Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts

Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts caramelize to a deep, delicious brown while retaining a fresh bite in minutes when cooked on the stovetop. In this adaptation of wok stir-frying, the sprouts quickly sear in a single layer in a skillet, then steam through with a splash of water to tenderize their tough cores. Crushed garlic cloves release their aroma into the hot oil, but are in chunks big enough to not burn and get bitter. A final sprinkle of sugar, soy sauce and red-pepper flakes give the sprouts a nice balance of sweet, salty and spicy. You can eat this with other stir-fries and steamed rice or alongside any main dish. Leftovers, reheated or cold, can be tossed into grain bowls and salads.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat a large skillet over high for a few minutes. Drops of water should skitter across the surface then evaporate quickly. Set the pan lid and 1/2 cup water next to the stove. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan (3 to 4 tablespoons), then add garlic and sizzle until fragrant and wisps of smoke rise from the oil, about 15 seconds. Add brussels sprouts, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and stir to coat with oil. Spread in an even layer, carefully add water and immediately cover.
  2. Step 2

    Cook without stirring until the water has almost completely evaporated, 4 to 6 minutes. After silent simmering, there will be loud popping sounds that quiet to a crackle.
  3. Step 3

    Uncover, sprinkle with sugar and soy sauce, and stir for 1 minute. Sprinkle with red-pepper flakes and serve.