Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Brussels Sprouts and Chinese Sausage

Last night, I just didn't feel right blogging about food.  My heart goes out to all those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.  Although the longest distance I have ever run is 6.2 miles, I can only imagine the heartbreak of the runners and their loved ones on a day that was supposed to celebrate months of hard work and training, which turned to devastation and tragedy.  To learn more about how you can help, Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers has compiled some useful links and resources.  

This is what I would have blogged about last night: 

I've been on a bit of a brussels sprouts kick lately.  I've learned that brussels sprouts are best when cooked with a cured meat, such as bacon, ham, or corned beef.  But since I didn't have ham or corned beef handy, and all of our bacon was an icy frozen block in the freezer, I had to rummage through the fridge to find a good substitute.  Sure enough, I found a ziploc bag of Chinese sausage, or lap cheong. hidden in the back of the fridge.  Unlike breakfast sausage or Italian sausages, Chinese sausage is salty and sweet in a way that's hard to describe. While it is a little different in flavor from the Taiwanese sausages I grew up with, Taiwanese sausage is hard to come by unless you have a live-in Taiwanese grandmother in your house.  So it's good to have around a substitute to throw in stir-fries and fried rice.  When I was growing up, I remember my mom and my grandma would use leftover bits of sausage to flavor cabbage stir-fries.  So when I found the forgotten sausage links in the back of my fridge, I had a culinary epiphany! Chinese sausage  and brussels sprouts! Perfect. 

The rest was improvisation.  I sliced the sprouts into quarters and minced the garlic,  I thinly sliced the sausages on a diagonal just like my grandma used to.  But to season the sprouts, I mixed together my own concoction of fish sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and sriracha.  The combination of the fish sauce, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce mimicked the sweet and saltiness of the sausage, while the sriracha added just the right kick of spiciness. J. and I both loved how this dish came out. So I gave myself a virtual pat on the back, and mentally drafted how I was going to write this post.  

Today, I did a quick google search on "brussels sprouts and chinese sausage," which produced approximately 162,000 results, including this recipe from Steamy Kitchen, one of my favorite blogs. It turns out either I just reinvented the wheel, or on some subconscious level I was remembering reading this recipe.  

And here I thought I was so clever.  

Oh well, I still say this is a a great recipe, and I take full credit for my method and seasoning.  

Brussels Sprouts with Chinese Sausage

1 package brussels sprouts, halved or quartered, depending on size of sprouts 
3 links Chinese sausage, thinly sliced on a diagonal
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbs hoisin sauce
a few dashes of sriracha sauce, to taste

Heat large skillet.  Cook sausage until fat is rendered (about 2 minutes), be careful not to burn it.  Remove sausage from the pan, while keeping as much of the fat as possible in the pan.  Drain sausage on a paper towel.  Return pan to medium heat.  Add brussels sprouts and cook until lightly browned.  (Try not to stir it around too much or it won't brown).  Push sprouts to the sides of the pan to form a well in the center of the pan.  Add sesame oil to the center of the pan.  Add garlic to the oil and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir garlic with the sprouts.  Add sausage, fish sauce, soy sauce, hoisin and sriracha to the mixture and toss until combined. Allow to cook for about another minute or until heated through.  Serve immediately with rice. 

Other Brussels Sprouts and Chinese Sausage of recipes (since apparently I am not as original as I thought I was): 


Dione Nye said...

The immediate connotation about sausages is that it's unhealthy to eat. But this is not entirely the case because there are healthier types of sausages. Gluten-free is one of them. Anyway, what I love about sausages is that they are easy to prepare. And also, they're easy to incorporate to any dish, just like this one. Oh, I love sausages!
Dione Nye

Cheryl said...

Thanks, Dione! I generally just cook with sausages once in a while and in moderation because of health concerns. But I agree, they are delicious!