For the Brussel sprouts haters

November 14, 2014

Brussels sprouts have possibly one of the worst reputations in the veg world. I've seen people's faces actually turn an unpleasant shade on the mention of sprouts. Well, these sprouts are a traditional must-have on the Christmas table, so, with about a month to go before Christmas, I've been researching ways to convert the Brussel sprouts haters. 

1. The sulphurous taste that turns people off from this beautiful vegetable comes from overcooking. Be sure to cook them quickly till just tender! A quick stir-fry is a great idea. 

2. Sprouts love fat. Roasting them in butter– or if you’re feeling very indulgent, duck fat– lends them a wonderful flavour; there is none of that intense cabbagey pungency one normally associates with Brussels sprouts. 

3. Try them thinly shaved. If you find it hard to get the cooking time right for these little round vegetables, why not shred them and then cook them like you would for kale or spring greens in a (super) quick stirfry, or toss into a salad.


Here are some ideas that will hopefully change your mind!


Shaved Brussel Sprouts, Apple & Parmesan Slaw

500g Brussels sprouts

1 Braeburn apple 

handful walnuts, lightly toasted

1 tablespoons finely- grated Parmesan cheeese , or to taste

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Prepare the brussel sprouts by washing and discarding any discoloured leaves.  Keep the stems intact,so that you can hold each sprout by its stem end while sliding it against a mandolin. You can also slice the Brussel sprouts thinly by hand. Do the same for the apple.

  2. Lightly crush the walnuts with your hands and add to the Brussels sprouts and apples.

  3. Toss with cheese, oil, and lemon juice until well combined. Season with freshly ground black pepper.


Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Soy Sauce

250g Brussels sprouts

salt, for blanching

2 tbsp groundnut oil

8 cloves of garlic

1-2 tbsp soy sauce (to taste)

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp of sugar

60ml water

  1. Wash and trim the Brussels sprouts. Halve any large ones. Blanch them in a pot of boiling salted water until they turn bright green, about 20 seconds. Drain and set aside. Smash the garlic but leave them whole in their skins.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant and lightly golden.
  3. Increase heat to a high and add the Brussels sprouts. Stir-fry until just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar and continue stir-frying for 30 seconds. Add the water, bring to a boil and cook until the liquid has reduced slightly.