This morning while I was driving my husband to the airport to go to TCU, Texas Christian University, where he gives lectures about Southeast Asia several times a year, He casually mentioned that this evening he would have dinner at the same joint where they serve fried Brussel sprouts with fermented lemon dressing. I do love Brussel sprouts and always want to find different ways to enjoy them. I often roast them or cook them on a wok over high heat and dress them with crispy bacon, maple syrup and soy sauce. Everyone loves it. It's our go to vegetable dish for our Thanksgiving dinner. One year we went to a Christmas dinner at a friend’s house. I was told that someone was going to bring his famous Brussel sprouts. Being one of my favorite vegetables, I was so excited. My excitement deflated when I saw a bowl full of greyish sad-looking boiled Brussel sprouts!
My ears perked when I heard this new combination. More importantly, I do have some Brussel sprouts in my fridge! I do not have fermented lemons but I have preserved lemons as well as black lemon powder. The combination of these two should make the dish interesting.
I had fried Brussel sprouts before but I do not want to do too much frying at home. Actually I do not want to eat a whole plate of fried Brussel sprouts. I decide to roast most of the Brussel sprouts and just fry a few leaves for added texture.
For dressing, I have a jar of preserved lemons in my fridge but I cannot open it. This is one of my husband’s specialties in the kitchen; the other is to get things high up in the cupboards. Since he is not around. I have to come up with some other alternative. I spot a jar of pickled mango so I combine chopped pickled mango with black lemon powder, chopped shallots, lemon juice in a mason jar. Pickled mango is quite salty and sour so it needs to be balanced with some sweetener. I use maple syrup. Then add some olive oil and shake until the oil emulsifies. Add salt and adjust seasoning. You might need more lemon juice or maple syrup, your call.
I think the dish would benefit from another flavor profile. I choose to top this Brussel sprouts with fried shallots. I love the bright acidity flavor from both pickled mango and black lemon powder. It balances well with the strong flavor of Brussels sprouts. I think this can definitely replace my usual Brussels sprouts with bacon and maple syrup for our Thanksgiving dinner this year. I hope there will be no riot! Or may be I have to make both :)