Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Garlic ‘Honey’ Soy Glazed Brussels Sprouts...
You know that garlic honey soy chicken Chinese restaurants always have? Well over the past couple of days I’ve been craving that sauce. That delicious garlicky, salty sweet combination was always so mouth watering. I always loved the thick and almost gooey texture of that sauce, and so to satiate my craving I decided to try and recreate it at home.
I definitely had an idea in mind for how I should make the sauce, but the problem quickly became what to cook in the sauce? Obviously I wouldn’t be using chicken, and I had no tofu, seitan or tempeh on hand yet I wanted something with a firm and ‘meaty’ texture. I considered using mushrooms, I have roughly 2 pounds of portobello mushrooms and nearly that many cremini mushrooms in my fridge but my original intention for those was a creamy wild rice and mushroom soup. The only other firm and chewy textured vegetable I had was brussels sprouts and since I’m always trying to find new and creative ways of cooking them in the hopes my husband will finally come around to their delicious flavor I decided they would be a perfect experiment.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started out. Wasn’t sure if the glaze would thicken like I’d hoped or If it would remain watery. Wasn’t sure if the agave would be able to comparably mimic the taste of honey in this recipe or if the soy would be too much. More worrisome though was the question of would my husband like them? And would he even bother to give them a chance. Generally he won’t even eat one sprout, which is something I’m working hard to change.
As the sprouts cooked the smell that wafted through my kitchen was heavenly. A rich sweet aroma filled my nostrils underlined by only a hint of the brussels natural earthiness. I started to get excited, and my worry gradually slipped away. When I finally pulled the sprouts from the oven for the final time and peered into the dish I was ecstatic to find the sauce had thickened up like I’d hoped. I tend to have a problem with getting sauces to thicken the way I want them to, but not this time. I let them rest on the stove for 10 minutes to cool, then took my first bite. Amazing! The flavor of the sauce was exactly what I remembered from back in my bad Chinese restaurant days, and it significantly reduced the bitterness of the brussels. Something I knew my husband would appreciate.
Since they smelled so good he was willing to try one, and he surprised me by actually liking it! He thought the sauce was incredible, and his only comment was that he would have preferred it if I’d halved the sprouts rather then leave them whole. So you may want to try that if you’re a brussels sprouts skeptic or if you plan on cooking these for one. I loved them whole but whichever way you choose to slice them you definitely have to try them!
Garlic ‘Honey’ Soy Glazed Brussels Sprouts
1 ½ - 2lb Brussels Sprouts (left whole or halved to suit your preference)
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce (or to taste)
4 Tbsp Agave Nectar (or to taste)
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
4-8 Cloves Minced Garlic (depending on how strong you want the garlic flavor to be)
1 Tbsp Grated Ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (depending on how much heat you want)
1-2 Tbsp Water to dilute if needed
Black Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Wash and trim your Brussels Sprouts. Place them in a baking dish and set aside.
- In a bowl combine the minced garlic, grated ginger soy sauce and agave. Whisk until combined.
- Taste for flavor and add in water if you find the soy flavor to overpowering. Add in the cornstarch and whisk until completely dissolved.
- Add in red pepper flakes and black pepper. Taste and adjust flavor ad needed.
- Add your finished marinade into the baking dish with the Brussels sprouts and toss well making sure each sprout is covered in sauce. Cover your baking dish with aluminum foil and roast for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes increase your oven temperature to 425, stir the Brussels sprouts making sure to coat them in the sauce and place back into the over covered. Roast for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove Sprouts, stir one more time, and place back in the oven uncovered to roast for an additional 10-12 minutes until sauce has thickened considerably and Brussels are fork tender.
- Enjoy as part of a holiday feast or alongside a simple week night meal.