If you’ve always though Brussels sprouts were boring, bland, no fun, then these Orange Sriracha Brussels Sprouts are for you! These Orange Sriracha Brussels Sprouts pack a hot, sweet, citrusy, garlicky punch–just like your grandmother never, ever made!
The Spicy-Sweet Simplicity of Orange Sriracha Brussels Sprouts
I disliked Brussels sprouts as a child. Actually, ‘dislike’ doesn’t begin to accurately describe the situation. I hated Brussels sprouts. The Brussels sprouts I ate were boiled, like cabbage (which makes a certain sense given that Brussels sprouts are essentially tiny little cabbages). I couldn’t get past the smell. While they cooked the whole house smelled like…like…I dare not say. But it wasn’t good. That sulfurous quality. It’s a smell I associate with…with…I dare not say. But hopefully you get the idea. Yuck!
Anyway, I do understand that Brussels sprouts are supposed to be good for you. They’re full of vitamins and phytochemicals and shi…, I mean, I dare not say.
I came from a clean your plate sort of household. I was told that there were children starving in the world, and this was a reason why I needed to always clean my plate, even if it had boiled Brussels sprouts on it. At any rate, I ingested the required dosage of Brussels sprouts, but I wouldn’t exactly say that I ‘ate’ them. I’d slice them in half with my fork, place a half in my mouth, very gently so as not to arouse the attention of too many taste buds, and then I’d wash it down with a swallow of milk, struggling to keep my gag reflex from involuntarily rejecting the contents of my stomach. It was awful. This was my most reviled childhood food–worse than Lima beans.
Then one day, when I was around 30 years old, I had oven roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. To my surprise, they were crispy and delicious. And I’ve loved Brussels sprouts ever since. The method of cooking is everything.
By the way, Brussels sprouts are pretty good eaten raw too, if you shave them into thin slices. I’ve got a salad recipe that does just that right here.
Orange Sriracha Brussels Sprouts
Think if Brussels sprouts as little flavor delivery vehicles. Those tiny little leaves hold liquid. You want to put some flavor in them when you roast them. The balsamic vinegar thing I just mentioned is perfect, mixed with some olive oil to keep it all from drying out. That’s my go-to method. Add to that some toasted nuts and blue cheese. That’s good stuff!
But this sriracha thing. It is a ‘thing’. People have been putting this stuff on the Brussels sprouts these days. Sriracha Brussels sprouts. And why not? Sriracha is hot sauce that’s better than hot sauce, because it’s garlicky hot sauce. It’s amazing.
Most versions I’ve seen are made with honey, but I think an orange syrup is better than honey. If you’re going to add a touch of sweetness, why not citrusy sweetness? It’s reminiscent of Sichuan Chinese food. The citrus-garlic-hot chili thing. It’s perhaps my favorite flavor combo in Chinese cuisine.
Anyway, this Orange Sriracha Brussels Sprouts recipe is super simple. You have to reduce a bit of orange juice until it’s syrupy. That’s as fancy as it gets–and heck, you can do that. Then it’s a matter of tossing sprouts in a dressing and roasting them in the oven. These are not boring Brussels sprouts. Your grandmother probably would not approve.
- 1 Pound Brussels Sprouts
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- ½ Cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
- 2 Tablespoon Sriracha Sauce
- ½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Zest of 1 Orange
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Shallot, peeled and sliced into thin rings
- ⅔ Cup Pecans
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ Teaspoon Ground Coriander
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
- Wash Brussels sprouts and remove any brown or damaged outer leaves. Slice each Brussels sprout in half lengthwise.
- Heat the orange juice in a small skillet until it begins to gently simmer. Simmer until it is reduced to about 3 tablespoons.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, orange juice reduction and orange zest, sriracha sauce, pepper, salt, and two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Add the Brussels sprouts and the shallots to the orange-sriracha mixture. Toss well to coat. Place sprouts in a single even layer on a large baking sheet. Bake in the oven until the Brussels sprouts begin to caramelize (30 - 45 min).
- Meanwhile, toast the pecans in the remaining olive oil and coriander until just beginning to brown.
- Toss toasted pecans with Brussels sprouts.