When I was a child, there was no way I was going to eat some of the vegetables Mom tried serving — mainly lima beans, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach and Brussels sprouts.
I didn’t even offer them to my son, if I didn’t like them, I wasn’t going to cook them either. We did battle, once, over broccoli — I decreed he couldn’t leave the table until he had eaten one piece. He is as stubborn as I am and wouldn’t budge, eventually falling asleep and doing a faceplant on his dinner plate. We called it a draw, never to be revisited.
He grew up and left home and, at the same time, I realized just what I had been missing all my life by avoiding these veggies. I now love everything — OK, with the exception still of spinach (or any cooked greens) and lima beans.
Brussels sprouts were the newest to come into my foodie world. I was first introduced when a neighbor gave me three plants a few summers ago. I nurtured them to the best of my ability and was quite proud of the three resulting stalks of sprouts — which I had been told to harvest only after the first hard frost.
My first attempt was to boil them, with pretty much the same success and taste of those of my childhood. Then I tried steaming some; same conclusion. Then I roasted some in the oven with a olive oil and garlic — a new romance had begun. In the past year, I’ve been to Red Lobster and ordered the sprouts there and they are the sheer gastronomical heaven! I’ve been trying to replicate them, but with only moderate success. I tried again over the weekend, using a new recipe. The resulting dish was very good — it just wasn’t quite Red Lobster’s Brussels sprouts.
I cooked them in the air fryer and added a diced chicken breast to make it a whole meal. I used low-sodium soy sauce. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and try deep frying them …
RED LOBSTER COPYCAT BRUSSELS SPROUTS (AIR FRYER)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
2 cups Brussel sprouts, halved
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste
1/4 cup french fried onions
Air fry: Add the sprouts to an air fryer basket. Spray the brussels sprouts with cooking spray. Air fry for 10-12 minutes at 375 F.
Prepare the glaze: While the sprouts are cooking, prepare the glaze. Add all the ingredients to a sauce pan, and place over medium-low heat.
Cook the glaze until the water has mostly evaporated, and the glaze has thickened. You should be able to coat a spoon, and draw a line through it.
Once the sprouts are done cooking, transfer to a serving dish. Spoon the glaze over the sprouts, top with crispy fried onions and serve. Alternatively, you can toss the sprouts with the glaze in a bowl first, and then serve.
Spicy: Add some sriracha or chilli flakes to the glaze for a spicy twist.
Lighter: Leave off the fried onions, to make this side dish a little bit lighter.
Deep fried: If you want to stay true to the restaurant version of this recipe, you can deep fry the sprouts in a neutral oil until they are crisp. Drain on paper towel and salt out of the fryer, and follow the remaining recipe as is.
Oven-roasted: These sprouts can also be oven-roasted. Spray with cooking spray and season with salt. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 F. Keep an eye on them as they bake!