A brussel sprout recipe even the pickiest eaters will devour. Get your fruits and veggies…
For those who want their favorite Chinese takeout special but want to boost their veggie intake, this sweet, sour and savory dish will blow your mind!
Kung Poa chicken is such a great, safe pick when eating at a Chinese restaurant. The burst of so many crazy flavors never really disappoints someone looking for something spicy, sweet but a bit tangy. When I saw the veggie version popping up on menus all over I knew it was the perfect creation for this veggie loving blog!
I tried Kung Pao Brussel sprouts recently at a local restaurant (oddly enough, an Italian style restaurant). They were insanely addicting as an appetizer, I wouldn’t let our server clear the plate until I finished every last one! Brussel sprouts are in season by the end of the summer up until early spring so I knew it was the time to give this recipe a shot from my own kitchen.
By the way, if you’re out at the store and see the full stalk of brussel sprouts – grab one. It yields about two pounds of fresh sprouts and walking around the store and packing this monster of plant into your car will definitely make you feel like a boss. When you see it, it can look intimidating but it’s hard to pass up and all you do is pop each one of them off and cut them down.
Brussels in general are a great vegetable to have on hand for so many recipes. They’re a good source of fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and so many other health benefits. I know they’re not everyone’s favorite vegetable but this recipe is sure to change your mind.
I also made this recipe somewhat simple to make without crazy, unique ingredients. Some Kung Pao sauces call for uncommon ingredients but this one you may have most things on hand. If not, they’re fairly inexpensive and other recipes on this blog can help you find ways to use them again.
All you need:
- Brussel sprouts
- Fresh red chilis (honestly, if you don’t like a little heat you can thinly slice red bell peppers too)
- Sesame oil – highly recommend having this anyway
- Rice vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Chili paste – I actually used roasted red chili paste from Thai Kitchen and it’s like a sweet jam. It’s also pretty inexpensive and great for other dishes too.
- Soy Sauce
- Sesame seeds
- Green onions/scallions
Some recipes call for black Chinese vinegar, Hoisin sauce, toasted sesame seeds, so on and so forth but I used what I had and it turned out fine. If you have some of the other ingredients and want to add or subtract something, it’ll be just fine. You want the sauce to be more sweet and tangy but end as more of a glaze like consistency.
Here are some other recipes you can make with this one (or use the leftover ingredients for):
Asian Egg Rolls – Veggie/Turkey
Even if you’re feeling a bit iffy about this, or thinking – “why can’t she just use chicken” – I’m telling you to give it a shot. Even those picky, anti-spout eaters in your house will be impressed by this interesting spin on a Chinese dish. And yes, use the sauce with chicken…but sneak some sprouts in as well. It’s absolutely incredible!
Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts
- 2 pounds Brussel sprouts halved or quartered
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 5-6 cloves garlic grated or minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- ½ cup soy sauce low sodium
- ¼-⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon red chili paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce optional
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- ⅓-½ cup peanuts or cashews unsalted or lightly salted
- 3 small red chilis sliced or finely chopped
- 2-3 green onions/scallions chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted (preferred)
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Cut Brussel sprouts in half (or quartered) till all pieces are even in size. Toss in olive oil. Lay cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet and spread out sprouts so they have room to get crispy. You may need to use two baking sheets for this step.
- Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, remove and toss, and then cook for another 10-15 minutes until the sprouts are crispy but fork tender.
- While the Brussel sprouts are cooking, heat sesame oil in a small sauce pan on medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook until the garlic becomes soft and the ginger and garlic become fragrant. About 2-3 minutes.
- Add in soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, chili paste and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until the sauce comes to light boil. Remove from the heat.
- Make a slurry with the water and cornstarch in a separate, small bowl and then pour into the sauce and bring the heat down to medium-low heat for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside and let the sauce cool slightly. The consistency should be glaze-like and coat the back if the spoon.
- In a large bowl add the cooked sprouts, peanuts and red chili peppers. Pour all of the sauce over the top of the sprouts and toss until every sprout is coated.
- Plate and top with sesame seeds and green onions.