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Charred Brussels Sprouts With Creamy Nouc Cham

by Andy Baraghani from The Cook You Want To Be

Say goodbye to boring, boiled brussel sprouts and a grateful hello to these charred ones with a creamy cashew nouc cham sauce.

From the book

Introduction

A moment of silence for all who have consumed overcooked, boiled, or steamed brussels sprouts. Truthfully, I think the tiniest member of the cabbage family didn’t enter my life until I was an adult in New York and every restaurant seemed to fetishize deep fried brussels sprouts. The key to getting these sprouts perfectly crispy without overcooking them (or buying a deep fryer) is to bake them on the bottom rack of a very hot oven. Then you take them to the point of utter deliciousness (a place worth going) by dousing them with a cashew sauce spiked with fish sauce.

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Ingredients

1½ lb (225g) brussels sprouts
¼ cup (60ml) neutral oil (such as grapeseed)
Kosher salt
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
For the Creamy Nuoc Cham:
½ cup (75g) roasted cashews
⅓ cup (79ml) water
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 birds eye chiles, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1tbsp fish sauce
2tsp granulated sugar
Kosher salt (optional)

Essential kit

You will need: a blender.

Method

Place an oven rack in the bottom position and preheat the oven to 450ºF/230°C.

Trim and discard the stem end from each sprout. Halve each sprout lengthwise and place on a rimmed baking sheet. If you find some sprouts to be on the small side, leave them whole so all will cook evenly. Toss with the neutral oil and season with salt. Spread out the sprouts and flip them so that the cut side is facing down.

Roast the sprouts until the tops have puffed slightly and become crisp and deeply brown underneath, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove the sprouts from the oven and transfer to a large bowl. Pour a few large spoonfuls of the nuoc cham over and give it a lazy toss. Sprinkle with the cilantro before serving. Some bites will be more crunchy and others will be more sauced. Keeps your mouth guessing.

Creamy Nuoc Cham:

Put the cashews, water, lime juice, chiles, garlic, fish sauce, and sugar in a blender. Puree until smooth and then taste, seasoning with salt as needed. (Even though the sauce includes the salty fish sauce, it may need some added salt.) Use the sauce soon after you make it.

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From the book: The Cook You Want To Be

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