Fried Brussels Sprout Salad

Boring salads are for the weak
44 Ratings
100% would make again
Brussels Sprout Salad
Photo: Michelle Sun/Tasting Table

One of the best parts about cooking Thai-inspired dishes is not having to hold back. Bring on the funk, it seems to say, and don’t be afraid to layer bold flavors and textures. This dish combines sweet, sour, salty, spicy and crunchy components to transform Brussels sprouts into a side dish that will actually surprise you.

Crispy fried Brussels sprouts and shredded Napa cabbage are tossed in a dressing loaded with fish sauce, numbingly spicy Sichuan peppercorns and enough lime juice to make you pucker. This salad may seem overwhelming to lighthearted eaters, but fear not: Sweet bites of roasted butternut squash, rich toasted cashews and fried shallots provide a nice balance, and give it a crunch factor. Serve this salad warm, and if you happen to have leftover rice lying around, warm it up and try spooning any extra dressing over it. You won’t be sorry.

Learn more about essential Thai flavors.

Fried Brussels Sprout Salad

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes


For the Roasted Butternut Squash:

1 small (1 pound and 12 ounces) butternut squash, peeled and cored

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon chile oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

One 2-inch ginger nub, peeled and minced

Kosher salt, to taste

For the Dressing:

¼ cup Sichuan hot pot sauce

¼ fish sauce

¼ cup lime juice

2 tablespoons sambal

¼ cup canola oil

Kosher salt, to taste

For the Salad:

Canola oil, for frying

1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered

Kosher salt, to taste

5 cups (2 pounds) small Napa cabbage, stems removed and leaves torn by hand

Roasted butternut squash

½ cup fried shallots, plus more for garnish

½ cup cashews, roasted and roughly chopped, plus more for garnish

½ cup cilantro leaves, torn

½ cup mint leaves, torn, plus mint tip for garnish

½ cup Thai basil leaves, torn


1. Make the roasted butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut the squash into ½-inch-thick, 1-inch-wide square pieces and set aside. In a small food processor, add the canola oil, honey, chile oil, garlic and ginger, and purée until the mixture turns into a smooth paste. In a large bowl, toss the squash with the paste until it is fully coated and season with salt. Place the dressed squash on a parchment-lined sheet tray and roast in the oven until the squash is tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

2. While the squash is roasting, make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients, except the canola oil, together. While vigorously whisking, stream in the canola oil so that the oil becomes emulsified into the dressing. Season with salt and reserve for later.

3. In a heavy-bottom pot, bring 2 inches of canola oil to 350°. In batches, carefully fry the Brussels sprouts until golden brown, crispy and tender on the inside, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the Brussels sprouts from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate, and season lightly with salt. Transfer the fried Brussels sprouts to a large bowl and coat generously with the dressing. Add the remaining salad ingredients and gently toss with more dressing as needed. Garnish with more fried shallots and cashews, and top with a mint tip. Serve the salad on a platter or in a shallow bowl.

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