I've been hearing raves about the Brussels sprouts at David Chang's Momofuku Ssäm Bar for what feels like forever, so I knew I just had to attempt a batch. After all, Brussels sprouts with fish sauce? What an odd pairing. Mr.S. on the other hand was a little less than enthralled with my newest recipe undertaking. In fact, last night when I was whisking up a batch of the sauce he was muttering something under his breath about it smelling like, "rancid feet." Yes peeps, if you haven't cooked with fish sauce before it has a very pungent and very fishy odor...just be warned- it stinks to high heaven. I ended up tweaking the recipe a bit- omitting the butter (it seemed unnecessary) and skipping the puffed rice (only because we didn't have any in the pantry and it seemed like it would get soggy quickly in the dish); but overall we liked the recipe. I also shortened the recipe's cooking time considerably as 40-45 minutes would have left me with charcoal briquettes for sprouts. The end result had a sweet taste that's a bit hard to describe but was pleasing to the palate. And once he quit kvetching about the smell, Mr.S. agreed that the sprouts tasted good (although he still prefers when I cream-braise his Brussel sprouts) and we would probably make this dish again. I think it would taste good paired with some Vietnamese rice noodles next time.
Here's the original recipe that ran in the October 2007 Gourmet magazine: Roasted Brussel Sprouts
And here's my adapted version:
Momofuku Roasted Brussel Sprouts
2 lbs. fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved lengthwise (nasty or ragged outer leaves removed)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce (preferably Tiparos brand, it's not as strong or as salty as other brands)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro stems
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (1 1/2-inch) fresh red Thai chile, thinly sliced crosswise, including seeds
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Trim and halve the Brussels sprouts, toss with canola oil, and roast, cut side down on baking sheet, for 20-25 minutes. You want them somewhat firm and crispy, browned but not totally burnt.
3. In the bowl, stir the remaining ingredients. When the sprouts are done, add enough dressing to coat them (don't put too much on or you'll lose the crispiness of the sprouts) and serve warm.