The Thai vinaigrette comprises the five essential tastes – sweet from sugar, salty from fish sauce, sour from lime juice, spicy from Thai chili and some bitterness from the garlic – that showcase this wonderful local vegetable.
1 pound Brussels sprouts
½ cup mint
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 red Thai chili, chopped
3 coriander stems, chopped into 2-inch pieces
1 pinch kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons sambal oelek
To prepare the sprouts, remove stems and cut sprouts in half. Boil in salted water for 3 minutes, remove and lay out flat to cool.
For the Thai vinaigrette, grind the garlic, Thai chili, coriander stems and salt with a mortar and pestle until they form a smooth paste. Add the sugar and grind until dissolved. Stir in the fish sauce and lime juice.
For the sambal gastrique, a spicy thickener, mix the sugar, vinegar and sambal oelek until the sugar has dissolved.
Set a sauté pan on high heat and cover the bottom with olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add the sprouts in one layer. Cook them for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mint and sauté briefly.
Add the sambal gastrique and remove from the heat.
Mix in the Thai vinaigrette.
Chef David Lee is co-owner of Nota Bene in Toronto
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this recipe incorrectly listed the ingredients.