Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms

It is unfortunate Brussels sprouts have such a stigma in popular culture; I grew up thinking “Brussels sprouts” were synonymous with “ew stinky” as that is what everyone would say while wrinkling their noses.  And by “everyone” I really mean characters from television shows.  Due to this misguided train of thought, I had never tasted a Brussels sprout in my entire life — until I tried David Chang’s deep-fried Brussels sprouts (they were topped with Cheetos!) at Momofuku Ssäm Bar and yes, it changed everything.  I had really been missing out.

However, it’s true that anything tastes good deep fried.  The Japanese knew what they were during by tempura-ing vegetables, and, well, Americans love to pay tribute to junk food at state fairs by deep-frying Oreos and Twinkies.  So I wanted to see if Brussels sprouts could stand alone without a vat of hot oil, and proceeded to research different methods of cooking these cute little mini-cabbage vegetables.

The first recipe I tried is listed below, and okay, I admit there’s a lot of butter involved.  Baby steps.  But eventually, I will venture towards sauteing in JUST olive oil, then onto oven roasting, and then the healthiest method of them all — steaming!

The key is to not overcook the Brussels sprouts as overcooking releases the glucosinolate sinigrin of the plant, which has a sulfurous taste and odor and this is generally the reason people say they dislike Brussels sprouts.  Typically, 6-7 minutes boiling or steaming is sufficient to cook Brussels sprouts thoroughly without releasing the sinigrin.

Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms (modified from Marilyn Perzik’s original recipe)

Yields: 4 servings


  • 4 C Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 5 T butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice


Cook Brussels sprouts in a pot of lightly salted boiling water for 6-7 minutes, or until fork-tender.  Strain through a colander, removing as much water as possible.  Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and shallots until the shallots are translucent.  Cook and stir mushrooms until lightly browned.

Add the Brussels sprouts and saute for a minute, just to let some of the edges brown and then remove from heat.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, parsley and lemon juice.  Serve immediately.

I served this with Chinese Mabo Tofu and brown rice — and I think the flavors complemented each other quite nicely!

One Response to “Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms”
  1. Great idea… I also sometime do them with bacon and a splash of white wine (and sometimes even creme fraiche).
    I like ways to popularise stigmatized foods 🙂

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