Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Who Pickles Brussel Sprouts??

This is what a stalk of brussel sprouts looks like
When in a pickle what do you do? I guess similar to the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” I decided to make brussel sprouts pickles when I was stumped with what to do with a big bunch I had. I had bought a stalk of brussel sprouts when I saw it at my grocery store mainly because it was still on the stalk and looked cool! I cooked some for dinner - al dente and with lots of bacon to give it flavor but Keith looked like he was going to keel over and die with every bite of the six sprouts that he ate at dinner that night! And I really didn’t want to eat the rest of them all by myself. So I started thinking about what I could do with them and then I thought that since I like pickled cabbage maybe the brussel sprouts would taste good pickled.

I found an Eurasian pickle recipe in a 35 year old cookbook (Ellice Handy) and adapted it. The pickles were terrific! I gave some to my friend Ivan who happens to be half Eurasian and he agreed that eaten as part of a Malaysian meal – with steaming hot white rice and fried fish as he did, it actually passed muster. So here it is, maybe for the first time ever - pickled Brussel Sprouts!

Makes about 3 jars

3 cups brussel sprouts, halved
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp finely shredded ginger
1 stalk lemongrass, smashed
1” galangal
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup white vinegar
½ cup sugar
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp oil

  • In a large pot, boil 1 gallon of water with ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup sugar and 2 tbsp salt. Lower heat to simmer. In a few handfuls at a time, blanch vegetables for 1 minute. Use a salad spinner to spin dry. Set aside.
  • In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and galangal until fine.
  • Heat oil and fry ground ingredients until fragrant, add the lemongrass and turmeric, stir 1 minute then add the vinegar, sugar and salt and bring to a boil.
  • When the spice mix is cool add in the vegetables. Mix well.
  • Keep in clean jars for at least 1 day before eating.


  1. "...Keith looked like he was going to keel over and die with every bite..."

    You mean even with the "lots of bacon" that you cooked with the sprouts? Tut-tut. Good idea to make pickles, and so much cuter than big ol' cabbage.

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