Sunday, November 28, 2010

Diary of a Secret Housewife: Miso Glazed Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts have seriously gotten a bum rap.  The Brussel Sprout Lobby must be sucking at its job, or is taking kickbacks from the Broccoli Union, because somehow this poor, defenseless vegetable has become synonymous with "grossness that will not be consumed by kids."

But have no fear: I have a recipe that will single-handedly transform the reputation of the brussel sprout.  You will make this recipe, and everyone at your table will rename the vegetable "little cabbages of love and goodness."  Don't believe me?  Let me tell you that even amongst roasted garlic mashed potatoes, a glorious green bean casserole, and a souffle-style stuffing, the brussels were the first to go at our Thanksgiving dinner.  It's possible that one of my guests might have in fact licked the serving platter.

The best thing about this recipe is that it takes minutes to make!


For Nobu-style miso glaze:

  • 3/4 cup saké
  • 3/4 cup (150 ml) mirin
  • 2 cups (450 g) white miso paste
  • 1 1/4 cups (225 g) granulated sugar

For brussel sprouts:

  • 1 bag Trader Joe's brand brussel sprouts (you can use any brussel sprouts, but the TJ ones come in a microwaveable bag, thus saving you the trouble of having to steam or parboil them)
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • Decent olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of chicken or vegetable broth


First make the miso glaze.  Bring the saké and the mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol.  Turn the heat down to low and add the miso paste, mixing with a wooden spoon. When the miso has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon to ensure that the bottom of the pan doesn’t burn. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

Note: The amount of glaze yielded by this recipe will give you plenty of leftovers, which is great because you'll want to use it for miso cod, stir it into risotto, or toss it with any other roasted vegetables, such as potatoes or butternut squash.  You can also schmear it on bread for a delicious mayo or jam substitute.

Second, prepare the brussel sprouts.  I highly recommend the brussels from Trader Joe's, as they come in a microwaveable bag.  You pop it in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, and the sprouts come out perfectly steamed.  If you can't get the TJ's (or a similar product), then use fresh brussel sprouts and simply parboil them for about 3-5 minutes (until cooked, but not mushy) in a pot of boiling water, then plunge them immediately into an ice bath to stop the cooking.

Let the sprouts cool, until they are safe to touch.  Then split them in half length-wise.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Place the sprouts, cut-side down, on the skillet and add the shallots.  Now step away from the pan -- don't move the sprouts for at least 2 minutes, until they become nicely browned on the cut side.  Once the cut side of the sprout becomes nutty brown and slightly charred, you can flip the sprouts and give the shallots a stir to prevent burning.

Cook for another minute or so, then add the broth, as needed, to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the delicious brown bits.  Turn the heat down to medium-low, then stir in about 3 tablespoons of the miso glaze, adding more or less to taste.  The heat will caramelize the glaze slightly.

Serve immediately.  Prepare to be amazed.


lavenderpug November 29, 2010 at 11:09 AM  

ooh how interesting! i just got some brussels sprouts the other day, perhaps i will give this a try! oh, and we were just using TJ sprouts over thanksgiving.

Kate January 1, 2011 at 12:25 PM  

Per your reco, i made these last night for our stay-at-home new year's feast. And...WOW. SO amazing. Also made the lemon pudding cake, which was delicious (but the oven pilot light went out in the middle of baking it; we recovered, but I must try it again with a fully functional oven). Love the recipes, love the blog, loved you as Mrs. Hot Cocoa! (We're getting married this March, and I have shamelessly lifted most of your sweet program, so thanks :)

Mrs. Hot Cocoa January 1, 2011 at 7:44 PM  

@ Kate: Ooh! That's so cool. I'm glad you liked the sprouts. Did you use the glaze on anything else? It rocks on roasted potatoes, grilled eggplant, risotto. I'm really flattered and honored that anything from my wedding will be useful for yours, so please shamelessly lift away!

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