Brussels Sprouts with Sweet-Sour Sauce
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Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Sour Sauce are so enticing with its piquant, tart sauce glazed over bite-sized , tender, green orbs that look like little cabbages. They will tempt you so much, you’ll forget there was a roast as the centerpiece of the holiday table.
I didn’t know what Brussels Sprouts were like, nor how to cook them till I came to live in America, thirty years ago. We didn’t have these vegetables in the Philippines, which is in season here in the States during the colder months from September to November. I tried them, loved them in a quick saute, and never looked back.
Brussels sprouts and similar cruciferous vegetables have numerous health benefits, and are closely related to kale, cauliflower, mustard greens, and cabbage.
When you buy brussels sprouts, be sure to look for bright green ones. Sometimes, they are sold with the large stalk. You can purchase the whole thing and keep it refrigerated that way. Or you can remove those tiny round vegetables from its stalk and keep them refrigerated, loose in plastic bags.
I try to cook them the day I purchase them, or at the most three days after. I noticed if I wait longer than that, the brussels sprouts start to taste bitter.
Wash them only when you’re ready to cook, or the moisture that stays will turn to molds. When preparing to cook, rinse them well to remove the dirt embedded in the tiny leaves. Slice off the tough bottom parts, and caps on top.
Most brussels sprouts recipes are easy and simply require a quick toss in the skillet with extra virgin olive oil and seasonings. I have cooked Brussels Sprouts with Chinese Sausages (lap cheong) and coconut milk, and it was scrumptious.
This time, I decided to cook a favorite Asian-flavored tangy sweet-sour sauce, then poured the thick syrupy decadence over the sauteed vegetables in the skillet. The flavors of this dish were magnificent on its own. So much so, I forgot there was a roast I cooked previously for the main course, and it was waiting to be paired with this superb side dish.
Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Sour Sauce
- Large Skillet: 12-inches diameter
- Small saucepan
- 3 cups Brussels Sprouts, buds and stalks trimmed, each cut in half
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 whole medium-sized onion, sliced
- 2 stalks scallion whites, chopped
- 1 whole medium-sized red bell pepper, sliced in strips, seeded
- 1 whole medium-sized carrot, peeled, julienned
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Sweet Sour Sauce:
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons tomato catsup
- 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ cups water
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup water, to dilute cornstarch
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 stalks scallion greens, chopped, for garnish
- steamed rice
- Rinse the brussels sprouts well in running water, making sure to remove any dirt. Trim off the buds and tough stalks at the bottom. Slice each brussels sprouts in half. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, over medium high heat, pour the oil. Add the butter. Saute the garlic, onions, scallion whites, and red bell peppers for about 2 minutes till soft and fragrant.Add the carrots and the brussels sprouts.Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let the brussels sprouts cook for about 8 to 10 minutes.While the brussels sprouts are cooking, make the Sweet Sour Sauce.
To Cook the Sweet Sour Sauce:
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, pour the tablespoon of oil. Saute the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes.Pour the tomato catsup. When catsup starts to sizzle, pour the vinegar and add the sugar. Stir quickly to blend ingredients.Pour the water. Cover and let the sauce simmer.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water to make a slurry. Mix well till smooth and there are no lumps.
- When the sweet-sour sauce in the saucepan starts to boil, pour the cornstarch slurry, stirring the mixture continuously. The sauce will start to thicken in about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt.Remove the sauce from the stovetop.
To assemble the Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Sour Sauce:
- In the large skillet, when the vegetables are soft and cooked, pour the sweet-sour sauce. Gently combine ingredients till the thick sauce coats the vegetables.Garnish with chopped scallion greens. Serve warm with steamed rice.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided in the recipe links is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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