a pan of boiling water (or steamer). There is no need to cut that little cross at the bottom if you don't have time. Besides, there is the theory that the cuts let in water which makes the brussels mushy. In a pan of boiling water for about 5 minutes (longer if they are large), that's all. Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil and sea salt and taste the difference. There is no need to cook them to the death. Vegetables taste better with a bite or crunch to them, and they would have retained their nutrients too instead of losing them all to the water. I think one of the greatest sins of 'traditional' British cooking is overcooked vegetables, which I have seen (and tasted) all too often.

For something different, consider making a brussel sprouts stir fry. It might convince friends and family who don't like brussel sprouts to give them a try. Brussel sprouts are no longer at their best, compared to November-January. But I happened to see some pretty decent ones last week and immediately grabbed a bag. You could also buy them on the stalk, which keeps them fresher for longer.

Stir fried brussel sprouts

Ingredients (serves 2):

10-12 brussel sprouts
1 small carrot, cut into thin slices
1 clove of garlic, minced
Oil for cooking
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp sesame oil


1. Wash the brussels and parboil them in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain and cool them by rinsing with cold water. Cut into half or quarters, depending on their size.

2. Heat some oil in a large pan or wok till hot. Over medium-high heat, add the garlic and carrots and stir fry for a minute. Then add the brussel sprouts and stir fry for a few minutes until all the vegetables are cooked through but still crunchy.

3. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil towards the end of cooking and mix well.


delightt said...

two thumbs up for stir-fried brussel sprouts! I get mine in the frozen-bag variety and can't even be bothered to slice them up. mmmmm....

Nilmandra said...

delightt: *poke at laziness* :p I have not come across frozen brussels here.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Is it brussel sprouts season? I keep seeing brussel sprouts post everywhere. :P I like stir-fry brussel sprouts too but find them a pain to wash, some had dirt and dead insects inside.

tigerfish said...

Love brussel sprouts so it's definitely not going to be "ewwwwww..." for me :P

Nilmandra said...

Little Corner: LOL. Actually brussel sprout season is almost over here. I thought I better have more before they disappear! :) Dead insects?! Eek. The ones we get here have very tight and compacts heads, I've never found dirt inside before...

Tigerfish: No, indeed ;) That's because we don't overcook them!

noobcook said...

First, these brussel sprouts are spotted @ tigerfish's blog and then your recipe comes along as well! Don't recall ever trying this veg b4 and suddenly I keep seeing it, so it must be a sign for me to try ;P

Nilmandra said...

noobcook: Yeah it was quite coincidental :) They are definitely worth a try! Hey, you could stir fry them with any leftover salted fish!

srikar's kitchen said...

looks nice

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