The City Lane was invited to The Noble Experiment a little while ago (you can read our thoughts here) and one of the stand out dishes that we sampled were head chef Cameron Bell’s Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Coconut, Lime and Caramel.
We loved the way that Bell turned one of the most hated vegetables out there into something crispy, delicious and moreish and Bell was kind enough to share his recipe, along with some thoughts on the dish with us.
These crispy Brussels sprouts are a pretty interesting and delicious way to cook what is probably one of the most disliked vegetables out there. With a crispy exterior and moist interior, the fried sprouts are very high in umami and, with a bit of added sweetness and acid from the other components of the dish, surprisingly tasty.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes / Cooking Time: 30 minutes + 8 hours infusing / Serves 4-6 as a side
- 200ml coconut cream
- 200g sugar
- 3 limes zested and juiced
- 3 kaffir lime leaves sliced
- 1 green chilli sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 6 radishes
- 100ml rice wine vinegar
- 100ml water
- 75g white sugar
- 300g fresh Brussels sprouts
- 1L neutral oil for frying (cotton seed or vegetable, not olive)
- In a pot over a medium heat bring all the ingredients up to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove form heat and allow to cool to room temperature and infuse, about 2 hours.
- Pass the caramel through a fine strainer and reserve at room temperature for use, or store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
- Bring the rice vinegar, water and sugar to a boil and allow to cool to room temperature then refrigerate.
- Thinly slice the radishes and pour enough pickle liquid over that radishes to cover. Allow the pickles to infuse overnight.
- Heat up the frying oil in a skillet or large safe pan for frying. The oil is going to splatter when the sprouts go in so high sides are recommended.
- Bring the oil up to standard frying temperature (180°C). Test with a piece of bread or something similar, It should sizzle and begin to fry instantly and not sink to the bottom at all. If it smokes when the test piece goes it the oil it to hot and let cool slightly.
- You don’t want the oil to drop temperature when the sprouts are cooking so make sure the heat is up fairly high (Bell likes to heat the oil up slowly on low heat, then when at the right temperature, turn up the heat and begin cooking the sprouts).
- Drop the sprouts into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes, you want them to turn dark and brown, they will look (and taste) almost burnt but thats the trick to the dish.
- Remove from the hot oil and let drain on paper
- Arrange the sprouts on a plate, preferably white to show off the contrasting colours.
- Drizzle with the caramel first, making sure that each sprout gets some.
- Place some of the pickled radishes and sliced spring onions over the top.
- Serve with a crisp Riesling.
The Noble Experiment use breakfast radishes for pickling but any variety can be used.
If you have one, use a mandolin to slice the radishes but if not, a sharp knife and steady hand can be used as well.
The pickle liquid can be used as a basis to pickle many things – cucumbers or cabbage leaves for example can be salted, left for a few hours, rinsed and pickled overnight.