Sprout envy

I’ve got some great go-to brussels sprouts recipes (well, mainly our fave Momofuku sprouts) but when I saw this, I realized I had to try it. SO glad I did. Seriously delicious. So delicious that I decided to type out the entire recipe for those of you without this cookbook. See, that’s a major commitment to brussels sprouts!


Brussels sprouts with tofu (from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi)

Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp sweet chile sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 5 ounces firm tofu
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • about 3/4 cup sunflower oil
  • salt
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 small fresh red chile, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Whisk together in a bowl the chile and soy sauces, 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil, the vinegar and maple syrup. Cut the tofu block into 3/8-inch-thick slices and then each slice into two squarish pieces. Gently stir into the marinade and set aside.

Trim the bases off the sprouts and cut each from top to bottom into three thick slices. Take a large nonstick pan, add 4 tablespoons of the sunflower oil and heat up well. Throw in half the sprouts with a little salt and cook on high heat for about 2 minutes. Don’t stir much. You want the sprouts to almost burn in a few places and cook through but remain crunchy. Remove to a bowl. Repeat with more oil, salt and the rest of the sprouts. Remove all the sprouts from the pan.

Add 2 more tablespoons of the sunflower oil to the pan, heat up and saute the green onions, chile and mushrooms for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the sprouts bowl.

Leave the pan on high heat. Use the tongs to lift half of the tofu pieces from the marinade and gently lay them in the pan (be careful as the oil will spit!), spacing them apart and in one layer. Reduce the flame to medium and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until they get a nice caramelized color. Transfer to the sprout bowl and repeat with the rest of the tofu.

Once all the tofu is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and return all the cooked ingredients to it. Add the remaining tofu marinade and half the cilantro leaves. Toss everything together and allow to cool down slightly in the pan. Taste and add salt, if needed. Stir in the remaining sesame oil (plus extra, if you like). Serve warm, but not hot, garnished with the sesame seeds, if using, and the rest of the cilantro.


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