Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts with Honey and Sriracha

By • March 28, 2011 51 Comments

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Author Notes: My husband and I love to go to The Vanderbilt in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, on a weeknight, sit at the bar, which faces the open kitchen, and order a bunch of appetizers and nibbles. Nibbles are a Vanderbilt specialty. There's great homemade beef jerky and pickles, and blistered shishito peppers with dipping salt, but the undisputed star -- which we order every time we go -- is the fried Brussels sprouts. The sprouts arrive in a towering pile; the leaves are pulled apart and fried, with the sweet hearts tossed into the oil and cooked just to the point of tenderness. The crisp shards are then painted with a mix of sriracha, honey and lime juice, making the sprouts tangy, hot and sweet all at once. In an attempt to replicate these at home, I painstakingly peeled a pound of sprouts and got frying. Happily, I discovered that if you're willing to deal with a little hot oil, you can do a pretty good job of replicating these guys at home. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!Merrill Stubbs

Serves 2 to 4

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  1. Trim the stem end of the sprouts and gently separate the leaves with your fingers, collecting them in a large bowl. When you reach the heart of the sprout (where it's tough to pry off the remaining leaves), add the heart to the bowl with the leaves.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the sriracha, honey and lime juice. Taste and add more sriracha or honey if you like. Set aside.
  3. Set about 2 inches of oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Heat until a Brussels sprout leaf begins to sizzle and crisp as soon as you add it to the oil. Fry the sprouts in batches, using a screen to protect you from sputtering oil and keeping your face away from the pot as the sprouts cook. Remove the sprouts with a slotted spoon after 30 seconds to a minute, when crisp and brown. Drain them on a double layer of paper towels while you fry the rest of the sprouts.
  4. Once all the sprouts are fried, transfer them to a large bowl and sprinkle them generously with salt. Toss gently to combine. Working quickly, drizzle some of the sauce over the sprouts and toss again to coat lightly. Taste, add more sauce if necessary, and serve immediately, before they wilt!
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Comments (51) Questions (2)


5 months ago kaye.spaude

PS I didn't make a pound. I made just enough for a little appetizer for one. You don't need to measure.

5 months ago kaye.spaude

OMG!!! I love brussels sprouts!!!


6 months ago kschurms

So simple, so full of flavor, and so easy to make. Peeling a pound of brussel sprouts is surprisingly time consuming, but so worth it.


7 months ago Angie

These are so delicious people keep clamoring for invites to my dinner parties now that they've heard how amazing they are. One of my favorite (and now-a-staple) recipes for special dinners.


8 months ago Alexandra Stafford

This sounds SO good. Need to try immediately.


9 months ago Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Can't wait to try this. I don't do vegetable oil and can't bear to use my expensive avocado oil or grass fed beef tallow, so I am going to coat in oil and blast it in a really hot oven. The sauce sounds delicious.


10 months ago Ariel Pankratz

This recipe is AMAZING. The brussels sprouts without the sauce are really good, but when you add the sauce its extra delicious. The sauce is the best part about it. I made brussels sprouts, green beans and salmon burgers and we actually dipped everything in the leftover sauce. I would recommend this recipe to anyone who likes sweet and spicy and doesn't know the true tastiness of brussels sprouts


over 1 year ago Sirid

This is the first recipe I've ever tried that actually has me eating brussels sprouts for dinner and nothing else. Just a big bowl of crispy, salty-spicy-sweet brussels sprouts. MMMMMMMmmmmmmmm....


over 1 year ago bamavb2014

These were so good! I did think the sauce was a little too sweet. I would add more sriracha than the recipe calls for next time. Still amazing, though.


5 months ago kzmccaff

Love this idea! Thanks!!


over 1 year ago diego

Coated in Olive Oil, cooked the hearts first in the broiler until crisp and tender, put in the warming drawer, then proceeded with the leaves. Much healthier. But I'll give you thumbs up on the sauce!


over 1 year ago Ashley Marie

Made these last night with some sweet pepper-encrusted cedar plank grilled salmon. They were exceptionally easy, especially considering my lack of experience with frying in oil deeper than 1/8th" (I usually just pan-fry anything). The sauce was a little hotter than we expected so instead of tossing them in it, we served it on the side for dipping - my boyfriend was in heaven with the sauce, I quite liked them just salted! Thank you so much for helping me switch up a rather mundane green!


almost 2 years ago hb

Made this last night and it was a hit! I add thinly sliced carrots to the mix. Mos Def a new go to side. THANKS!


almost 2 years ago Marsha Blair

Where do you find siracha?


almost 2 years ago tt

Chinese stores TNT or other


almost 2 years ago Dimply Dots

Where have you been all my life? This was so good, so easy (except all that peeling) and so satisfying its practically criminal. Wouldn't change a thing. Thanks so much for posting.


about 2 years ago Georgie

what is sriracha?


over 1 year ago Ashley Marie

Hot sauce!


over 3 years ago Onthecountof23

I've made this a number of times since I discovered it and I love the simplicity of it. Makes great lunch too!


over 3 years ago headdenw

That was delicious.


over 3 years ago Laurenzim

I took just sauteed in olive oil and it was incredible!! Thanks for the great recipe!!


over 3 years ago FoodandWineSnob

My husband and I are a fan of the brussel sprouts at the Vanderbilt and he's been bugging me to try to figure out how to make it. Well I stumbled upon this recipe and made it on the fly about 30 minutes ago. I have to say they were spot on! I didn't have a lime so I used a little fresh lemon juice. I also fried four strips of maple bacon and used some of the leftover oil from that to fry the sprouts. Oh and I dry roasted some sesame seeds to add in at the end. Super yummy! Now we don't have to spend every other weekend at the Vanderbilt :-).


almost 4 years ago @SunnyApples

This was a fantastic dish! I love a sweet and spicy pairing, especially on a food that is traditionally very bitter. This bitter taste generally comes from glucosinolate sinigrin, which has a sulphurous odour. When in doubt - over cook em'!


about 4 years ago loubaby

These were absolutely delicious...I only did 1 pound...ran out the next night and made so husband said they are the best Brussels sprouts he has ever had...thanks so much.


about 4 years ago Thartge

I have no patience for frying, so I roast mine. Probably not as tasty (cause, really, nothing beats frying in fat), but super-good. And, since we ran out of honey, I've been using brown sugar instead -- adds a nice carmel note, though you have to stir the sauce like the dickens.


about 4 years ago Renee & Ari's Kitchen Conundrum

We finally got around to making these tonight. We ate them so fast! YUM!
The sauce is delicious! Tangy and sweet with a bit of a kick. Perfect compliment to the slight bitterness of the sprout. Peeling the leaves were a pain, and really the hearts were the best part so definitely quartering may be better. Have to say, that even with the splatter screen there was a ton of oil everywhere! Will use the dutch oven next time for certain. Thank you for sharing such a tasty treat!


about 4 years ago EmilyC

I've had the fried leaves a few times, but never with honey and sriracha. This sounds so good -- thanks for sharing. Even though I don't own it and never will, I saw a recipe for fried brussels sprouts a few weeks ago from the new Modernist Cuisine cookbook. You peel off some of the outer leaves and blanch them, so they're bright green. Then you fry the whole sprout, and sprinkle the green leaves over them. Seems like you could combine the two recipes -- theirs for looks / different presentation, yours for taste! http://modernistcuisine...


about 4 years ago micook

Ok, these were delicious, but what a mess the kitchen was afterwards! Granted, I didn't have a screen to put over them, but I'm not sure it would have helped much because it's when they hit the grease that the splattering really takes off. Maybe a deeper pot rather than a frying pan?


about 4 years ago cheese1227

Totally agree with both your points. I made them again last night and only put about 2-inches of oil in my Dutch oven and had the lid at the ready to loosely place it over the bubbling oil right after I dropped each batch of sprout leaves into it. I lifted the cover after the initial popping stopped. Worked like a charm and it was easier to clean the lid than the entire stove top and the floor in front of it and the counters to the side of it....


about 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Sorry you guys had trouble. Cheese1227, your method is actually exactly what I said to do in the recipe: "Set about 2 inches of oil in a large, heavy pot." You don't want to use a frying pan, or a lot of oil, or you will definitely have a big mess! And a splatter screen is a good idea.


about 4 years ago trefoil

Can't wait to try these. I've had something very similar at Nombe, a Japanese bar food restaurant in the Mission in San Francisco. Not with the leaves pulled apart but deep fried with a very similar sauce.


about 4 years ago lexilarkin

Wow these are so good! The sauce was simple and a perfect mix of sweet, spicy, and sour. My boyfriend and I really enjoyed these, thank you so much for sharing this recipe.


about 4 years ago bkdice

I had never actually made brussel sprouts before, believe it or not. This recipe was delicious. I will definitely make them again.


over 4 years ago amandam1

Made this last night, didn't quite get the frying part right so they ended up just sauteed. Still slightly obsessed. And used the AMAZING sauce to pour over leftover pork tenderloin for lunch today. Great recipe, in all reincarnations!


over 4 years ago cheese1227

Made these for lunch. I think I will make more for dinner.


over 4 years ago Gardengrrl

Oh, merrill! How wonderful they sound!

We have always adored my husband's Scorched Sprouts, and I'm glad to see this finally hit Food52. Here's what we do: cut fresh sprouts in quarters (all of the leaves will start to fall off---this will save you lots of time over peeling them apart, imho), fry in hot oil, season with s&p. THEN he seasons with prepared mustard, minced garlic, bacon bits, chile flakes, whatever The Cook is in the mood for. SOOOOOO Good!



over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Yum! And I totally agree with you about the quartering. I had the original version at the Vanderbilt again this week and am reassessing my peeling technique after realizing they probably quarter theirs. Edits coming soon...


over 4 years ago gorzd

similar taste, much less oil - toss the sprouts in olive oil, add seasonings, roast in hot oven until crispy - terrific


over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Your idea is similar to what Cathy Erway suggested in her piece about these iconic sprouts in Brooklyn Bread: I recommend trying both versions!


over 4 years ago Susige

I made this today for my mid-afternoon snack. I didn't crave chocolate, ice cream, or cookies; instead I craved this recipe, Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts. And it was really, really finger licking good. And then I wanted more, so I tried cutting the Brussels Sprouts in half and grilling them until they were caramelized and then dipped them into the honey Sriracha sauce. And they were so good that way too. Thanks for the great recipe!


over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you liked them. Love your improvisation with the second round.


over 4 years ago MHardison79

Brussel sprouts have always been the one vegetable I have made sure to inner kid just won't let me near them....until now, I just saw this recipe, and I have to make it. Im actually excited to try brussel sprouts, but then again, I think I would eat just about anything with words 'fried' 'honey' and 'sriracha' in the recipe title.


over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

No kidding on that last part. Let me know what you think!


over 4 years ago Brianne Du Clos

I tried boiled artichokes with lemon butter a couple of weeks ago and really freaked my mom out when I told her how much I loved them. When I was growing up she always talked about how much she hated brussels sprouts, and I know that I will love this dish! I cannot wait to make this and 1) eat it and 2) get my mom's reaction!


over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Keep us posted!


over 4 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

Have you ever baked instead of frying?


over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

No, but Cathy Erway has -- check out her recipe here:


over 4 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

This is definitely going to become a staple in our house, I can already tell!


over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

The frying requires a little commitment, but it's so worth it.


over 4 years ago sweet pea

WOW! I will definitely be making these tonight. Siracha and Brussel Sprouts. 2 of my favs. can't wait to try this


over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.