the transformative power of shredding: sauteed brussel sprouts


my husband and i finally landed a spot at momofuku ko’s kitchen side table with help from my cousin E who has access to those nifty ethernet connections used for high velocity trading.  out of our nine course meal, i was really impressed with 3 things:

  1. grated cage free foie gras served over lychees in a riesling gelee
  2. the shredded brussel sprouts accompanying a venison dish
  3. the zen-like calm of the perfectly choreographed 3-man kitchen team

for as much as i’ve heard people say that david chang is over-rated, i really admired his creativity in re-imagining a classic ingredient like foie gras.  rather than being overwhelmingly rich, the grated foie came out light and airy with the requisite richness just melting as soon as it touched my tongue.

i am a neophyte when it comes to the preparation of brussel sprouts, and i think i was so enamoured of the shredded sprouts that evening because i had never imagined them being prepared in that manner.  having watched the chefs prepare the dish all evening, i realised that part of the reason seeing shredded brussel sprouts is so rare (aside from the fact that my sojurns to the south are rather limited), is no doubt related to the highly labour intensive process of shredding.  each sprout is run quickly up and down a hand held mandolin, and only about half the sprout is used until discarded. but, shredding transforms the brussel sprouts, becoming more flavorful with each bite and a lot less starchy. i think it’s worth the extra effort.

Shredded Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with Lemon Zest

Fresh Brussel Sprouts ~1.5 lbs, shredded.  The professionals use a mandolin or a Japanese benriner.  I’ve found at home that slicing it very finely with a sharp knife is actually quite a bit faster.
Garlic 3 cloves, minced
Butter 1 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Salt & Pepper For taste
Lemon zest Zest of 1 lemon
  1. Heat the butter, olive oil and garlic in a sautee pan.
  2. When the garlic is lightly brown, add in the brussel sprouts and stir vigorously until the sprouts are evenly coated.
  3. When the brussel sprouts have soften over medium high heat (about 10 minutes), add salt & pepper for taste.
  4. Remove the sprouts from the pan, and sprinkle with lemon zest on top.

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