I am a convert to Brussels sprouts. I never knew how to cook them, and once in a blue moon when I would try, they would turn out like mushy, sulfury blobs.
The key is cooking them quickly and adding bold flavors that can stand up to the sprouts. Some folks use bacon or other fatty meat, but I wanted to try a vegetarian version. Actually, turns out, this dish is vegan!
I love Kung Pao chicken, and order it often at Chinese restaurants. There is something magical about the sweet, sticky, hot, spicy, crunchy goodness in this dish – and it makes an amazing rendition of Brussels sprouts.
This version is very low prep – and delicious results. We have already made these three times since I first made this dish 3 weeks ago. Yes, they’re that good.
A yummy Easter or spring side dish!
KUNG PAO BRUSSELS SPROUTS
2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce ( or other Asian chili sauce)
2 dried chiles de arbol, lightly crushed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts
Pre heat oven to 425 degrees.
Toss Brussels sprouts in 2 tablespoons of oil and spread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at top of oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring halfway through baking time, until lightly browned.
Mix cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add garlic and ginger and cook about 2 minutes. Add chiles, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture and cook until thickened. Remove the chiles and if you like a lot of heat, dice them and discard the stem and seeds and then stir them back into sauce. To keep this dish mild, discard the chiles.
Remove brussels sprouts from oven and toss with the sauce. Serve sprinkled with peanuts.
Other clever veggie renditions of kung pao: