The World’s Best Brussels Sprouts Recipe.

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada.  I might be serving brussels sprouts.  I hate brussels sprouts. Like seriously hate them. For years people tried to convince me I just hadn’t tried the right recipe. 

They were right. Turns out you need to deep fry brussels sprouts and then cover them in sauce.  Here’s the world’s best brussels sprouts recipe.  For people who hate brussels sprouts.

Let me bring you all back to an unusually cool night in September of 2016.  I was on vacation with family in Tofino, British Columbia.  After a day of fall surfing, complete with wetsuits and burning lungs, we all warmed up and headed to a local restaurant that had been recommended.

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Shelter.  (no, this isn’t a sponsored post, the restaurant is a very important character in this mystery)

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We weren’t sure if we were going to get in because it was packed with other people who probably didn’t surf all day and therefore in my mind were not as deserving of food as we were.  I stink eyed people who seemed to be lingering over their coffees but they just stink eyed me back.  Which I think was very rude and not at all in keeping with stink eye protocol around the world.

When someone gives you the stink eye you recoil in fear and get the hell out of sight.  Anyhow.  We were finally shown a table at the back of the outdoor patio, where we grabbed our menus and started perusing.

British Columbia surprised me in that I thought there would be a whole lot of vegetarian options in the restaurants there but there weren’t. I’m not a vegetarian so I didn’t care. I was just surprised.  I can’t remember what I ordered for my meal that night.  I can’t remember it one iota.  What I can remember is what we ordered as an appetizer.  I remember it vividly for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is, I died from it.

There’s no other explanation for me liking brussels sprouts.  I must be dead.

The exact day I died was September 21st. The day my family outvoted me and ordered deep fried brussels sprouts with a parsley/honey dressing.

 

Brussels sprouts.  I ate them.  I loved them.  I’m so ashamed.

Here’s my history with brussels sprouts in case you don’t know.

We left the restaurant, and everyone else resumed their vacation as if nothing had happened. As if the world hadn’t split open, as if pigs weren’t flying, hell wasn’t freezing over and horses weren’t growing horns.

I did the only thing I could do; when I got home I did a bit of research, tracked down who the chef at Shelter restaurant was, found his email address and sent him a quick and possibly alarming email.

“HALPPPP.  HATE … LOVE … YOU … EAT … WAHHHHH … BRUSSELSPROUTS!  , NEVERWANNABALSAMICBAKEBARFSOAWFULDEVILHEADACK.  SNARFSLNGIEBKIH … ~ your fan, Karen Bertelsen”.

Remarkably, chef Matty Kane, of Shelter restaurant is fluent in Frantic and he knew exactly what I meant in my email. He sent me the recipe right away.

 

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Ingredients

  • 100 g apple cider vinegar
  • 25 g peeled shallot
  • 30 g peeled garlic
  • 40 g curly parsley
  • 100 g honey
  • 50 g olive oil
  • 160 g grapeseed oil
  • 5 g smooth dijon mustard
  • 2 g salt

Instructions

  • Use either a blender or a an immersion blender to combine all the dressing ingredients thoroughly.
  • Put prepped brussels sprouts into deep fryer set at 350 degrees for 2 minutes.
  • Toss with enough apple cider vinaigrette to lightly coat and top with fresh grated parmesan & toasted sourdough breadcrumbs.
  • Serve immediately. Seriously. Right away.

Turns out there is a way I like brussels sprouts.  I like them if you deep fry them.  And I like them if you toss them in a delicious apple cider vinaigrette.

brussels-sprouts

I think it’s important to clarify my position on brussels sprouts at this point in time.  I like brussels sprouts.

But only when they don’t taste like brussels sprouts.

To my Canadian followers, think about having these for Thanksgiving. You can prep the sauce right now and even cook the sprouts a day in advance.  Just drop them in the deep fryer again prior to serving for a minute to recrisp them.

Happy Thanksgiving long weekend my fellow Canadians.  See you all again on Wednesday with the conclusion of my great floor debacle.

 

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144 Comments

  1. KATHLEEN HARTZELL says:

    Hysterically funny…..I did my senior thesis on the soils of San Mateo County, CA where these really petit choux grow….and spent many days in a farmer’/ fields mapping, photographing, etc for the project. One day he intercepted me as I was returning to my little VW bug and mentioned that he had put some “produce” in my car….

    I found the entire back seat and passenger seat filled with the long stems of sprouts, a sight most people who weren’t out in the fields had not yet seen….markets only sold them already shorn from the stalk. I returned to my parents’ home where my mother insisted I go up and down the street to give away these demon vegetables. It was humiliating….and I think people only obliged because they had never seen them on the stalk, and took pity on a girl forced to hand out Brussels sprouts in her childhood neighborhood.

    I never ate another until my husband and our vegan kid produced a steamed then grilled with balsamic version that was absolutely divine.

    I got a good review on the thesis, but then I did not push the stalks of sprouts on any of my faculty!!!

  2. Amanda says:

    I love brussels sprouts! Some year when I’m not too lazy I’m going to give it a try growing them in the garden. Some year.

  3. MARILYN JOHNSON says:

    Karen,

    Would you please translate the measurements? 🙂

  4. Kim says:

    I hated the mushy little cabbage looking things that my mother served when I was a kid, so as an adult, refused to even try eating them again. Then my daughter made a dish where diced onions and pancetta were sauteed in olive oil. Removed those, then brussels sprouts were fried hot an fast in that lovely flavored oil, all of it mixed back together then drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette. LOVED THEM!!!!!

  5. connie says:

    I’m going to try your recipe too Karen , they sound delish! The ONLY other way i like ’em is to steam lightly and then toss with butter, jerk seasoning, curry powder, brown sugar and garlic -Yumm 😉

  6. SusanR says:

    I love brussels sprouts, so long as there is real butter to be melted upon them, because, like many other foods, the little sprouts make an excellent butter delivery system. I’m glad you found a way that you enjoy them. I was surprised, but not shocked. There’s generally some preparation method that makes just about anything palatable, if not downright yummy.

    Anyone who can handle cabbage really shouldn’t have a problem with brussels sprouts, but we all have our own taste buds and noses and we are honor bound to listen to them regarding foods to include and exclude from our diets.

  7. Rachel says:

    I must tell you that your post warms the cockles of my heart as an avid brussels sprout fan. Sprouts have been slandered wrongly by many poor cooks over the years, thank you for sharing the recipe! Also, I can’t help but tell you how delighted I am by your blog! Your writing reminds me of Dory (from Finding Nemo, aka my spirit animal) so much especially this: “British Columbia surprised me in that I thought there would be a whole lot of vegetarian options in the restaurants there but there weren’t. I’m not a vegetarian so I didn’t care. I was just surprised.” I almost choked on my wine! Thank you for sharing your life!

  8. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    You know what they say sister…”Never say never”…lol

  9. Kelly says:

    Well, thanks Karen, I have to run out an buy a deep fryer, right NOW. Since civilization might end tomorrow…I don’t want to go to my grave without trying these!

    Last Supper here I come!

  10. nancy says:

    Everybody’s talking about brussel sprouts and I think “hold up dam girl you went surfing??? In a wet suit??” You throw that out so casually. Did pink pedicure tool belt go also? Betty???

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Yep. Surfing. SO much fun. And SO hard. And no, Betty wasn’t on the trip otherwise I’m sure she would have surfed. 😉 ~ karen!

  11. Benjamin says:

    Okay missy, the jig is up. I knew you liked Brussel sprouts all along, just making up your distaste for them to conjure up the storyline. I get it, I’m all about an Academy Award performance especially if the script follows the book version. But you were your own undoing by trying so hard to hate such a wonderful easy delicious versatile veggie. I can see it now; your gardening space next year with the most offensive cruciferous taking center stage. Break a leg, wrap it till it’s mended and eat your veggies. YAY for Brussel sprouts !!!

  12. Vanessa says:

    I’m with you!! But I came to terms with the fact that I like them a few years back. I even mentioned on the brussel sprout post that they are pretty good roasted, to which you responded “NO” I will only eat them if they are crunchy (fried or roasted basically) if they are even remotely wet, or shiny which suggests that they might be wet all you can do is say NO!

  13. Now if you could persuade me that carp is a delicious fish, prepared in any way whatsoever, I’d be impressed. Especially after the famous Carp Spewing all over the Stairs incident, which happened back when I was 10 years old. Brussels sprouts? Pah. Hate them, but I’d eat them (and have) even just to be polite.

  14. Kristin ferguson says:

    I always knew you’d come around! My favorite salad these days is made with baby kale, a spicy red caesar dressing, and deep-fried brussels sprouts. Oh and a handful of puffed rice for crunch, though sourdough croutons sound like they’d do the trick. So delicious. The brussels sprouts taste sweet and nutty. The other way I love them is pan fried in butter and salt and then more butter until they are very dark (so dark customers sometimes send them back thinking they are burnt), then hit with a squirt of lemon juice.

  15. Deb Knaff says:

    Dear Negative Brussel Sprout Nellies: many of us want to curse the all-might brussel sprout because our fore mothers boiled them, threw some salt on them, & then told us we couldn’t leave the table till we had eaten all of them but we couldn’t even get the family dog to choke them down. In my opinion, they were never intended to be boiled. They were bitter tasting and a tad bit stinky!!! I believe they are meant to be baked or fried as in this post. If anyone has not tried them since the dark ages of boiling, do give them another chance. You won’t be disappointed!!!!! Who knows, even your mother may change her old ways…..

  16. Victoria says:

    Wow. I love brussels sprouts, but this recipe is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.

  17. Jess says:

    Congratulations!! I have been secretly hoping that you one day you would find a brusselsprout you would like. I do a similar dish and can have ONLY that for the whole meal. Almonds and lemon included 🙂

  18. Marcia says:

    I love brussels sprouts and have always loved them. I’ll bet this would be just as good if you roasted the sprouts and used the same dressing. Roasted brussels sprouts are amazing!

  19. TucsonPatty says:

    OK, I will be the one to say it. You’re just doing this again, right before another very unpleasant US of A event. (“Now this should distract them,” she thought to herself.) Thank you again for the distraction. Happy Thanksgiving!

  20. Katie says:

    Two questions:
    1) How many brussels sprouts in the recipe?, 2) Shouldn’t the chef be credited as the creator/author of the recipe (perhaps saying you’re the author is suffice? Not trying to be a jerk, I promise!)?

    • Karen says:

      It’s however many brussels sprouts you want Katie. The sauce recipe makes a LOT of sauce. The plugin I use for recipes just automatically adds my name as the author since 99.9% of the time I’m the originator of the recipe. I’ll take a look to see if that can be changed on this one. ~ karen!

  21. Rose Boccella says:

    Can you fry these in a skillet as pictired? Thanks

  22. Jacquie says:

    You died on my birthday so happy birth/death day to us both.

    I only eat one Brussel sprout a year; on Christmas Day. My mum always said I should eat them so I have one in honour of her. We live in different countries so she doesn’t even know I do it but you have to listen to your mum don’t you? You may have convinced me to try them in this recipe though; if you like them, they must be fabulous.

  23. Heather says:

    Thanks for giving us a recipe to print without a photograph. I hate using up all my ink printing a grainy, black and white photo of a recipe. Thank you! So much! : )

    The recipe looks great!

  24. Katie C. says:

    Noooo!!! I was waiting anxiously for the next installment of the Great Floor Debacle and you gave us Brussels sprouts!

    You can’t leave me on a cliffhanger like that…

  25. Tammy says:

    One of my favorite restaurants also has deep fried brussel sprouts that are TO DIE FOR… they are tossed in a light apple cider vinaigrette and then plated over some garlic aoli … I have gone there a few times and ordered two sided of burssel sprouts as my dinner. They are that good. I’m sure you could recreate that easily 🙂

  26. Marlene Eastman says:

    We were at the Shelter at the end of August and I was going to try the Sprouts, as per your recommendation, but hubby said it was a definite no. 🙁 I know we will back again soon, as we have lots of family on the “wet coast”, with increasing amounts of grandchildren!! So, I will stick to my guns next time and order the sprouts. BTW, the Shelter is part of Cactus Club chain. Hopefully they might start making these a part of their menu, new Cactus is opening near Sherway Mall soon!!

  27. Maria-TO says:

    Brussels sprouts are like liver — you either HATE it or LOVE it — I love brussels sprouts but hate liver and no matter how you cook it, sauce it, or disguise it — it is still liver! Thanks for your emergency email to Chef Matty — I will try this new way of doing Brussels to see if I can convince my brussels haters that they are yummy! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and look forward to the next installment in your flooring adventure 🙂

  28. Gwen Humphries says:

    Love the story and the recipe. I will try this at American Thanksgiving.

  29. Bonnie Cramond says:

    Et tu, Karen? AS a fellow (well, we used to be fellows in this) Brussels sprouts hater, I took comfort in the fact that you also found that people always say, “You Just haven’t tried the right recipe.” No, I think they taste nasty however they are prepared, like liver. Yuck! Ok, I admit that I haven’t tried your recipe, but I don’t have a deep fryer. So, i’ll Probably try the dressing and put it on something that tastes better, like Romaine lettuce, or a fire hydrant, or anything other than a B.S.

  30. Sabina says:

    I like Brussels sprouts. The take-away for me was clicking the link on your history with Brussels sprouts and then the link for that fantastic rasp at Lee Valley! I will be popping into the Niagara Falls store to get one!

  31. Bettina Wolff says:

    As always, highly amused by this tale and though I might share another brussel sprouts option – in case you run out of time for frying and need to do a raw option. Yes, I know, it’s a bit out there, a cold and raw sprouts dish, but we tried it last year as we felt adventurous and it blew my mind. Vinaigrette similar to yours, but added bonus of pecans and cranberries…

    Ingredients:
    ¼ cup Olive oil 60 mL
    ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar 60 mL
    3 tbsp Maple syrup 45 mL
    2 tbsp Minced shallot 30 mL
    1 tbsp Dijon mustard 15 mL
    ½ tsp Salt 2 mL
    ¼ tsp Pepper 1 mL
    8 cups Thinly sliced Brussels sprouts (about 1 lb/500 g)
    ½ cup Toasted pecans 125 mL
    1/3 cup Dried cranberries

    1. Whisk together oil, vinegar, maple syrup, shallot, mustard, salt and pepper. Toss Brussels sprouts with vinaigrette to coat.
    (Make-Ahead: Complete recipe to this step; cover and keep chilled up to 1 day.)
    2. Stir in pecans and cranberries just before serving.

    Fast and easy and delicious.
    Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  32. Mondo says:

    I knew you’d come around.

    • Karen says:

      Shut your mouth, I’ve done no such thing. This is an anomaly. I might even change my mind about liking this recipe. I’m sketchy like that. ~ karen!

  33. Bronie says:

    My mother (and I presume alot of mothers, used to overcook sprouts and cabbage and any other vegetable come to think of it) I totally destroyed any amount of nutrition and any hope of getting a vhild to eat it! I have just recently duscovered that brussell sprouts are actually at their best almost raw. Cut into quarters and fry with garlic slithered almonds and chilli flakes. Any type if oil you prefer.
    Delicious! I have converted many who used to despise them.

  34. kate says:

    i thought…. ooo i’ll make these tonight. and then i realized the recipe is all in grams. i’m not too lazy to gather all the ingredients and make the food but i am too lazy for math coversions even with google and siri by my side. alas.

  35. Bonnie says:

    I thought I left a comment, but I don’t see it. Anyway, et tu, Karen?

    I did do a rough equivalent of the dressing recipe for those in the U.S.:
    1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    2 Tbs. peeled shallots
    2 Tbs. peeled garlic
    3 Tbs. curly parsley
    1/2 cup honey
    1/4 cup grape seed oil
    1 tsp. smooth Dijon mustard
    1/2 tsp. salt
    Combine all ingredients thoroughly in a blender. Don’t waste on Brussels sprouts!

  36. Pat says:

    I love Brussel Sprouts! (sorry, but I do). I also really enjoyed my weekend on the west side of Vancouver Island back in the 70’s. We couldn’t afford the Wickaninnish Inn back then, although we spent a pleasant couple of hours at the bar, so we stayed at some cheap motel in Tofino and ate at the Whale’s Tale. Loved that restaurant and still have the menu from our trip. Thanks for bringing back pleasant memories!

  37. I just made this last night and… I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever eaten brussel sprouts and actually enjoyed them. And now I feel bad because this whole time I thought the problem was the brussel sprouts, but it turns out it was just how I was cooking them 🙂

  38. Kristin Ferguson says:

    There’s another way to cook them that doesn’t involve a deep fryer. It DOES, however, involve a metric ton of butter. Saute them with salt and pepper in a pat of butter, adding another pat every time they absorb the previous pat, and I mean just keep adding butter, and cook them, stirring occasionally, until they are almost black. Seriously very very dark, so that your guests will think you screwed up (or if you were a chef like me your customers would try to send them back because they look so overcooked.) When in doubt, add more butter. Finally, add a good hit of lemon juice. I’ve never met a brussels sprouts hater who was not instantly converted by these. They are sort of nutty and otherwise taste of butter and lemon and caramelization.

  39. Mandy says:

    OMG
    I HATE SPROUTS
    Except today I had seconds!
    I don’t have a deep fat fryer so I oven roasted in loads of olive oil

    I am in LOOOOVVVEEEEE!

    • Karen says:

      Wow. I’ve done them this way in the oven as well and barely made it through my second serving. You’d never believe how good they are deep fried. ~ karen!

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