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Monday, November 7, 2016

Bắp Cải Brucxen Trộn Gạo Chiên Giòn (Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts with Popped Rice)

A few weeks ago, I craved for tea leaf salad at Burma Superstar Restaurant in San Francisco, so we returned to the restaurant for dinner after a long few years. The waiting list was extremely long; our kids were hungry and cranky. It's a good thing the receptionist sent us to their sister restaurant B Star Bar which is just a block away. The food was great, but I find this fried brussels sprouts irresistible. I enjoyed this dish with mindfulness - observing the taste, texture, flavor, smell - and all-the-while thinking to myself, "How can I replicate this?"

These cute mini brussels sprouts are not many people's favorite but when you fry them, their outer leaves turn crispy and charred, rendering a tender inside with a mildly sweet, nutty aroma. It's the quintessential taste of fall. To create a delectable Asian flare, add popped rice and fish sauce. It's simply irresistible!

When I told my girls that I was making brussels sprouts for dinner, they immediately expressed dislike. Well, after a few forced bites, my girls uttered, "'s so good!".

RECIPE: Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts with Popped Rice

1 pound brussels sprouts
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup cooked rice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
a pinch of fresh ground pepper
cooking oil, for frying

Dehydrating Cooked Rice

Spread cooked rice out on a tray and dry the rice at 250° for approximately half an hour.
Preparing Brussels Sprouts

I purchased a 2 lb bag of brussels sprouts from Costco. They're already pre-washed. Cut off the brown ends of the brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Cut each into halves. Make sure they are dry and at room temperature. Brussels sprouts are cold or damp will bring the oil temperature down and the sprouts won't be crispy. 
Deep Frying Brussels Sprouts, Rice and Garlic

Brussels Sprouts - line a large plate with a double layer of paper towels. In a pot or deep pan, heat oil on medium high. When the oil is hot or reach 400°F, add brussels sprouts. Oil temperature will drop, so adjust heat to maintain this temperature. Be careful, as the oil can splatter.  Fry and stir with a slotted stainless steel spoon until brussels sprouts have a nice golden brown color; usually takes about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.

If you prefer to bake brussels sprouts, preheat oven to 450°F. Mix brussels sprouts with the olive oil on a baking tray. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly.

Rice - fry the dried rice. Once the grains of rice are popping and turns golden brown, carefully use a strainer to remove the popped rice from the hot oil. Place the popped rice on a paper towel to allow any excess oil to be absorbed.

Garlic - fry the garlic pieces until they are slightly golden brown in color. Remove the toasted garlic pieces and place them on a paper towel to allow any excess oil to be absorbed.

Tossing Brussels Sprouts

Toss brussels sprouts, popped rice, and fried garlic back in the empty pan and turn the heat on to  medium high. Drizzle fish sauce and a pinch of fresh ground pepper; toss evenly. Transfer to a serving plate.

Sit back, relax and enjoyed this delicious, crispy fried brussels sprouts with popped rice.
Eat well.  Stay healthy.

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