I was a really good eater when I was a kid. Broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms. Bring it on.
But then there were brussel sprouts. I was so confused how something so cute, that was obviously made as cabbages for dolls, had such a foul smell. When I actually tasted one, the mushy texture caught me by surprise in a negative way.
As with most jarring food memories, we usually discover alternative ways of cooking dishes to our liking and actually become a fan. Or, maybe it's tasting the difference between something fresh instead of in a plastic bag from the freezer aisle, covered in what could be butter. Who knows.
I know now that the sprouts of my past were just overcooked. In walked the "pan fried dumpling method" to save the day. Really, there are a huge amount of possibilities when it comes to the ingredients that can be cooked this way: sear for browning, create steam with liquid, turn to low heat to cook through. All mushiness avoided.
Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts
About 4 servings as a side dish
1 lb brussel sprouts
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon gochugaru
3 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
- Cut the woody ends off of the brussel sprouts, then cut in halve. Add to a large bowl.
- Coat the sprouts with the olive oil, garlic powder, gochugaru, salt and pepper. Toss until evenly incorporated.
- Get the pan hot on high heat, then add the sprouts leaving them unmoved for about 3-5 minutes. Stir, trying to get as many cut sides down and brown for an additional 3-5 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low and carefully add about ¼ cup of lukewarm water to the pan. There will be a lot of steam and sizzling. Immediately cover with a lid and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated and the brussel sprouts are tender.
- Remove from the heat and burner, then add the butter to start melting. Toss until all of the butter is melted and the brussel sprouts are coated. Serve warm.