Sprouts (and the whole brassica family) go fantastically with Asian flavours. Out of season, use a mix of the rest of the brassicas – broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, spring greens etc. You could also make a spring version with asparagus and peas.
This dish uses the sprout tops too, but if your sprouts don’t come with them intact, add in a handful of leafy greens instead. You can also shred in any leftover meat or fish. Five-spice is usually a mix of cinnamon and star anise with cloves, ginger, fennel and sometimes nutmeg and a little goes a long way. Just a tiny pinch adds fantastic flavour to Chinese and Vietnamese-inspired dishes.
Feeds 2, takes 20 mins
- 300g Brussels sprouts and their sprout tops, the sprouts halved or quartered if large (you want them in bite-size pieces), the sprout tops shredded
- 1 tbsp oil or ghee
- 400g mushrooms, any type, roughly chopped
- 3cm piece of ginger, finely chopped or grated
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
- 1 fresh red chilli, seeds too, finely chopped
- 3/4 tsp five-spice
- 2 bundles of noodles (I like soba)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice or vinegar
- 1 tsp fish sauce or extra tamari
- 2 tbsp black sesame seeds or chopped nuts or seeds, to serve
- Fresh herbs such as coriander or mint, to serve (optional)
- Chilli Garlic Sauce to serve (optional)
Fry the sprouts in oil or ghee in a wok or large deep-sided frying pan over a high heat for 4 minutes. For the first few minutes, fry them in an even layer, untouched for a minute or so, then stir or shake the pan to get to the other side. This will give you nice golden edges, which adds flavour.
Chop the mushrooms, then add them too, stir-frying for 5 minutes along with the ginger, garlic, chilli and five-spice. If you’ve got sprout tops, add them now to briefly fry.
Meanwhile, get the noodles cooking in a second saucepan following the label instructions; they should be ready once the sprouts are.
Once the sprouts are tender and the mushrooms have started to go golden and any liquid they have released has been cooked off, add the maple syrup, tamari, citrus (and fish sauce if using) to the sprouts pan and mix everything together.
Finish by adding the cooked noodles and tossing everything together for 30 seconds so the noodles pick up the flavours, adding a tiny splash of water if you need to. Serve with the sesame seeds, fresh herbs and chilli sauce (if using) on top.
Extracted from Eat Green by Melissa Hemsley, published by Random House UK.
Copyright © Melissa Hemsley 2020. Photography © Philippa Langley 2020
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