October 31, 2013

ginger tamarind brussels sprouts

Ginger tamarind brussels sprouts

I never grew up eating brussels sprouts, they didn't grow locally so we never ate them. However, by the time, I did get the chance to try them out, I had a lot of anxiety built up based on all the opinions I had heard over time, they were supposedly pretty nasty! My first experience with the round cabbage-like doppelgängers was at a Thanksgiving dinner in Cincinnati, where the host had prepared a batch of seared brussels sprouts. You know that moment, when you are seated as a guest at someone's dinner table, and you feel obliged to try everything, yeah that was me sweating it out! With a lot of nervous apprehension, I stuck a fork into one of the four sprouts I picked off the serving dish and put one into my mouth. Lo and behold, they were actually good, actually better than good, they were delicious and I couldn't fathom what the fuss was all about. Fast forward to today, I'm in my kitchen cooking them every time these guys are fresh in season.

Brussels sprouts

The bitterness is what drives many people away from these little guys. What kills the bitterness? Shaving the sprouts super thin! The finer the shave the better. It also makes the entire dish feel lighter in taste and texture. Which is even better because this recipe is light and healthy and packed with a bunch of great zesty and sour flavors. Also, on a side note, I love this dish with wine,  it goes really well with whites and reds. 

Cutting brussells sprouts


Let's talk a little bit more about the flavors, there's fresh ginger root, sour tamarind and fresh honey for the flavorings. I don't overcook the sprouts, just enough to get the shaving gently sautĂ©ed and to help bring out the ginger flavors. Both ginger and tamarind are really popular ingredients in Goan cooking and the combination here is perfect! Most of the time, when I cook these brussels sprouts, I will eat it as an entire meal but you can also serve this as a side with meat, poultry or fish. 

Ginger tamarind brussels sprouts and honey

ginger, tamarind brussels sprouts

yields: 4 servings

ingredients

1lb brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 inch piece ginger root, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon tamarind paste concentrate (I use the Tamicon brand)
2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons honey

1. Rinse the brussels sprouts under running tap water, drain, and pat dry with a clean towel. Trim the ends of the sprouts and discard any damaged outer leaves. Cut each brussels sprouts in half and then slice them extremely thin to get fine thin shreds. Alternately, you can also shave them on a mandolin slicer using the thinnest setting. Keep aside.
2. Heat the olive oil on medium high in a thick bottomed pan or skillet. Once the oil begins to heat up after approximately 30-40 seconds, grate the ginger root directly onto the hot oil using a microplane zester (or the fine teeth of a grater). Quickly stir and cook the ginger for 30 seconds in the hot oil, add the brussels sprouts to the oil, mix well and cook with occasional stirring for 8-10 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper and adjust the amounts if needed.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the tamarind, hot water and honey to a thin paste. Taste and adjust the sweetness with more honey if desired. If it is too acidic then you can add a little more hot water. 
4. Serve the warm brussels sprouts with the tamarind sauce on the side. You can also drizzle a little sauce over the brussels sprouts and then serve the rest of the sauce with it.

14 comments:

  1. A great idea! This dish must taste wonderful. Gorgeous clicks, as always.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. I love brussel sprouts! My favorite way to cook them is to get a pan screaming hot and just char the crap out of them. So good!

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  3. i had a very similar experience at thanksgiving last year. Since then I have adored these little guys. Lovely use of tamarind here :)

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  4. I am one of those people who is scared to venture, but you might have changed my mind by comparing them to cabbage. I love how you combine flavors, never wouldve expected ginger and tamarind. Must try!

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  5. I have to confess that I am not a fan of brussel sprouts but yours with all those wonderful flavors sound appetizing, Nik!

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  6. I am so glad my boys love brussel sprouts as much as I do.
    I remember when mum visiting us, she grilled it and drizzled it with some balsamic vinegar and I've loved it since.
    Your version looks really nice Nik.

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  7. These look amazing, Nik. I love brussels sprouts but have always thought of them as savory, usually roasting them with parmesan cheese or steamed, then served with mustard sauce. The idea of the ginger and the tamarind is beyond clever: what an amazing idea. And I love the idea of shredding the little sprouts rather than cooking them whole for a new texture. As always, thank you for this one!

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  8. I love shaved Brussels sprouts! And I really like the ginger and tamarind flavorings you put together. This is perfect! Great recipe - thanks.

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  9. Oh wow, these look incredible. I ADORE tamarind, and Brussels, and ginger.. so youv'e got me hooked, no problem. ;)

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  10. A fantastic idea to shave the sprouts to take away the bitterness.
    The combination of flavors sounds delightful, I like the creativity in this dish.

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  11. I have only had brussels sprouts in curries and never as a salad. The ginger tamarind dressing sounds so good! I have tried the tamarind dressing before but never with ginger. Got to give it a try. thanks for sharing :)

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  12. oh I make similar dressing and love the the combination of ginger, honey and tamarind! should try this with brussel!

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  13. A great idea shredding the brussels sprouts, something new to try. Thanks Nik.

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