Dry Fried Brussel Sprouts

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DRY-FRIED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Recipe copyright by Hsiao-Ching Chou / Vegetarian Chinese Soul Food

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Dry-fried green beans is a popular dish in many Chinese restaurants—and at home. When I make the green beans, I add a small amount of ground pork, which caramelizes with the aromatics to create flavorful bits that punctuate the beans. I wanted to apply the same technique to Brussels sprouts and use diced shiitake mushrooms instead of pork. The mushrooms already have a distinct flavor that only amplifies in this preparation. I like this dish with rice any night of the week, but it can also be a star side at, say, Thanksgiving dinner.

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons water, divided
  • 2 stalks green onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and finely minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
  • 4 medium or 6 small dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for at least 1 hour to reconstitute, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

To trim the Brussels sprouts, cut off the stem end and peel away any rough outer leaves. Set each sprout on the flat side and slice 1/4 inch thick.

Preheat a wok over high heat until wisps of smoke rise from the surface. Add the 2 tablespoons oil and heat for a few seconds until the oil shimmers. Add the Brussels sprouts and stir-fry briskly for 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon of the water and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes more, or until the edges of the sprouts start to char. Turn off the heat and scoop the sprouts into a medium bowl. Set aside while you make the sauce.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the wok over medium heat for about 5 seconds. Add the onions, ginger, garlic, and mushrooms. Stir-fry for 10 seconds, or until the aromatics become fragrant. Add the Brussels sprouts and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce, the remaining 1 tablespoon water, and sugar, and stir-fry actively for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sauce caramelizes. This can happen pretty quickly, so pay attention. When the Brussels sprouts look sufficiently coated with the sauce and well combined with the aromatics, turn off the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.