Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before how I used to despise Brussels sprouts when I was a kid.  My mom would simply boil them, as though they were supposed to be edible served that way.  Since then, I have come to love Brussels sprouts.  In fact, they are one of my top 5 favorite veggies of all time!  I love their bitter earthiness, and they are so versatile – you can pair them with sweet, sour, spicy, umami, whichever flavor profile you want!  They won’t let you down.  One of my 2015 goals was to make more Asian dishes, because, well, why not, really.  I came across this recipe in a recent Bon Appétit issue, and ripped it out immediately to add to my recipe folder.   Taking a look at my folder reminded me that I need to post on this blog more frequently, lest I want to end up being a recipe hoarder and die by having a box of recipes fall on my head.

This recipe is for all of the Brussels sprouts lovers out there, as well as the Asian food lovers.  The sauce is very similar to spicy Thai peanut sauce, but there is no peanut butter in the sauce. Instead, the roasted peanuts are added separately and add a lovely crunch that I really savored.  I loved this dish so much that I have made this sauce several more times and added it to roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. You really can’t go wrong with this delightful sauce. And if there are peanut allergies in your household, simply skip the peanuts. They are not necessary for this sauce to be delicious. This dish can be enjoyed as a main or side dish, depending on the serving size and how hungry you are. Enjoy, and let me know if you try this recipe!

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Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts are topped with crunchy peanuts and a sweet and spicy chile sauce that is insanely tasty. Make the sauce and add to any roasted veggie for an easy and delicious meal!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lb. Brussels sprouts halved
  • 5 Tbsp. vegetable oil divided
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. hot chili paste
  • 6 dried chiles de árbol lightly crushed
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted peanuts, roasted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425 F degrees.  Toss Brussels sprouts and 4 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast, tossing once, until softened (but not soft) and browned, 20-25 minutes.  Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, mix cornstarch and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl until smooth.
  • Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high.  Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, until garlic is golden brown, about 2 minutes.
  • Add chili paste and cook, stirring, until darkened, about 2 minutes.  Add chiles, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil; stir in cornstarch slurry.
  • Simmer, stirring, until sauce coats spoon, about 2 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Toss Brussels sprouts with sauce and serve topped with peanuts.
Keyword brussels sprouts, garlic, ginger, peanuts, soy sauce

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