What can make Brussels sprouts even better? I have two words: deep frying. Oh, yes! Today we are taking Brussels sprouts and bringing them to next level by making deep fried Brussels sprouts and dunking them in a sweet and spicy maple aioli. Yum!
Okay. I know that Brussels sprouts can be a hard sell, but I love them and cook them frequently. I only have a few recipes on the site so far, and that made me sad (I need more!), so I have this recipe and another coming up in a couple of weeks.
I’ll steam them, saute them, roast them (a big favorite), and FRY them. Oooh, deep fried sprouts.
I had these deep fried Brussels sprouts at a restaurant in town recently and LOVED them. There was no breading, just sprouts and oil, which seemed almost too simple, but of course I had to try it at home as soon as I got the chance. 🙂 And it turns out, it is that simple!
Oil, sprouts, and a sprinkle of salt to season. That’s all you need.
Well, except for the sauce! You can go for any number of flavorful, acidic sauces but my heart needs a sweet and spicy maple aioli. The maple syrup with its sweet caramelly flavor, a little cayenne for heat, the smokiness of the paprika, and lemon juice for acid – it all comes together to make the perfect counterpoint to the flavor of the fried Brussels sprouts.
Tip: If aioli isn’t your friend and tends to break on you, you can make the sauce using prepared mayonnaise and all the flavorings I put in the aioli. I do find the flavor of aioli to be superior, but mayo will do in a pinch.
Whip up the aioli, then heat the oil while you trim the sprouts and you are ready to fry!
One note: Don’t be too eager to toss out the extra leaves. If they are good leaves (like the ones in the photo above), add them to the hot oil with the sprouts. Those leaves will get super crispy and yummy! Also, at least halve every sprout, even the small ones. You want the oil to have a chance to work on those leaf edges and crisp them up.
– Happy Frying, Annemarie
Tip: I love Thermoworks thermometers. I have their Thermopen and love it. It’s rugged, water resistant, and accurate. That is what I used to check the oil temperature. If you are in the market for a probe thermometer, they also have the ChefAlarm. It’s on my wishlist.
- 1 1/2 lb brussels sprouts
- vegetable oil for frying - at least 4 cups
- kosher salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup light olive oil
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 small clove garlic minced
- cayenne pepper to taste
For the brussels sprouts: Heat the oven to 200F. Trim the sprouts and remove the outer leaves. Then halve or quarter them, depending on their size. Fill a large high sided pot with 2-3 inches of vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 400F. Add the brussels sprouts in batches, keeping the oil above 350F, and fry the sprouts until they are golden brown to deep brown and crispy, 2-3 minutes per batch. With a slotted spoon, transfer the fried sprouts to a paper towel lined plate to soak away some of the oil and sprinkle them with kosher salt. Then move them to a rack set over a baking tray. Keep the sprouts in the warm oven until you are ready to serve them.
For the maple aioli: In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, salt, and 1 tbsp of the lemon juice. The yolk will get light colored and then darken a bit. Now is the time to start adding the oil. Whisking the egg mixture constantly, begin adding the oil in a slow, steady stream until all the oil is used and the sauce has thickened. Then stir in the lemon zest, paprika, maple syrup, garlic, and a dash of cayenne. Taste the aioli and add more lemon juice, cayenne and/or salt as needed.
Use any high temperature frying oil for the recipe.