I remember when Brussels sprouts first started having their glow-up. It was 2009, and I was living in Atlanta (and, for the record, not yet experiencing a glow-up). I found a restaurant near where I’d just gotten a new place and immediately bee-lined there after seeing its draft beer list. The joint was called Young Augustine’s, and while I don’t remember the beers I drank there, I definitely, DEFINITELY remember the crispy Brussels sprouts.
I saw them on the menu and immediately wanted to try them. They were described as crispy, loaded with umami and basically irresistible. The waiter told me he was addicted to the things. The table next to me had a bowl and the smell was nothing short of intoxicating. At the time, I was completely vegan, and it was actually still pretty rare to hear so much hype about a vegetable. I decided to give ’em a go. Let’s just say I was out buying literal pounds of Brussels sprouts the very next day so I could try to emulate them in my own kitchen.
Since 2009, I’ve riffed on my crispy Brussels sprouts recipe countless times. I loved that original umami-laden recipe at YA’s which (I think) probably called for fish sauce and sesame oil, but in the last few years I’ve gravitated toward sweeter sprout dishes, like my roasted Brussels with brown sugar, dried cranberries and walnuts. In the last few weeks, however, my taste buds have been craving something that sits somewhere between savory and sweet.
Enter: hot honey.
I’ve been making this stuff on an almost-daily basis lately, and I don’t see myself slowing down any time soon. Aside from being insanely easy to make (it’s literally two ingredients), it elevates anything you can think to put it on, but it’s especially amazing on crispy Brussels sprouts. Personally, I think that, after you try these little flavor babies (can I trademark the term “flavor babies?”), you won’t want your Brussels sprouts any other way. Happy roasting!
Crispy Brussels Sprouts With Hot Honey
For the Brussels Sprouts
- 1 bunch brussels sprouts, stems cut off uniformly cut
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the Hot Honey
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp chili flakes
Make sure that your brussels sprouts are uniform in size to ensure that they all cook at roughly the same speed. I leave the smallest brussels sprouts whole, I cut medium-sized sprouts in half, and I cut large sprouts in quarters. Make sure the very bottom stems are removed from all of them, and don't throw away stray leaves – they get extra crispy and are delicious!
Heat enough olive oil to just coat the bottom of a pan or skillet over medium-high heat and wait until it is very hot to move on to the next step.
When the oil is very hot, add the sprouts to the pan in a single layer (if you have a ton of sprouts, do them in batches) and don't touch them! You've gotta leave 'em alone if you want them to caramelize. The oil should spatter a bit if you've got it hot enough. Allow the sprouts to cook for several minutes before flipping them and cooking them on the other side – only give 'em a stir when the underside of the sprouts have turned deep brown and crisped up significantly. Dress them with a healthy dose of salt and pepper before moving on to the next step.
Once you've browned your sprouts, pop them on a baking sheet and get 'em into an oven at 180 FAN or 400 degrees Fahrenheit until they are fork tender, about 5 minutes. If you're using an oven-safe dish, you can just put it directly into the oven.
Meanwhile, prepare the hot honey by combing the honey and chili flakes in a small sauce pan and heating over medium heat until the mixture is bubbly and the honey is fragrant, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Keep warm over low heat if necessary while the spouts finish roasting. The longer it simmers, the deeper the flavor will be.
Remove the sprouts from the oven and serve with the hot honey on top. Enjoy!