This easy Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts uses two cooking methods to produce the best Brussels SproutsJump to Recipe Print Recipe
Pan fried Brussels sprouts are one of the simplest ways to cook this cruciferous vegetable perfectly. These miniature looking cabbages cooks up in a jiffy using a combination of two cooking methods. First, the Brussels sprouts are steamed for three to four minutes. Note, steaming time will vary depending on the size. The sprouts used in this recipe sported an impressive two inches in length. After steaming, the sprouts are sautéed in aromatics and herbs. The combination cooking guarantees, the perfect al dente texture and a delicious grill-like flavor. The sprouts develop the grill-like taste because steaming occurs in a combination of extra virgin olive oil and just a tad bit of water.
Why utilizing two cooking methods for this Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts makes sense.
Unlike a simple pan fry cooking method that generally uses a thin layer of oil, this version uses a minimal amount of cooking oil. Further, the oil, in minimal amounts, is applied during steaming and sautéing. Together, the shallow steaming and sautéing creates the perfect al dente texture with loads of flavor. In general, steaming requires a good amount of liquid. The ingredients are usually suspended above the liquid in a perforated steaming vessel. The liquid is simmered and the resulting steam passes through the perforation thereby cooking the ingredients.
As mentioned, this pan fried Brussels sprouts use a combination of extra virgin olive oil and a very small amount of water. Unlike the traditional steaming process discussed, this process works in two ways. First, a tightly closed pan with the small amount of liquid and olive oil creates the steam. Hence the sprouts are tenderized. Second, the water fully evaporates leaving the small amount of extra virgin olive oil. Hence this allows the Brussels sprouts to brown, similar to pan frying. Additionally, cutting the Brussels sprouts in half makes for a brown crust. Moreover, browning the cut side during the steaming process can range from light to darker brown. However, darker browning results in an intense smokey nuttier flavor.
Why is it necessary to use the sautéing method after shallow steaming the Brussels sprouts?
Once the steaming process finishes, the pan fried Brussels sprouts employs the sautéing method. In this step, aromatics are added to create the flavor profile desired. Notably, fresh herbs like dill marry well with Brussels sprouts. Shallots are preferred over onion because they are a milder version of onions and the sweet taste is incredible. To round out the flavor profile, garlic and capers are a perfect flavoring for these miniature cabbage looking vegetable. One important factor in cooking these Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts, requires using a large enough pan, like a large sauté pan. The All Clad pan, like this sauté model, or any similar one works. This allows the cut side of the spouts to lay flat cut side down.
What exactly are Brussels sprouts and are they nutritious?
Brussels sprouts are part of the cabbage family and looks like miniature cabbage. Moreover, they are a relative of the cruciferous family of vegetables that includes the superfoods broccoli and cauliflower. Additionally, Brussels sprouts are low in calories and packs on a good amount of nutrition. They are an excellent source of protein, Vitamins C and K. They are also high in dietary fiber and beta carotene. Hence, these are some of the reasons why they are beloved in our family.
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Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts
These amazingly delicious "pan fried" Brussels sprouts are easy to make. Two cooking methods come together to create the perfectly cooked and super delicious sprouts ever.
- 1 pound brussels sprouts jumbo sizes preferred. Wash, trim and cut each sprout in half.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more as needed)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 large shallot peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic freshly grated (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 tablespoons capers chopped and smashed
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt adjust for your diet
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a large sauté pan, add two to three teaspoons extra virgin olive oil. Season the oil with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Turn on the stove to medium high heat. Immediately lay the Brussels sprouts, cut side down in the pan. Be sure they are in a single layer.
Pour in the water. Cover the pan with a tight lid. Lower the heat to medium. Steam the sprouts for 3 to 4 minutes.
Note: Be sure that the sprouts don't burn.
Turn off the heat. Transfer the Brussel sprouts to a bowl or plate.
Add the remaining olive oil. Turn on the heat to medium.
Add the shallots and sauté 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the garlic, capers and dill. Stir and cook 30 to 60 seconds until fragrant.
Add back the Brussels sprouts. Season with salt ad freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix to coat the sprouts with the aromatics. Turn off the stove.
Serve with your favorite main dish.