Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Fish Sauce Dressing

Story by Natalie
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Fish Sauce Dressing
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Hey, all your Brussels Sprouts lovers out there- this post is for you!

If you’ve ever been to a good steak house, then I’m sure you know crispy Brussels sprouts are where it’s at.

Sure, I love a good steak as much as the next person, but man, I love the sides that accompany steak even more. In my opinion, a perfectly prepare vegetable is one of the simplest pleasures in life. So yes, admittedly, I’m the girl who orders the smallest portion of meat and about six sides. And you better believe one of those sides is always Brussels sprouts.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Fish Sauce Dressing

Now for some real talk: There are several reasons why I go out for a good steak and all of the great sides when I could just make it at home. Those reasons include, but are not limited to:

  1. Sometimes I’m just feeling really lazy.
  2. Sometimes I just don’t want to be in my kitchen (like on 90°+ days).
  3. Sometimes I don’t think I can cook something as good as I’ve had it at a particular restaurant. (I’m just a food blogger guys, not a chef.)

Brussels sprouts (and cauliflower, too for that matter) fall into category 3, because those simple veggies, when prepared precisely and with flair, are simply the best.

I am blessed to live just outside of Portland, Or where there are so many incredible food choices. By far, one of my favorites is John Gorham's Tasty and Alder. Among the many incredible menu items I find myself craving often are these crispy Brussels sprouts.

They are served slightly charred and tossed with a sweet and spicy fish sauce that will make you drool upon consumption.

I love this dish so much I had to try my own hand at creating an at home version (you know, for those nights I can’t make it out). I’m excited to share the results of my journey to perfecting these crispy, steak house style Brussels sprouts with you all.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Fish Sauce Dressing

What is the best way to cook brussel sprouts?

Knowing the best way to cook Brussels sprouts is a skill every homemaker and/or home cook should have. I’ve grilled brussels sprouts, sauteed them, steamed them, and even grated them raw, but roasted Brussels sprouts win hands down every time.

When steamed, sprouts fail to release their full flavor potential. When pan fried, the sprouts can often get burnt before cooking all the way through. When grilled they are delicious, but don’t hold the flavor of a good glaze or sauce well. So...to summarize: Roasting Brussels sprouts is where it’s at.

Next up, the sauce.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Fish Sauce Dressing

How to perfectly season roasted Brussels sprouts:

Yes, the classic olive oil, sea salt and pepper combo is always an excellent choice, but in the name of trying to mimic one of my favorite restaurant dishes, I’m taking it up a notch. The key ingredients to the sauce I make for these sprouts are fish sauce and brown sugar. I then add sriracha for a little heat, vinegar for a little tang, and sesame oil to bring out the nuttiness of the Brussels sprouts. In the end the results are plate licking good, if I do say so myself  

If you’re reading this blog, chances are that all of these ingredients already sound familiar to you, but if you aren’t in the habit of using fish sauce on the regular allow me to give you a little introduction.

Fish sauce is made from anchovies. It’s a very common ingredient in Asian cuisine and it’s trending use in the food world has turned this once exotic sauce into a pantry staple. A little fish sauce goes a long way to add a punch and depth of flavor to everything from chicken, to soup, noodles, salad dressing and veggies.

There are so many brands of fish sauce available, but my favorite is Red Boat because it’s just anchovies with nothing extra added. Coincidentally, it’s also Whole30 approved. One bottle will last you quite a while, so the real question is...

What else can I use fish sauce for?

Here are a list of recipes that I love to use fish sauce in:

Slow Cooker Chicken Pumpkin Curry

Coconut Rice Salmon Bowl

Coconut Chicken Soup

Grilled Romaine Caesar

But, perhaps my favorite use for fish sauce currently is in the glaze for these crispy, roasted Brussels sprouts. It just doesn’t get any better. Give them a try and you’ll be so glad you did. Happy eating in friends, you got this.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Fish Sauce Dressing

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, cut in half
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice vinegar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a small bowl combine fish sauce, brown sugar, sriracha, red pepper flakes, sesame oil and vinegar.
  3. In a large bowl toss brussel sprouts with half of the dressing.
  4. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and place on center rack. Allow to roast for 15 minutes, then set to broil for one more minute for a little extra crisp.
  5. While still warm toss brussel sprouts with remaining dressing and optional fresh herbs such as mint or cilantro. Enjoy!