You, too, can make these addictive veggies at home.
Stir-fried Brussels sprouts are topped with crunchy puffed rice and fried kaffir lime leaves at ChoLon. —Photo by Callie Sumlin
Lon Symensma is a genius at reproducing the flavors and textures of Southeast Asian cuisines right here in Denver. His ever-popular restaurants—fine dining bistro ChoLon and street food-forward Cho77—are proof enough of that, but we’re going to show you—live!—just how he does it through a demonstration of his savory stir-fried Brussels sprouts with ground pork and fresh herbs. If you’ve ever tried them at ChoLon, you’re going to be pretty excited that you can make them at home, too; if you haven’t yet had the pleasure, you’re in for a real treat.
Watch the video for all of Symensma’s tips on shopping for Asian ingredients, how to work with them in your kitchen (including pro knife skills pointers), and how to stir-fry the correct way at home.
Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Ground Pork and Mint
This recipe hits all the right notes, spanning sweet, spicy, bitter, salty, and savory flavors. Culantro is an herb used in South and Latin American and Southeast Asian cooking, with a flavor similar to strong cilantro. Also known as saw-toothed mint, you can find it at Pacific Ocean Marketplace on West Alameda Avenue, or just substitute fresh cilantro instead. You can easily double this recipe to serve more people.
Serves 2 as a side dish
½ pound medium Brussels sprouts, stemmed and halved lengthwise (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic (1 small clove)
½ teaspoon thinly sliced fresh red Thai chile
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 medium lime)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 ounces (¼ cup) ground pork
¼ teaspoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion (white parts only)
1 tablespoon peeled and minced galangal (or fresh ginger)
2 teaspoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons fresh culantro (or cilantro), chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh Fresno chile
1 tablespoon crispy rice cereal
4 kaffir lime leaves, stemmed and fried in 350°F oil at for one minute (optional)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven; heat to 425°F.
- Toss the Brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon of the canola oil to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast, stirring once, until browned and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce: Combine the fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and Thai chile in a small pot over medium heat; warm through, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons water, the rice wine vinegar, and the lime juice. Set aside.
- To make a slurry, combine the cornstarch and 1 teaspoon cold water in a small bowl. Whisk until the cornstarch is thoroughly dissolved. Set aside.
- Heat a wok over high heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the ground pork and oyster sauce; mix well. Swirl the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil into the wok to coat the sides of the pan. Stir-fry the marinated pork until caramelized, about 1 minute. Add the scallion, galangal, and shallots; stir-fry until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the sauce and the slurry, stir, and bring just to a boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and toss to coat and combine. Remove from the heat and mix in the culantro, mint, and Fresno chiles.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the crispy rice cereal and fried kaffir lime leaves, if using.