Orange Ginger Sesame Brussel Sprouts

Envision a magical world in which brussel sprouts could be perfectly caramelized, delightfully juicy, AND absolutely loaded with flavor. Too good to be true? No way! I'm going to tell you the secret.

Simply put, these brussel sprouts rock. They're addictingly salty thanks to tamari, loaded with zingy fresh ginger, and kissed with sweet orange, all of which are complemented by decadent, nutty sesame oil. They're a symphony of flavor.

But what I really want to talk about here is my absolute most favorite way to cook brussel sprouts. Clearly these wonderful little veggies are my greatest love, and yet they sometimes get a bad reputation. That bad reputation is completely the result of poor cooking. If you don't treat them properly, they can end up sulfury and mushy (gross!), flavorless, or dry.

Are you ready to hear my secret approach for the most perfectly caramelized brussel sprouts that are still juicy and flavorful??

My preferred approach is a two-part method, and although it takes a bit more effort, the results are magical. First, you'll caramelize the sprouts cut-side-down in a skillet to get that gorgeous, golden side. This is critical for getting that luscious visual appeal and deep, toasty flavor.

Then, and here's the really important part, you'll add a watery sauce, put a lid on the skillet, and steam the brussel sprouts for a couple minutes. This creates a flavor-packed "hot tub" that will moisten and infuse your sprouts with flavor. Remove the lid, evaporate off the rest of the liquid, and you have brussel sprout magic.

I mean seriously, aren't these beautiful?? No one could possibly not love brussel sprouts after having this dish. The method I've outlined above will work with any flavor combination you could dream up, so feel free to experiment! Just make sure you have at least a few tablespoons of watery sauce so that they steam properly (hint: this also works great with white wine... or tequila... you get the point).

How will you enjoy these sprouts? We love them just as finger food alongside some Friday evening cocktails! But they'd be equally as great as a side dish along some Asian-inspired fare, on top of a big hearty salad, or in a nourish bowl.

Sometimes the simplest things really are the best, and these brussel sprouts are certainly a great example of that. Just a few basic ingredients, coupled with a really special cooking method, are all it takes. These are so darn good that we ate most of them just standing next to my photo set-up right after I took these pictures. Addicting!

Whether you're a brussel sprout lover or a brussel sprout skeptic, these are a must-try. Let me know what you think!

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Looking for some other fun brussel sprout ideas? Check out my Brussel Sprout Nachos and Orange Jalapeno Brussel Sprouts. Clearly this veggie is near and dear to my heart!

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)

  • ~1 pound brussel sprouts
  • Oil of choice for cooking
  •  3 tbsp tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey. If you don't do honey, agave is probably your best bet. Maple syrup will work okay, although it will add some additional flavor. Having a bit of sugar in the sauce helps it thicken, so if you decide to omit it entirely you'll end up with a thinner sauce.
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil. If you don't have this in your pantry, I recommend it highly; it's such an incredible flavor powerhouse.
  • 1-2 inches fresh ginger root, grated finely
  • Zest of a large orange
  • Optional pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Small handful of black and white sesame seeds
  • Additional citrus slices for garnish. I've shown kumquats here because they're the best!! But anything you have is fine, including the orange you zested to make the sauce.
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Cut the stems off the brussel sprouts, then cut them in half to yield two symmetrical sides. Lay them all, cut-side down, in a large, oiled skillet.
  2. Cook the brussel sprouts on medium-high heat until the cut sides become browned and caramelized. Check them frequently to avoid burning.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining the tamari, honey, sesame oil, grated fresh ginger, and orange zest. Add a little pinch of cayenne if you want some heat.
  4. When the brussel sprouts are caramelized on the cut sides, turn the heat to low and let the skillet cool down for a couple minutes. Add the sauce, then put a lid on the skillet. Let the brussel sprouts steam in the sauce for a couple minutes until tender and full of flavor.
  5. Remove the lid from the skillet and cook for a few more minutes at high heat to evaporate off any remaining moisture and condense the sauce. Keep a close eye on them since the sauce will want to burn as it thickens.
  6. Transfer the brussel sprouts to a serving platter and garnish with sesame seeds and citrus slices.


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