If I have to CHOOSE one person that I need to cook with on a regular basis, I would choose best friend JEL. She is in her own right an excellent cook and we tend to cook slightly different things together. Our styles are slightly different, our techniques slightly different, but ultimately we both enjoy time in the kitchen and we like to cook good food to feed Families. I experiment on her all the time, and her lament is that since she is my perpetual taste tester, she never has a chance to go on a diet. (She is generally my mochi and cupcake critic.) I love the camaraderie of working in a kitchen together and we often joke that one day, the two of us will have our own catering business.
This recipe is her discovery, as she went to friend WH's house, who declared that these were the brussels sprouts he always made for company. She brought the recipe home and called me one day on the phone saying that she wanted to make it with me. I agreed, because I LOVE brussels sprouts and anything spicy is good.
The original recipe, written by David Chang was a bit more labor intensive and not as straightforward. JEL came up with the technique for streamlining it, and we tried it her way, and it was YUMMY! Oh so good. Of course anything with bacon is delicious, but the addition of Sriracha sauce just made it especially so. Three adults polished off 1 pound of brussels sprouts without even looking back. Set aside your presumptions about brussels sprouts because these are super duper tasty. Don't fear the cooking of brussels sprouts either, because like chicken thighs, according to Chang, they are near impossible to over cook.
The technique is simply tossing a bunch of ingredients together, sticking it in the oven and pulling it out and throwing some Sriracha sauce on it. For the record, I personally am not a huge fan of Sriracha sauce (don't shoot me, I just don't like it) so I tried tossing it with sambal oelek and I actually preferred it that way. The sriracha added a subtle sweetness to the brussels sprouts which was very delicious and the sambal was more heat and salt. Either way, it's great with a little bit of spice, and it's the perfect partner with some soy glazed chicken drumsticks.
Momofuku-Inspired Spicy Brussels Sprouts
David Chang's recipe, adapted from GQ Blogs
1 lb of brussels sprouts
1/4 lb of bacon (about 4 slices), cut into 1/2 inch strips
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter (optional)
1-3 tablespoons of sriracha sauce or sambal oelek
Squeeze of half of a lime (optional)
Preheat oven to 400. Trim the tough end of the brussels sprouts and slice them in half. Place in a roasting pan or dish.
Add bacon on top, and a pat of butter (if desired.) Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil (with butter) or 3 tablespoons of olive oil (without butter.)
Place in oven and roast for about 20-25 minutes, stirring once in the middle of cooking. Brussels sprouts should be tender and slightly crispy. (taste one to see.) If you're serving kids, go ahead and take out their portion (about 5-6 brussels sprouts halves each) and then with the remaining, add sriracha or sambal oelek to taste. Start with 1 tablespoon and work your way up. Finish with a squeeze of lime.
A fantastically perfect bite.
The king of sriracha sauces....Huy Fong (do not buy it here - the shipping is more than the product.)
My favorite sambal oelek
David Chang's book...a worthwhile purchase, if only to read about the way he became king of the Momofuku empire. (a LOT of hard work, and a LOT of failure in between.)