Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Kimchi and Ginger Recipe (2024)

Why It Works

  • Roasting at very high heat caramelizes and chars the edges of the Brussels sprouts without allowing the insides to turn too soft.
  • A balanced combination of tart and spicy kimchi, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, and honey perfectly complements the nutty sweetness of Brussels sprouts.

I've had a lot of kimchi in my house recently. I mean a lot. See, a few weeks back, as I was tweaking my recipe for fried chicken sandwiches, I got to thinking. I'd been experimenting with using pickle juice as a brine for my fried chicken. It's a quick and easy trick that helps your chicken retain moisture (thanks, salt!) while simultaneously tenderizing it (thanks, acid!) and adding flavor (thanks, lacto-fermented cucumber!). I thought to myself, If pickle brine makes a great marinade for fried chicken, what about other brines?, which was immediately followed by Holy crap: KIMCHI-BRINED FRIED CHICKEN.

I immediately went out and bought every variety of kimchi I could find at the market and began experimenting, straining out the juice and using it as a base for my chicken marinade. The resulting sandwich is one of the tastiest damn things I've ever made, but we're not here to talk about that today. Today, we're here to talk about what I did with the rest of that kimchi post-draining.

You see, there's only so much kimchi I can personally eat. But, oddly, there is no end to the number of perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts I can eat. Brussels sprouts are a near-perfect vegetable for experimenting with new flavors. They're unique in that not only do they have great flavor of their own, but they've also got those layered leaves, which make them ideal for picking up flavors from other foods as well. Like kimchi.

The key to great Brussels sprouts is to cook them right in the first place. I cook my Brussels sprouts according to my guide to roasting winter and fall vegetables: tossed with oil, then placed on a preheated rimmed baking sheet in a 500°F oven. High heat is essential: Cooking the sprouts to the point where they actually begin to blacken and char on the edges brings out the sweetest, nuttiest flavors, while rapid cooking ensures that they don't turn to mush inside. It takes about 20 minutes for them to go from hard and raw to tender and charred.

At first I tried to keep things simple: I tossed the roasted Brussels sprouts with some chopped kimchi, seasoned them with salt and pepper, and served them at a dinner party. They disappeared in moments, but I still felt they could use a little tweaking.

Eventually, I settled on adding some thinly-sliced shallots and julienned ginger to the tray with the sprouts. When sliced thin, shallots and ginger both have a very low ratio of volume to surface area, which means they dry out pretty quickly and then turn dark. I mean really dark. This is a good thing: Taste a stick of near-black ginger as it comes out of the oven, and you'll find that almost all of its sharp, raw edge is gone and all that's left is the gingery aroma and a sweetness that develops as the raw ginger caramelizes. It goes brilliantly with the Brussels sprouts.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Kimchi and Ginger Recipe (1)

With the kimchi, sprouts, ginger, and shallots, I had plenty of savory, nutty aromas and sharp, spicy flavors going, but the whole thing still seemed a little off balance. Honey lent some sweetness to the mix, while a splash of fish sauce further brought out the savoriness of the roasted sprouts. Rice wine vinegar brightened the dish up. Personally, I like to add a big pinch of red pepper flakes (or dried crushed roasted Thai chili, if you can find it).

I topped the whole thing with a little chopped mint after tossing it together. There's really not much to the recipe at all. Roast some sprouts, toss them with some things. So easy, so quick, but so darn good.

My recipes tend to fall into two categories. There are those that require a ton of research before I even head into the kitchen, and then there are ones like these, where an idea comes to me before I've done any digging at all. Of course, it usually turns out that the great original idea I thought I just had is a common one that's been done millions of times before, including by David Chang in the New York Times.

Great original ideas are hard to come by. Fortunately, revamped and reinterpreted old ideas can still be just as delicious.

Speaking of new ideas, I can think of another vegetable that falls into that tastes-great-on-its-own-but-is-also-a-sauce-and-flavor-sponge category: broccoli. It's like nature's delicious little sauce mop.

Be right back. I'm off to roast some broccoli...

Recipe Details

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Kimchi and Ginger Recipe

Active25 mins

Total25 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 poundsBrussels sprouts, trimmed and split in half

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 (2-inch) knob ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup drained kimchi, roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Asianfish sauce

  • Pinch ofred pepper flakes (optional)

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to upper position, place a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet on it, and preheat oven to 500°F.

  2. In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts, shallots, and ginger with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove baking sheet from oven and add Brussels sprout mixture. Shake pan to distribute evenly. Return to oven and roast until sprouts are tender and deeply browned and shallots and ginger are starting to char, about 20 minutes total, rotating pan halfway through cooking.

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Kimchi and Ginger Recipe (3)

  3. Meanwhile, add kimchi, honey, vinegar, fish sauce, and pepper flakes (if using) to now-empty bowl. When Brussels sprouts are roasted, add to bowl and toss to combine. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if necessary. Toss with mint and serve immediately.

Special Equipment

Rimmed baking sheet

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Kimchi and Ginger Recipe (2024)

FAQs

Should brussel sprouts be dry before roasting? ›

There's nothing wrong with soft and chewy Brussels, but if your goal is the type of crispy Brussels that they're serving at your favorite bistro you MUST thoroughly dry the surface of the sprouts before sautéing and/or roasting them. If they are wet they will steam instead of crisp. Surface area is your friend!

Why are my roasted brussel sprouts not crispy? ›

Why Are My Brussel Sprouts Not Crispy? Spread them out into a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet to avoid overcrowding. If they're too close together, they'll steam instead of roast which stops the crisping process.

How do you get the bitterness out of roasted brussel sprouts? ›

The flavor components that contribute to a bitter flavor are concentrated in the center of the brussels sprout. If you slice the the veggie in half, it helps to release some of those compounds during the cooking process. Smaller is better when it comes to tenderness and flavor.

Why do you soak brussel sprouts before cooking? ›

The soak time tenderizes the sprouts so the middles are softer. Don't worry, they won't be soggy! I would never do that to you. If, like me, you don't mind some chew to your sprouts, you don't need to soak the Brussels sprouts prior to cooking.

Why boil brussel sprouts before roasting? ›

Your first step should always be to blanch the brussels sprouts. This is basically when they get submerged in boiling water just for a few minutes, not until they're fully cooked, but just enough to take away some of the bitterness. Blanching also softens them and preserves their beautiful bright green color.

Should you cut brussel sprouts in half before cooking? ›

One of the most common ways to cut a Brussels sprout is in half or quarters. By doing so, you reduce the size of the sprouts, speeding up cooking.

Should you parboil brussel sprouts before roasting? ›

Unlike other vegetables, Brussels sprouts can be parboiled (even a day ahead) to reduce the roasting time without hurting their texture.

Do you cut the ends off brussel sprouts before roasting? ›

Slice off and discard the bottom end of each Brussels sprout, as well as any wilted or discolored leaves. Slice vertically to halve the Brussels sprouts. Then place the halves cut-side-down, and thinly slice horizontally to shred by hand.

Should I blanch brussel sprouts before roasting? ›

Blanching is optional, but it allows you to roast at a higher temperature to crisp up the edges. I blanched my Brussels sprouts for just a few minutes before shocking them with cold water. Toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper until well coated. The key, actually, is to add quite a bit of salt.

What makes brussel sprouts taste better? ›

In the late 1990s scientists identified specific chemicals, called glucosinolates, that made Brussels sprouts taste bitter. Plant breeders started growing old seeds, previously discarded for producing paltry harvests, to identify tastier versions with lower levels of these compounds.

Why are my roasted brussel sprouts mushy? ›

They are one of my favorite veggies in the whole wide world! When overcooked, Brussels sprouts turn mushy and release excess sulphur (the thing that makes cabbage and Brussels sprouts smell like cabbage and Brussels sprouts)—not good eats.

Why are my roasted brussel sprouts chewy? ›

Like soggy steamed Brussels, Brussels sprouts that are dry and chewy are no good either. This could be caused by using too little oil for roasting. You need a nice coating of oil—enough to make the heads shiny or if they're cut, enough oil to get inside the folds of some of the leaves.

Why are my roasted brussel sprouts bitter? ›

Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli are bitter mainly from a specific type of compound: glucosinolates. They are released when cell walls are damaged from cutting or chewing.

Can you roast brussel sprouts ahead of time and reheat? ›

Can be made ahead of time: These roasted Brussels sprouts aren't crispy. While the roasting does provide a nice char flavor, it also leaves them soft. This means they can easily be made ahead of time and reheated for easy meal prep or leftovers.

Why are my roasted brussel sprouts tough? ›

Like soggy steamed Brussels, Brussels sprouts that are dry and chewy are no good either. This could be caused by using too little oil for roasting. You need a nice coating of oil—enough to make the heads shiny or if they're cut, enough oil to get inside the folds of some of the leaves.

How do you keep roasted brussel sprouts from getting soggy? ›

If you want your roasted Brussels sprouts to be seriously crispy, you need to crank up the heat. Roasting at a low temperature won't allow them to brown properly, so you want to get that oven nice and hot before tossing in your baking sheet. Follow this tip: Roast Brussels sprouts at a minimum of 400°F.

References

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