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Why Brussels Sprouts Are Good, Bitter and The Best Way To Cook them

Honestly, I used to hate Brussels sprouts. Yes I know. Hate is a strong word.

But it wasn’t because my mum used to force feed me with it when I was a child, I mean, we didn’t have Brussels sprouts back home. In fact my first taste of Brussels sprouts vegetarian was here in Sydney, when I was in my early twenties (feels like a long time ago).

Anyway, somewhere, sometime ago, I had it.

It was a bad tasting experience. The dish was bitter and awful. I didn’t like it at all. Since then, I never dared to order Brussels sprouts again. Let alone try to cook it at home.

But a few years ago I gave Brussels sprout a second try at Porteno. I ordered the Crispy fried Brussels sprouts with lentil and mint which was highly recommended by the wait staff. I was skeptical.

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It turned out to be amazing.

It was deliciously crispy, fresh and bursting with flavours. It wasn’t bitter at all. It changed my whole perception of Brussels sprouts.

Fast track to today, I am now a Brussels sprouts convert. I found the best way to cook Brussels sprout, reduce the bitterness and increase the awesomeness of this highly nutritious (and often misunderstood) vegetable.

Before I go on about cooking, please indulge me in taking a closer look at this vegetable and its amazing properties.

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Why Brussels Sprouts Is Good For You

Brussels sprout is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning it shares the same family as cauliflower, cabbage, or broccoli (Brassicaceae).

Brussels Sprouts Contain Anti-Cancer Properties

Cruciferous vegetables contain high sulfur compounds, including sulforaphane, which has powerful anti-cancer properties. It not only helps neutralise and eliminate damaging free radicals, but it is also able to activate the tumor-suppressor genes in cells which are turning cancerous, stopping the cancer cell from growing.

Bitter = Stress

Interestingly enough, the more stressed the plant is, the more sulforaphane is produced. When the weather is too hot or too dry, or when they’re getting chewed on by insects or infected by virus, bacteria or fungi, they produce more of these compounds to survive the unfavourable condition.

So, stressed sprouts are more likely to be bitter, as well as the ones harvested when they are too mature.

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How To Make Brussels Sprouts Less Bitter

Two words; Short and Sweet. Pick them young, cook them quickly and store them for a minimum amount of time. Stressed out sprouts mean bitter sprouts so keep them cold, keep the storage time short and don’t cook them for too long. Easy right?

Best Way To Cook Brussels Sprouts

It should probably read “The Tastiest Way to Eat Brussels Sprouts”

Stir frying – hands down – is the simplest, quickest, best way to cook Brussels sprouts without making it taste like ass. It’s true.

15 minutes to prep, 5-7 minutes to cook, 20 minutes from fridge to table. Take that Jamie!

Crunchy Brussels Sprouts with Ginger and Mushroom
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A quick and easy recipe to a delicious tasting Brussels Sprouts. This recipe guarantees to give you crunchy and tasty sprouts while preserving all the beneficial anti-cancer properties of the sprouts through rapid cooking method. Free-radicals be gone!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 big handful of snow peas, string removed
  • ½ red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 chilli, chopped (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy mushroom sauce
  • 1 large brown mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp chia seed to sprinkle
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cm ginger
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt and pepper to season
Method
  1. Heat coconut oil in wok on high heat.
  2. Fry garlic and ginger until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  3. Add all chopped veggies except mushroom. Stir.
  4. Add mushroom sauce and water into the wok.
  5. Stir fry until all the veggies are nice and soft (about 5 minutes).
  6. Add sliced mushroom and mix through (the residual heat will cook the mushroom).
  7. Serve immediately with some brown or white rice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture on Instagram and tag me on the picture.

 

Keren x

7 replies
  1. Mademoiselle Mange à Sydney
    Mademoiselle Mange à Sydney says:

    I never understood why other kids disliked brussel sprouts, always loved them! That being said, bitter cucumber beats brussel sprouts on the bitterness scale, so this might be the reason why I never thought they were too bitter :)

  2. Keren
    Keren says:

    You might be right! If you’re used to bitter melon, brussels sprouts are a walk in the park!

  3. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Hannah (BitterSweet) says:

    Your story could be my story! I used to hate the tiny green cabbages with a fiery passion, but now they’re one of my favorite vegetables. Fool proof way to win anyone over? Deep fry or pan fry ’em and toss them with salt and pepper. Instant win!

  4. Keren
    Keren says:

    I never try pan-frying them! I hate cleaning up the oil mess from deep frying but that sounds like an excellent idea.

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  1. […] recipe features the amazing Brussel sprouts  for anti-cancer, bean curd for a hit of protein, coriander for digestion (and the fragrant […]

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