Genius Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce: These are the brussels sprouts of your dreams. Beautifully crispy, but tender on the inside and tossed with a salty fish sauce vinaigrette. From the Food52 Genius Recipes Cookbook! |

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette

Perfectly crispy Brussels Sprouts with a tangy and salty fish sauce vinaigrette. My ideal Brussels sprouts and possibly the perfect vegetable side.

Brussels Sprouts are one of my favorite veggie side dishes and I’m really happy that they have had a resurgence in the US. I keep seeing crispy brussels sprouts on various menus as standalone appetizers and so I thought I’d show you one of my absolute favorite crispy brussels sprouts variations.

If prepared correctly, they can be really delicious and a great start to a meal (or a side).

“Prepared correctly” is the tricky part though. There’s a lot that can go wrong. Sometimes they just fall apart. Sometimes they get mushy. Sometimes they are just bland.

This recipe though has exactly zero of those issues and completely conquers Brussels sprouts. I’ll probably have them prepared other ways, but I’m not sure I need them in any other way. This is pretty much my dream crispy Brussels sprouts recipe. 

The recipe is from my very weathered copy of Genius Recipes, a Food52 cookbook, which basically compiles the best of the best from their website and a bunch of other sources. I think you could probably find most of these recipes if you dug around the Internet or through various cookbooks, but it’s nice to have them all compiled together.

This Brussels Sprouts recipe, from David Chang of Momofuku fame is about as sexy as Brussels sprouts can get.

If you’re looking for more ways to use Brussels sprouts, check out this Autumn Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner.

How to prepare and cook the Brussels Sprouts

I used to spend the time chopping off all the little stems on Brussels sprouts but if you try to get the smaller ones, this step is pretty stupid. Just slice them in half and leave the stem. It’s no problem to eat it and it keeps all the leaves together.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts prep.
Don’t fuss with the stems.

If you have very large sprouts or have ones with really dirty ends, you can slice off the tips but try to keep the leaves together.

The key to these sprouts is to start them on the stovetop but finish them in the oven and no matter what you do: don’t touch them. Don’t stir them. Don’t poke them. Don’t fiddle.

Searing crispy Brussels Sprouts.
Getting seared.

If you’re cooking a full two pounds of sprouts, you’ll need more than one skillet so you can cook them in a single layer. Heat some neutral oil in a large skillet over medium heat and lay out all the sprouts, cut-side down.

Starting to get a sear on the brussels sprouts.
A good start.

Let those cook for about five minutes and they will start to get some color on them already.

Transfer them to a 400 degree F. oven and let them roast for another 10 minutes or so. This will cook the sprouts through and make them really nice and crispy on the bottoms. The insides of the sprouts will be tender but the outside layer will be crackling. 

Alternatively, you can start them in a skillet and then carefully transfer them to a greased baking sheet to finish in the oven, but just be warned that this is a pain in the butt and you also run the risk of the sprouts falling apart if you handle them too much. 

Personally, I prefer the skillet method even if it means I have to make two batches. 

Can you make these in an air fryer?

I get it. Air fryers are all the rage these days, but I wouldn’t try it with this recipe. For starters the air fryer basket just isn’t big enough to fit all the sprouts. You would have to do it in a dozen batches. Just crank up the oven. 

Also, I don’t think the sprouts would get as crispy in an air fryer as you would have to transfer them from a hot skillet where they are developing so much flavor. Go with teh oven method for this one. 

Umami Fish Sauce Vinaigrette

A lot of brussels sprouts recipes will call for a glaze for the sprouts. Sometimes this is with honey or maple syrup or even balsamic vinegar. I love a glazed brussel sprouts, but you lose some of the crispy elements when you glaze it. 

Instead, this light vinaigrette just barely coats the sprouts and they still really nice and crispy. 

This is some dreamy sauce. It’s light, but super-flavorful. 

The key ingredient is fish sauce. I’ve been using this brand recently and like it a lot, but any brand will work. Some brands are saltier than others and you might have to adjust the sauce at the end with a little more lime or water if you have a saltier brand.

Fish sauce for sprouts.
Umami central.

Mix in the fish sauce with the water, garlic, chiles, vinegar, lime, and sugar. Smells good already.

Right before you serve the sprouts, hit them with chopped cilantro and mint. If you add this too soon it’ll turn brownish. It’s best really nice and fresh.

Fish sauce dressing.
Stems and all.

How to finish these crispy brussels sprouts

Remember those sprouts in the oven? This is what happened to them and I tell you it’s beautiful.

Crispy Brussels sprouts.
YES. This.

As soon as they come out of the oven, toss them with big spoonfuls of the vinaigrette and serve them while warm or at room temperature.

I would put these up against any Brussels sprout side dish out there. They are a delicious masterpiece.

What to serve with these crispy brussels sprouts

These sprouts are delicious served with big proteins like steaks or pork chops. I would serve them next to my chile-rubbed steak or my broiled pork chops and it would be a guaranteed winner. 

How to store these brussels sprouts

If you have any leftovers, you can store these crispy sprouts in an airtight container for a few days. They reheat well in a skillet but just know that they will lose most of their crispiness.

Hot tip: I like to chop up any leftover sprouts and use them in a breakfast skillet like this!

The Genius Crispy Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Genius Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce: These are the brussels sprouts of your dreams. Beautifully crispy, but tender on the inside and tossed with a salty fish sauce vinaigrette. From the Food52 Genius Recipes Cookbook! |

Crispy Brussels Sprouts w/ Fish Sauce Vinaigrette

Perfectly crispy Brussels Sprouts with a tangy and salty fish sauce vinaigrette. My ideal Brussels sprouts and possibly the perfect vegetable side.
3.45 from 18 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizers, Side Dishes
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 Servings



  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts halved
  • Neutral oil for frying

Fish Sauce Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 lime juice only
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1-3 red chiles thin sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro stems and leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint chopped


  • For sprouts, preheat oven to 400 °F. Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in two oven safe skillets over medium heat. Add sprouts, cut-side down to the skillets. You’ll need two to hold all the sprouts. Don’t pile them in one skillet.
  • After bottoms of sprouts begin to brown, about five minutes, transfer skillets to oven to finish roasting for 10-15 minutes until they are really crispy on the bottom and around the edges. Don’t stir them or touch them.
  • For sauce, combine fish sauce, water, vinegar, lime, sugar, garlic, and chiles in a bowl. Taste for salt. if it’s too salty, add more water. Right before serving, combine this base with cilantro and mint.
  • Drizzle roasted sprouts with the vinaigrette and serve warm or at room temperature.


Recipe from Genius Recipes.


Serving: 1bowlCalories: 179kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 10gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 2337mgPotassium: 1044mgFiber: 10gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 1988IUVitamin C: 215mgCalcium: 126mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Brussels Sprouts, Fish Sauce Recipes

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41 Responses to “Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette” Leave a comment

  1. I love the idea of this book! Do you think soy sauce would work instead of fish sauce for a vegetarian, or would it need to be diluted? (Or do you have another suggestion!)

  2. Always on the look out for new ways to serve Brussels sprouts a favorite in our house, plus another book for my collection wouldn’t hurt either !

  3. I’ve been on a serious kick with asian-style sauces and marinades, so this sounds awesome right now!

  4. I love Brussels sprouts and I just got a new bottle of fish sauce! Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  5. I made the switch to Red Boat a few years ago and have never gone back to the bottle with the pink crabs on it ;-). I love sprouts made like this, they taste candied!

  6. Well, this one is now in my “to make” list. I’m deathly allergic to chilis and peppers do you suppose it would hurt just to leave them out or should I replace them with something? Thanks.

  7. I have been eating healthier for little over a year now and it’s been great but eating steamed veggies can get a little blaa sometimes so I’m very please with this recipe and the tip of cutting them in half thanks! P.S the pictures are very nice

  8. Thank You for this recipe and a oriental influence with Brussels Sprouts. They have been a long standing tradition in my family. My mother lived in France and learned how to cook them properly: never boiled, cut the bottoms and slice them in the middle. This approach shortens the time of cooking and allows them to obtain a golden color. Sautéed them in a deep pan so they get soften with a little butter or olive oil. A few slices of garlic, a touch of lemon juice, salt and some cracked pepper is enough to enhance their flavor. Also, you can add some slices of ham, chicken or sausages. I am so glad Brussels Sprouts are getting the recognition they deserve..

  9. So, is this a recipe that makes brussels sprouts that aren’t sour and cabbage-y tasting (and smelling)? Because if it even smells like cabbage, I’ll throw up (never been able to tolerate the stench)…but we do need more veggie variety in a bad way.

    1. Haha. Well, they do roast so they kind of smell like that I guess, but the sauce completely kills any of that traditional sprouts smell. Sounds like you don’t like brussels sprouts! ;)

  10. These sprouts look amazing! I love fried/roasted brussel sprouts, they are definitely one of my favorite veggies.

  11. i like both sprouts and fish sauce, but many don’t like either! i wonder if together, magic can happen?

  12. I don’t really like Brussels sprouts when I have made them before, but this method and the other ingredients make it seem that I would like it. You really can’t go too wrong with fish sauce, lime and red chilies! I will definitely try this. Thank you so much for posting!

  13. Asian style Brussels Sprouts…..That reads like an absolute Dream come true to me!!!!
    Thank-You so much for posting this one, Nick.
    I honestly can not wait to make them!!!
    I am a Cook Book Junkie…..LOL :-)

  14. I have had good luck with roasting brussel sprouts in a little chicken stock just until they are tender. Add chunks of pepper bacon, squash, red onion, and garlic. My children even dont turn up their noses at them.

  15. I wasn’t as thrilled with this recipe as I normally am with most Macheesmo content.The sprouts themselves were great, but the fish sauce was overpowering for both myself and my boyfriend. However, I would definitely make them again, but maybe only with a few tablespoons of fish sauce and some added soy sauce.

  16. 5 stars
    So good – i love the fish sauce vinaigrette. This is how I was taught to cook brussels at the first cook job I ever had – each one face side down in the skillet – kind of a pain but super worth it!

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