Tag Archives: brussels sprouts

Recipe: Tofu and Brussels Sprouts with Teriyaki Sauce

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I had an American vegetarian friend once, who, on a visit to the UK, was surprised to be offered stir-fried brussels sprouts at a restaurant. It’s a little unusual, but not completely off the wall, sprouts are a member of the cabbage family, after all and stand up to stir frying very well.

I’ve given two recipes for teriyaki sauce here. The authentic version with sake and mirin and the inauthentic version with sherry and sugar. Mirin and sake should be found in most medium-large supermarkets and do taste better, but the sherry version still beats the ready-made stuff.

The combination of sweet, caramelised sauce and slightly bitter greens works well. It would also work well with stronger greens like kale or spring greens. I usually make twice the quantity of teriyaki sauce because I find it addictive and have to save some for another recipe the next day.

Tofu & Sprouts with Teriyaki photo DSCN1755_zpsa6bf858e.jpg

Ingredients
For the Teriyaki sauce:
Either
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sake
2 tbsp mirin
2 tsp sugar

or 
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp dry sherry
2 tbsp sugar

For the rest:
200g tofu, cubed
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
350g brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered (depending on size)
1 spring onion, chopped

First make the teriyaki sauce by putting all the ingredients into a small saucepan.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes until it is reduced and syrupy.
Set aside.
Heat a little oil in a wok or large frying pan.
Add the cubed tofu and fry over a medium to high heat until the tofu has browned a little on all sides.
Take out of the pan and keep to one side.
Put the pan back on the heat and add the garlic, ginger and brussels sprouts.
Fry until the sprouts start to take on a little colour.
Reduce the heat to medium and add water until the sprouts are just covered.
Simmer vigorously for 4-5 minutes until the sprouts are just tender and the water has all but disappeared.
Add the tofu back to the pan and turn off the heat.
Pour over the teriyaki sauce and stir until everything is nicely coated.
Serve over rice or noodles garnished with the spring onions.

Serves 2

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Recipe: Spicy Sprouts

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I had a first last week. I sent a dish back at a restaurant. The first time in my life that I’ve ever had to do that. I’m not going to name the restaurant because they didn’t quibble and took the dish off the bill so I have no complaints about the service. The dish was a mexican take on brussels sprouts. The problem was that sprouts aren’t a traditional mexican dish and in any case the chef cooking them didn’t know how to cook sprouts. For anyone reading this, rolling whole sprouts around in a hot pan for a few minutes will not cook them. They were warm, but like bullets.

This irritated me, because it could have been a nice dish. I determined to try my own version with heat and citrus notes but where the sprouts were actually cooked. I’m pretty pleased with it. And, considering that sprouts aren’t as strong-flavoured as they used to be, you could also make this with shredded spring greens to get that slightly bitter tang.

This is a side-dish, but if you wanted to make it more substantial, a bit of feta wouldn’t go amiss. You could also swap out the pine nuts for chopped hazelnuts as well.

spicy sprouts photo DSCN1736_zps4c0788d4.jpg

Ingredients
250g brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/2 green chilli, chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Juice 1/2 lemon

Blanch the sprouts in boiling water for 3-5 minutes.
Drain and set to one side.
Heat some oil in a medium hot frying pan.
Add the chilli and garlic and fry for a minute.
Add the sprouts to the pan and cook until the sprouts take on some colour and are tender.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with the pine nuts and lemon juice sprinkled over.

Serves 2 as a side dish