How to Cook David Chang's Brussels Sprouts Recipe

July 3, 2012 10:20 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Brussels Sprouts
David Chang's Brussels Sprouts recipe will find its way to your heart via your kitchen table. (Photo: Creative Commons)

For all the things we think it's done wrong, David Chang's empire still reigns over a pretty delicious, totally radical Brussels sprouts (and mind your spelling, everyone: it's not brussel sprouts) recipe-- one loaded with Thai flavoring and finished with just a little Japanese ingenuity. It's one we think is emblematic of everything Mr. Chang does well, and everything he thinks he does well. In his introduction to the recipe in the Momofuku cookbook (worth every penny, but you probably won't ever end up trying your hand at anything), he invites the viewer to "cook the s*** out of [Brussels sprouts]... [because] basically, you can't f*** them up."

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Though we think it's totally possible to fork anything up, the simple fact is that if you aren't careful, you can produce something that's an over-flavored mess; a cacophony of possibilities that could've all worked if you'd exercised just a little restraint. And though on the page, David Chang's recipe looks like it'll yield a Frankenstein's monster, it ends up having the perfect and surprising tenderness of, well, Frankenstein's monster.

In spite of the fact that this recipe exists in print, there are so many iterations of it on the internet, so I'll take the best of each (including and especially Mr. Chang's) and show you how to do it with confidence. David Chang brings this to his family's Thanksgiving every year. We're you'll be beaming with enough pride to bring it to yours.

1. Roast your Brussels sprouts.

This is the most essential part, believe it or not. Just like toast would be nothing without bread-and-butter, brussels sprouts fall apart if they're not roasted properly. Preheat your oven to 400 and trim the brown ends off the sprouts. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Put them in a baking pan and put them in the oven for 40 minutes. If you like, you can chop up some lardons or any bacon and put it on top the sprouts, so the drippings cook into the veggies in the pan.

2. Toast some rice krispies.

What? Seriously? Yup. Heat a tablespoon of canola oil in a pan until it's nice and shiny with heat. Add togarshi (a Japanese seasoning) or garam masala to the pan and let it toast. Then add a half a cup of Rice Krispies and cook it over high heat until it's nice and brown. It'll be under a minute.

3. Make a Thai dressing.

Delicious, right? And the secret to David Chang's Brussels sprouts success. In a small bowl, combine 2 parts water, 2 parts sugar, 1 part rice or coconut vinegar, 1 part fresh lime juice, 2 minced Thai chiles, 1 minced garlic clove, a handful of chopped cilantro, and a half-handful of chopped mint. Or to taste.

4. Toss.

Combine the seasoned Rice Krispies, the Brussels sprouts, and the Thai Vinaigrette.

Serve immediately.


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