Friday, November 15, 2013

"Are you going to finish those brussels sprouts?"

Korean roasted brussels sprouts
with basmati rice
Ever since I tasted Chef Tyler Morris's Korean roasted brussels sprouts at Louisville's Rye on Market last month, I've been meaning to try to fashion something along these lines myself.  Tonight, after I ran across a really pretty set of small, fresh B sprouts at Paul's Market today, I finally got around to doing so, and all I have to say is, "Mmmmm."

As I said in my review, these little round green critters aren't easy for most of us to like. "Overcook them and they get stenchy. Undercook them and they stay hard, without the saving grace of crunch. And no matter what you do with them, it seems, they remain, well, tiny cabbages."

And so it goes. Still, armed with my memories of Rye's treat, and a little Googling that led to several variations on a similar dish created by Chef David Chang at Momofuku, I made up a batch. I don't claim that it's a clone of Morris's version, or Chang's, but it's my own, and it was good.

The procedure is just about as simple as can be:  Take your sprouts - the fresher and smaller the better. Cut off the bottoms, and split them vertically in half. Discard any loose leaves that fall off.

Then cook the prepped sprouts, with several chunks of smashed garlic and S&P, over high heat in a little peanut oil in a black-iron skillet until they start browning.  Then slam the skillet into a preheated 400F oven and let them go for another 15 or 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While they roast, make up about a half-cup of a spicy, Korean-flavor spice mix. I went with what I had and whisked together 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon rice-wine vinegar, and enough brown sugar (maybe a heaping teaspoon) to bring the sweet and sour into balance.  Then I added a teaspoon of Indonesian sambal oelek paste (use more if you want them to burrrrrn), a shot of dark soy sauce, a good grind of black pepper and a secret ingredient ... oh, all right, a glug of Heinz Chili Sauce.  Whisk, add a little water to bring it up to 1/2 cup or so, and check seasonings.

When the sprouts are roasted, well browned and sweet, take them off heat and mix in the spice mix.  Serve immediately with hot basmati rice.

Words rarely heard, until now:  "If you're not going to eat all your brussels sprouts, can I have the rest?"

My Rye on Market review

Rye on Market Website

Rye on Market Facebook page