Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Lemongrass Sauce

Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Lemongrass Sauce by

“I will NEVER make my kids eat Brussels sprouts.”

That got me curious.  When I read that on a cousin’s blog – a rallying cry for so many who want to see this notoriously hated vegetable chopped into pieces and buried far from any garden – I wondered if these mini cabbages could taste that much different than the oblong shaped Brussels sprouts we eat in Malaysia called Choy Tam 菜胆 or Baby Kai Lan 小芥兰.

Brussels Sprouts and spices

When I moved to Minnesota, and finally had access to the round Brussels sprouts that I had never tried before, I bought a bag, and with much anticipation, roasted them with balsamic vinegar and garlic. These softened, little green globes turned out to be quite tasty.  Slightly more bitter than the Malaysian ones, but after growing up with side dishes of 'bitter gourd' – an extremely bitter, but healthy veggie cooked up in Malaysian kitchens – anything less, tastes almost sweet in comparison.

Brussels sprouts are now a regular in my kitchen, where I roast or stir-fry them with a Western-style dressing, or with flavors from home.

Like I did for this recipe of Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Lemongrass Sauce.

How to cook Brussels sprouts
Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Lemongrass Sauce by

You are going to need both the stove and the oven for this Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Lemongrass Sauce. 

First, roast the sprouts in the oven.  When they’re almost cooked, quickly heat up a wok and prepare the sauce with garlic, lemongrass, shallots, red chili pepper flakes, fish sauce and a little sugar. Then take the roasted Brussels sprouts out and toss them into the wok to combine with the sauce.  Finally, squeeze in some lime juice to give it a nice citrusy edge. 

The spicy, sweet, salty, and sour characteristics of the sauce, dresses up the slightly bitter, charred flavor of the Brussels sprouts.  Serve it with a bowl of steamed rice and a meat dish, and invite those cousins over who can’t say Brussels sprouts, without saying Never.

Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Lemongrass Sauce by

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Lemongrass Sauce 
by Season with Spice
Serves 2-3 as a side dish

1 lb Brussels sprouts – outer leaves and tough ends removed, then sprouts sliced in half
Olive oil for coating

5 tbsp grape seed oil (or your choice of vegetable oil)
4 garlic cloves – minced
1 shallot – minced
1 stalk of lemongrass – white part only, chopped finely
1 tsp of red chili flakes
1 tbsp fish sauce (we carry Red Boat Fish Sauce in our walk-in store)
2 tsp of brown sugar
Squeeze of fresh lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Lightly coat each Brussels sprout half with olive oil and place cut-side down on the lined baking pan. Depending on your oven, the roasting process will take between 25 - 30 minutes.
3. Toward the end of roasting, heat up a wok. Once the wok is heated, add in oil and garlic, and cook over medium-low heat. Stir and gently cook the garlic until fragrant and lightly browned. Add in lemongrass, shallots, red chili flakes, fish sauce (or soy sauce) and sugar. Stir and gently cook the sauce for about one minute. Turn heat off.
4. Once the Brussels sprouts are tender and start to brown, remove from the oven and toss them into the wok. Coat the sprouts with the sauce with a quick stir, squeeze in lime juice, then remove from the wok and serve immediately.

Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Lemongrass Sauce by