Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Brussel sprouts, loose or discolored leaves peeled away, nubby end trimmed off, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 Fresno chile peppers, diced very small, seeds included if you like the heat, scraped out if you don’t. If you can’t find Fresnos, any other hot pepper will do. Just make sure to adjust the amount of chilis depending on how hot they are and how much heat you like.
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, torn or roughly chopped, stems included
  • Canola oil

Process:

  • Make the sauce ahead of time if you can, at least an hour in advance. If you can’t, no big deal. Pour the fish sauce, water, rice wine vinegar and lime juice into a bowl. Add the sugar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add the minced garlic and hot peppers and let sit for at least an hour to give the ingredients a chance to meld.
  • When you’re ready to cook your Brussels sprouts, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place your sprouts flat, cut side down, into a big saute pan or cast iron skillet. Then place the pan on the stove and turn on the heat to high. Let the pan get very hot. You’ll know it’s ready when you hear the sprouts really start to let out some steam.
  • Working quickly, pour enough canola oil into the pan so that all of the sprouts are frying in a shallow layer of oil. Let the sprouts fry for about 3 minutes, until the flat sides turn a dark golden brown. Don’t fidget with them. Just let them go. As the sprouts are frying, remember not to stand too close to the pan — they tend to spit and splatter as they fry.
  • When the flat sides of the sprouts are nice and golden brown, transfer the pan into the preheated oven. Roast the sprouts until they’re cooked through, about 2 1/2-3 minutes.
  • Transfer your sprouts into a bowl. Give your sauce a good stir to make sure you don’t have any undissolved sugar sitting at the bottom and then ladle enough to coat your sprouts, but not enough to drown them. Top with cilantro and enjoy.
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