Hot, sour tingly and really, really delicious. A spin-off from the classic hot and sour cabbage. This Sichuan style hot and sour brussel sprout only takes 10 minutes to make, and it’s officially our new favorite way to enjoy Brussels sprouts! Delicious with rice or noodles and tasty cold too. Replace with a round cabbage if Brussels sprouts are unavailable.
It’s been a struggle finding a good recipe for brussels sprouts, it’s not a very common vegetable in Taiwan and we have all kinds of vegetable year round so it was never my first choice. Being in Minnesota is hard for me as I enjoy fresh locally grown vegetables but the winter here makes it almost impossible. I love shopping at Rochester Downtown Farmers Market and try new vegetables I don’t normally eat much in Taiwan and it’s been a fun experience. I’ve bought brussels sprouts many times, but every time I try a baked recipe with either cheese or some sort of glaze, I’m just not satisfied. I think it’s the texture? It’s often overcooked and the flavor of the seasoning doesn’t really seep into the vegetable either.
My mom would make hot and sour cabbage when I was growing up. It might be a recipe passed down from my Sichuanese grandpa, I’m not sure, but I’ve never had this dish anywhere else other than our dinner table(and some Sichuan restaurant when I’m older). I loved the flavor. It’s citrusy, hot, sour, salty and sweet all at once, and a bit tingly if you accidentally(or intentionally) bite into a Sichuan peppercorn.
When I bought brussels sprouts at the farmers market last weekend, something triggered in my head and I thought: I should try to make hot and sour brussels sprouts! I did and it was AMAZING.
There are three ingredients that are very important to this dish and will make it SHINE:
Chinkiang Vinegar | 鎮江香醋 (ZhenJiang Vinegar)
Zhenjiang or Chinkiang vinegar is a rice-based black vinegar widely used in Chinese cuisine. It takes its name from Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province. It’s deep-colored, spicy, and fruity, it’s got a lot of depth in flavor. Less sweet than balsamic vinegar but still has a sweet caramel flavor to it, this vinegar adds so much flavor to the dish. UMAMI.
This vinegar is also essential for dim sum dipping, adding to hot and sour soup and so much more!
Sichuan Pepper | 花椒
Sichuan pepper is the spice that will give this dish a floral and citrusy note with a side of tingle. Whole Sichuan pepper is the best option for this dish and depending on the flavor you want to achieve and how tingly you want it to be you can mix and match different Sichuan peppercorns. I like to use DaHongPao(大紅袍) and Green(青花椒) Sichuan Peppercorns together. DaHongPao gives the citrus and smoky flavor and the green provides the floral note and tingle.
Dried Chili | 乾辣椒
Dried chili plays the important role of adding heat and smokiness to the dish. After heating up some oil, add the dried chilis to the wok and fry until the chilis start turning black. Remove the seeds from the chili to reduce the heat! I used a bag of dried chili I found at an Indian store, but you can definitely experiment with different dried chilis and look for the best flavor to your taste. Visit a Hispanic grocery store or the Hispanic section of a grocery store to find a world of dried chilis.
- 2 lbs Brussels Sprout
- 2 TBsp Peanut Oil or Vegetable Oil/Olive Oil
- 6 Dried Chilis
- 1/2 TBsp Sichuan Peppercorns
- 3 TBsp Soy Sauce
- 1 TBsp Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 TBsp Toasted Sesame Oil
- 2 TBsp Chinkiang Vinegar or more to taste
- Clean and wash the brussels sprouts, cut in half. (mine were tiny so I left them whole)
- Cut the dried chilis into 1" long pieces, remove the seeds by rolling the chili sections with your fingers.
- Mix together 3TBsp of Soy Sauce, 1 TBsp Brown Sugar in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat 2 TBsp Peanut Oil in a frying pan or wok on high heat, add the dried chilis and fry until it's started to darken. About 10 seconds.
- Add the Sichuan Peppercorns, the brussels sprouts, and 1tsp of salt. Stir-fry on high heat for about 2 minutes, until the sprouts have softened.
- Add the sauce mixture that you had set aside to the pan and mix well, fry for another minute or two until the brussels sprouts are cooked. Undercook it slightly as the heat in the pan and vegetable will continue to cook the sprouts when you turn the heat off.
- Taste and add more salt to taste. Turn the heat off.
- Add 2TBsp of toasted sesame oil and 2TBsp of vinegar and stir until thoroughly mixed. Serve.