Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Red Onion, Chilli and Cumin Seeds

November 25, 2008

Now don’t groan. I know, I know, sprouts don’t seem like much to ring home about. But that’s where you’re wrong, you see, and this is the start of my one-man mission to prove it.

Christmas and the day after and the day after that don’t have to be deadly, with only another plateful of soggy vegetables to look forward to. It can all be so very, very different.

Take a look at this.


These aren’t just Brussels sprouts. These are sprouts mingled with red onion, lightly charred (the burn’s the best bit, right?), spiced with cumin and chilli and lifted with just a tangy hint of balsamic vinegar. To be eaten with any of the usual Christmas Day stuff or on their own, as I did, out of the pan, with rye bread fresh from the Spence Bakery on Stoke Newington Church Street.

The recipe is (very loosely) adapted from one I found in an old issue of BBC Vegetarian Good Food Magazine – long defunct, sad to say. There they used shallots, which sound good too. I’ve made the recipe hotter, as is my wont. Well I have to. After all I’ve still got a bag of Thai chillies in my larder which I bought to make the Red Lentil and Carrot Soup.

Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Red Onion, Chilli and Cumin Seeds
for 4 as a side dish
500g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red onion, sliced
1 red Thai (or any) chilli, sliced – with the seeds included
2 tbs olive oil
fresh ginger – about a cubic inch, grated
1 level tbs cumin seeds
1 tbs balsamic vinegar

In a large frying-pan, lightly fry the red onion, garlic and chilli just long enough for the onion to become translucent. Add in the ginger, the cumin seeds and the sprouts, and cook over a medium heat for a few more minutes.

Turn the heat down to the absolute minimum, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Stir the sprouts occasionally so that as many as possible get that wonderful charred effect.

The sprouts should now be tender, with just a little bit of crunch left in them. Pour over the vinegar, sprinkle on some salt, stir well. Let the vinegar begin to bubble. You can sprinkle with some chopped chives or other herb if you have any to hand. But basically (and how long can this realistically take, 20 minutes?) you’re done.


32 Responses to “Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Red Onion, Chilli and Cumin Seeds”

  1. shoozles Says:

    man that looks good!

  2. Wow, these sound REALLY good. (I like brussel sprouts, unlike most people I know.) I think I’ll go with the shallots to add more of a garlic taste, and substitute Raw, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar instead. Thanks!

  3. headslammer Says:

    Damn! That looks healthy! I may just try this. Thanks!

  4. […] another great Brussels Sprouts recipe visit Delicious Days and Eat, Think, & Be Merry. Jana's Brussels […]

  5. thesmallestkitchen Says:

    here is an idea, my best way of cooking brussels sprouts:

    steam them, have a bit of plain yoghurt mix it well with some olive oil, chopped or crushed garlic, red chilli flakes and mint then pour this mix over your sprouts.. yummy..

  6. radiantwoman Says:

    One man mission accomplished. This dish is delicious. The new ingredient for me is the balsamic vinegar. Will try that out when I make it again. Nice way to find a weblog as well. Bye Miriam

  7. thesmallestkitchen Says:

    your version looks very delicious, too, I am gonna try that…

  8. OMG This looks beautiful….I will have to try it. Thank you.

  9. Ophelia Says:

    Try cutting the sprouts thinly for added texture.

  10. sounds divine! I usually make with with olive oil, garlic, parmasean cheese and walnuts. I am going to try this one.

  11. Jamie Dedes Says:

    Wonderful! I usually do mine with the fried onions, but this is real jazz-ma-tazz. Thank you! It will be on our table at Christmas.

    Jamie 🙂

  12. Paco Says:

    Regards from Spain

  13. marafaye Says:

    Those look SO AMAZING! I love brussels sprouts roasted, but I never thought to do onions with them!

  14. mark12ministries Says:

    Wow, sounds awesome! I have loved Brussels Sprouts since I was a kid. I love to cook and this looks really simple. Great idea; very healthy. I have a few recipes on my blog too.

  15. voodoowoman Says:

    This sounds divine! When I’m in a hurry I throw frozen sprouts in a casserole dish, drizzle with olive oil and garlic salt and throw in a 400 degree oven. When the edges are starting to curl up and get crispy I sprinkle with a little parmesan and put back under the broiler for a minute or two until the parmesan gets crunchy.

    Happy Holidays…

  16. Alicia Says:

    Oh, those look fabulous. I’m going to have to try them. I love brussels sprouts, as long as they’re not boiled too long and served plain!

  17. biz319 Says:

    I actually just tried brussel sprouts for the first time a couple weeks ago – I oven roasted three with just a little olive oil and liked them, I imagine I would like this as well (sans onions, can’t stand them!)

  18. Stephen Says:

    Thanks so much for all your feedback guys – I guess Brussels sprouts are more popular than I thought!
    I’m definitely going to try some of your suggestions – parmesan and walnuts sounds very interesting (from art and decoration).
    Shallots may give a slightly sweeter taste (with one breath).

  19. Not So Little Woman Says:

    Ha! How funny that people don’t like Brussel Sprouts. They are one of my favorite veggies (I grew up reading the French cartoon Asterix, and if it was good enough for them, it was good enough for me). I will try this out!

  20. tastyeatsathome Says:

    I was already a Brussels Sprouts fan, but these look delish! I agree that shallots might taste a bit sweeter, but with the balsamic vinegar, that might alone just do it. Thanks for sharing!

  21. […] fell swoop with that soupy green bean casserole, give this amazing Brussels sprouts recipe a shot: Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Red Onion, Chili and Cumin Seeds. Unlike most Brussels sprouts recipes which call for heavy cream, bacon, butter or pork fat, this […]

  22. sittingpugs Says:

    holy tuna fish melt. that sounds very tasty.

  23. Ahhh, looks good. This just might be something to ring home about. Just to tell my mom I ate brussels sprouts with out being force fed.

  24. Israel Meneses Says:

    This is weird! I just went out with my wife to a restaurant in Orem, UT and she ordered this, it was a bit different, it had bacon & pears, I had never tried them ad I must say that they were really tasty and now I’m going to try your recipe at home. I hear they are really good for your health, that’s why we tried them.

    Thanks for sharing.

  25. Amanda Hepburn Says:

    Oooh, looks yummy! And here’s some ideas for what you can do with the Brussel tops: Loving your blog.

  26. Luigi Says:

    You are welcome to come to California and cook that onion cumin dish for us. In exchange you can visit a sustainable farm that grows brussels sprouts, and grow red onion, red Chili peppers, and cumin.
    We currently live in the Montclair area of Oakland, facing the San Francisco Bay, from inside a forest, and we have 7 chickens which laid blue and orange eggs, we have honey from bee hives, tomatoes, and many vegetable.

  27. Stephen Says:

    Luigi, what a great place that sounds. I used to live in a wood for a while, in Cornwall, but never in proper forest! Strangely enough, just recently, I was thinking about how nice it would be to live in your part of the world. When I make a bit more money (!) would love to visit.
    All the best, Stephen

  28. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onPan-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Red Onion, Chilli and Cumin Seeds …Here’s a quick excerptTo be eaten with any of the usual Christmas Day stuff or on their own, as I did, out of the pan, with rye bread fresh from the Spence Bakery on Stoke Newington Church Street. The recipe is (very loosely) adapted from one I found in an … […]

  29. […] 10 great recipes using Brussels sprouts November 26, 2008 Filed under: Brussels Sprouts, Recipes — Amanda Hepburn @ 2:22 pm Tags: brussel sprout, Brussel sprouts, recipe, Recipes 1• Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Red Onion, Chilli and Cumin Seeds […]

  30. Paul Says:

    Thanks for posting this — this looks like a winner! Its going on our Thanksgiving table this year. Cheers!


  31. Gilda Says:

    I didn’t use the balsamic vinegar but they were delicious… especially with a few shaving of parmesan on top.
    This has made me like sprouts for the first time! Thanks a lot 🙂

  32. EWRichard Says:

    Pretty website!

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