Deep-frying sprouts provides crunch, caramel and browning flavours on the outside, but because the process is quick, the centre is sweet, not sulphurous, and retains a pleasing bite. It’s an ace way to cook and serve these tightly packed little brassicas, and fun to make and serve too.
I suggest seasoning them with celery salt and white pepper, though standard sea salt and many twists of the black-pepper mill would be good too. You could even try a sprinkling of sweet spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom or nutmeg.
Turkey, in any form, is an obvious match for deep-fried sprouts. I’d love them next to goose, a rib of beef or a veal chop, too. Serve alongside something soft, like a mash or a purée, to provide textural contrast and a balance of fried and ‘clean’.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 600 g Brussels sprouts
- 1 litre sunflower or vegetable oil
- 1 heaped teaspoon celery salt
- 0.33 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Preheat the oven to 60˚C/Fan 50˚C/the lowest gas setting and line a baking tray with kitchen paper.
- Trim any woody bits off the base of the sprouts and cut the largest ones in half, so they are all roughly the same size. When the water is boiling, add the sprouts and cook for 2 minutes. Drain, then rinse under cold water until cool (or plunge them into a bowl of iced water). Tip them onto a clean tea towel to dry completely.
- Put the oil in a deep fryer or high-sided pan and heat it to 180˚C (use a kitchen thermometer to check). Cook the sprouts in 3 or 4 batches until they start to turn gold – about 2 minutes per batch. Tip them onto the prepared tray and keep warm in the oven until all the sprouts are cooked. Remove the kitchen paper, then season the sprouts with celery salt and white pepper. Mix well and serve immediately.