Each edition, our resident foodies go head to head with their take on a different ingredient. This time the Brussel Sprout is on the chopping board.
Brussel Sprouts Thai-Style Rice
Ah, the humble brussel sprout. I decided it was time to take the sprout out of Christmas dinner territory and introduce it into the wider world, and what better way to do it than with this Thai-inspired fried rice.
This recipe is originally by the genius Isa Chandra, whose website, Post Punk Kitchen is pretty famous in vegan circles for her fresh, uncomplicated take on hearty, yummy food.
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, divided
12 oz Brussel sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin half-moons
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1 cup finely chopped scallions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
4 cups cooked and cooled jasmine rice [see note]
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon agave
Sriracha to serve
It’s a really simple recipe. Isa recommends that the jasmine rice is cooked, cooled and frozen – then added to the pan frozen so it doesn’t go all mushy. I was far too hungry for such nonsense, and swapped jasmine rice for brown long grain rice which keeps its shape and so didn’t need to be cooled, frozen or anything. I took it straight from the colander to the frying pan and there wasn’t any mush in sight – so if you’re in a hurry I suggest you do the same.
- Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat.
- Saute the Brussel sprouts and carrots in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 5 minutes, until Brussel sprouts are lightly charred. Toss in the pine nuts and cook for two minutes, tossing often, until toasted. Transfer everything to a large plate and set aside. I also used olive oil instead of coconut, although I think coconut would have gone better if I had it. Cashew nuts made a good alternative to pine nuts which I didn’t have at the time – be careful as they do burn in the pan quickly if you don’t keep an eye on them.
Charring the sprouts means they retain their crunchy, mini cabbage texture, and completely bypasses the ‘soggy sprouts’ issue of many Christmas dinners.
- Lower heat a bit to medium. The rest of the recipe basically calls to throw everything in the pan, and mix it together, so it’s pretty hard to mess up. In 1 teaspoon oil, saute the basil, cilantro, scallions, garlic and ginger for about a minute. The herbs will wilt and everything will smell aromatic and wonderful. Now add the rice, red pepper flakes and the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and cook for about 5 minutes, tossing often.
- Add the Brussels mixture back to the pan, and drizzle in the soy sauce, lime juice and agave. Cook for 3 more minutes or so, until rice is lightly browned. Taste for salt. Serve with plenty of Sriracha!
So if you haven’t given sprouts outside of December ago, I hope I’ve inspired you to try this!