Perfectly tender brussel sprouts that aren’t mushy or with hard centers, lightly seasoned with savory black soy and tangy-sweet balsamic vinegar, further enhanced by garlic and shallots, slow roasted to bring out the natural sugars in the sprouts…It’s simply amazing. Toss in some chopped nuts or sunflower seeds and you’ve just elevated the whole shebang even further, flavours that are both familiar and comforting, and mildly exotic to the palate, it has a depth of richness that’s almost indescribable.
900g | 2 lbs brussel sprouts, trimmed, cleaned, and cut in half if large
60g | ¼ cup finely chopped shallots
9g | 1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
.5g | ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
30g/ml | 2 Tbsp chinese black/dark soy
15g/ml | 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
optional ½ cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, or almonds work best) or sunflower seed
Preheat oven to 350F
Toss everything together and place into baking pan* and cover
Roast for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through Uncover, stir once more and place back in oven for 10-15 minutes until your sprouts are just tender
If you prefer the sprouts a little darker, simply place under the broiler to brown
Taste, add salt if desired and serve
instant pot/electric pressure cooker steamer basket suggestions:
add 1 cup of water (or the minimum amount suggested by manufacturer) to pot
mix sprouts, shallots, and garlic together, place in steaming basket inside pot cook on low pressure 3-4 minutes (shorter time for smaller sprouts), then perform a quick release
Toss with remaining, add salt if desired, and serve
*use a pan that will keep the sprouts in a layer 3-4 deep at least, too large of a pan will spread out the sprouts and risk uneven cooking, dry sprouts, and over browning. **To make a soy free version, you can sub coconut aminos and just a bit of bouillon or mushroom seasoning (about 1/4 tsp) for the soy. if making gluten free, be sure to check the label on your soy, you can sub wheat free tamari in you don't have a gluten free black soy
Our ingredients and prep for this are totally easy and simple. The brussel sprouts (of course), shallots and garlic to bring some depth and enhance the sweetness and flavours of the sprouts, chinese black/dark soy to bring in some heady richness, lending a toasted savoriness to the dish, blasamic vinegar to play counter point to the richness and bring in some bright acidity and smooth sweetness, while also providing a little fruitiness to round things out, and finally, some black pepper to add some woodsy and earthy notes and balance the other flavours, helping to ground the dish without adding heaviness. If you have small sprouts, you can leave them whole, for larger ones (like i had here) it’s best to cut them in half, if you end up with mixed sizes, use your judgement, you want them all to be about the same size before roasting to ensure they cook evenly.
The method couldn’t be easier, you just toss everything together and throw it in the oven. Now you CAN make this in your instant pot/electric pressure cooker, for which i’d suggest using a steamer basket to avoid having too much extra liquid in the dish. Your results will be different however, and it is much harder to get the sprouts just right. I will provide suggestions on how to do this in the directions for those of you who would like to try.
You want to use a pan that will keep the sprouts at least 3-4 deep, spreading them out will speed up the cook time, which will increase the chances of them cooking unevenly, drying out, and/or over browning. This isn’t a dark roasted brussel sprouts recipe, the roasting here is lower and shorter, to bring out the natural sugars and flavours in the sprouts without bringing out undesirable sulphur-y components, it’s a delicate balance here. IF you like a little more color on the sprouts, simply place them under the broiler for a bit at the end of cooking, DON’T roast them longer or they’ll just dry out or turn mushy, we don’t want that, we want perfectly fork tender sprouts that still have texture but melt into a creamy delight in your mouth.
That’s really all there is to it! The bulk of the cooking is done covered to allow the natural moisture in the sprouts to facilitate cooking, the final bit is done uncovered to allow some of the moisture to evaporate and intensify the flavours. Now, i love this with chopped pecans, but it’s also quite tasty with sliced/chopped almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds, they all add a nice textural element to the dish and their nutty flavours really bring a new level to the dish. They are totally optional though and the dish is perfectly wonderful without them. The choice is yours. [use the nuts. you like nuts. unless you’re allergic. then, don’t use the nuts]