Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts with Mom’s Chili Fish Sauce

Cayenne is a red or green hot chili pepper used to flavor chile food dishes and is also used for medicinal purposes. Named for the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, it is a cultivar of Capsicum annuum related to bell peppers, jalapeños, and others.

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2 pounds brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and quartered
oil for frying

For chili fish sauce:
1 cup water
1/2 cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 fresh chiles, minced (or to taste)
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

For slurry:
1 Tablespoon corn starch
1 Tablespoon water



Make the Chili Fish Sauce: Combine all chili fish sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring the sauce to a boil. As the sauce is coming to a boil, make the corn starch slurry by combining the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Make sure to stir the slurry well and break up any lumps of cornstarch.

When the fish sauce comes to a boil, gently stir in the corn starch slurry. Slowly stir the sauce till it thickens. Once the chili fish sauce thickens, turn off heat. Allow chili fish sauce to cool.

Fry the Brussels Sprouts: In a large work, deep pot or dutch oven, fill oil to about two inches high. Heat the oil to about 350 to 375 degrees. Test the oil by frying one piece of brussels sprouts first. If it sizzles and cooks quickly, then the oil is ready.

Fry the Brussels sprouts in batches, so start by frying about 1/4 of the brussels sprouts till they are golden brown. Remove them from oil and blot them on paper towels to remove excess oil. Repeat the frying for the rest of the brussels sprouts. Once all brussels sprouts are fried and crispy, combine them in a large bowl. Toss the crispy brussels sprouts with the chili fish sauce and serve warm.