Learn how to make crispy sweet chili brussel sprouts with homemade sauce
When creating this recipe, I opted for frying the brussel sprouts for faster cook time, however, this recipe can easily be adjusted with oven-roasted sprouts.
Ingredients & Tools
My first time enjoying this delectable dish was at my sister-in-law's 30th birthday brunch a couple of years ago. It was the only vegan option on the menu and I was hesitant to try it because (ewww, brussel sprouts, duh). The waiter insisted I try it. He said that it was one of his favorite dishes at the restaurant.
Intrigued I put an order in. The plate came out sizzling hot with perfectly crisped leaves. Even though it was drenched in this sweet and spicy chili sauce, you could still taste the crisp with each bite. The whole group at the party DEVOURED it.
We put in at least 4 orders of crispy sweet chili brussel sprouts that day - it was that good. This dish has been my go-to every Thanksgiving since then and my favorite way to prepare brussel sprouts when it is in season.
How to Grow to Love Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are from the cabbage family and are known to contain sulfur which contributes to its bitter taste and smell. Brussel sprouts tend to get bitter when you cook it too long. To combat that, I recommend frying or roasting on high heat to cook your sprouts thoroughly.
What to Look for When Buying Brussel Sprouts on a Stalk
Brussel sprouts, if you search hard enough, are available year-round. The peak season for brussels is between September through February. It is also a perfect time to find them on stalks like the one below:
When looking for brussel sprouts on the stalk consider these characteristics:
- Look for sprouts without any yellowing leaves or too light green. Go for lively green color.
- Look for sprouts with tightly bound leaves
How to Remove Brussel Sprouts from Stalk
🌶️ Homemade Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
Sweet Chili Sauce is also known as nam chim kai in Thai. The literal translation means chicken dipping sauce. This sauce is very common in Thailand and international Thai Restaurants. You can almost guarantee that when you order Vegetable Spring rolls, this sauce will be served right along side it.
The best thing is that making the sauce is very easy, especially if you cheat by using Chili Garlic sauce, by the makers of Sriracha.
- Gather your ingredients, make sure to prep your brussel sprouts removing the tough base and peeling one outer layer. Rinse and allow to dry.
- You can make your sauce a day in advance to allow your sauce to cool and thicken in time.
- Fry your brussel sprouts within a few hours of serving. The sooner the better, however, that is not always practical.
NOTE: Brussel sprouts tend to pop and spray once it hits the hot oil, be careful to only add it to oil bit by bit.
- Once cooled, pour your sweet chili sauce over your brussel sprouts to create a crispy sweet chili brussel sprouts dish that you and your guests will love.
🥡 Storing Your Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
Your sweet chili sauce can be bottled up and refrigerated for up to two weeks. You can use the sauce for homemade spring rolls as well.
- The fresher your brussel sprouts the less bitter they will be.
- For a thicker chili sauce, add more cornstarch slurry.
- Brussel sprouts tend to pop and spray once it hits the hot oil, be careful to only add it to oil bit by bit.
- Allow brussel sprouts to fry until they start to golden.
- Allow your chili sauce to cool so that your brussel sprouts do not become soft and soggy instead of crispy.
- Enjoy your crispy sweet chili brussel sprouts immediately.
Serve with some other great dishes for a Fall/Winter dinner party or Thanksgiving:
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- 1 cup of water
- ¼ cup of white sugar
- 3 tablespoon of Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce
- 2 tablespoon of rice vinegar
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons of cold water
Fried Brussel Sprouts
- 2 lbs of brussel sprouts
- 3 cups of vegetable/canola/peanut oil for frying
- A pinch of salt (optional)
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- Mix your water and cornstarch to create a slurry. Set aside.
- Add water, vinegar, minced garlic, and garlic chili sauce to a pan or saucepan, heat for medium-low. Allow for sugar to dissolve. Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add your slurry to the simmering sauce. Allow the sauce to thicken, 3 minutes.
- Pour into a glass jar or container and allow to completely cool.
- Prep your sprouts by removing the hard base and the leaves on the outer layer.
- Slice your sprouts in half lengthwise, rinse and allow to dry.
- Heat a pan or deep fryer with oil to roughly 400ºF.
- Fry brussel sprouts for about 2-3 minutes or until the sprouts begin to golden.
- Strain sprouts into a bowl.
- Pour and mix the sweet chili mixture into your sprouts.