Here in Austin, one of our favorite restaurants is Uchi, famous for its sushi and its brussels sprouts that are served with a chile caramel sauce that, like Momofuku's, has a fish sauce base. There was a recipe for Uchi's brussels sprouts in this month's Bon Appetit, and we loved it. I set out to duplicate the hot-sweet-salty-umami goodness of the chile caramel, while keeping the dish plant based. Having made the sauce both ways, we preferred this one. (And the house smells better when it's cooking, too!) —drbabs
For the Spicy Sauce
1/3 cup low sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 large or 2 small limes, washed well
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1-2 Thai chiles, sliced in half vertically (jalapenos work if you can't find Thai chiles)
1 2" piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thin
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
small pinch of kosher salt
Lime wedges for serving
In This Recipe
To make the sauce: Pour 1/3 cup of tamari or soy sauce into a 1 cup measuring cup. Juice the limes into the cup, reserving the lime halves. Add enough water to equal 3/4 cup.
Heat soy mixture in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar. When mixture starts to bubble around the edges, add shallot, garlic, chiles, ginger and lime halves. Let boil, stirring occasionally, and pressing down on the lime and aromatics, till the sauce has reduced by about 1/2 (approximately 10-15 minutes). Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool for about 5 minutes. Strain it into a small pitcher. If not using right away, the sauce can sit at room temperature while you roast the brussels sprouts.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the brussels sprouts (that you have trimmed and quartered) with a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil. Scoop them onto a cookie sheet and spread them out into one layer. Very lightly sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt over the brussels sprouts. Roast till they are nicely browned and crispy on the edges, but still a bit soft in the center. Check them and toss with a spatula every 10-15 minutes to make sure they don't burn. (I confess to roasting them to very crisp and nearly burned, and we like them like that, but you may not. Make sure you check them.)
Toss them with about half the sauce, and pass more sauce as needed. A squeeze of lime at the table is really nice.