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We're Seeing It Everywhere: Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce

June 4, 2014

Photo credit: Julie Clancy/Getty

When he was in his 20s, Momofuku chef David Chang began experimenting with an Asian spin on a classic American side dish: brussels sprouts…with fish sauce. In 2007, those sprouts landed on the menu for a time at Chang’s Ssäm Bar in New York City, but today variationson the flavor combo abound. And with good reason: It’s a match made in heaven. 

Today find renditions at Tasty n Alder in Portland, where “Saigon” brussels sprouts are tossed in a sweet vinaigrette that includes fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, and lime. (They’re “pretty killer,” in the words of one Instagram user.) They’re also at Uchiko, a Japanese restaurant in Austin, where sprouts are dressed in a “fish caramel.” (“Best Brussels Sproutsof my life!!!!" gushed another Instagrammer.) And in Brooklyn, crispy sprouts and sliced apples draped with fish sauce and black sesame grace tables at Emily, a new pizza joint that’s also unafraid to drizzle honey on cheese slices.

Jaden Hair, the blogger behind Steamy Kitchen and a fan of the dish, adeptly breaks down its appeal: “[The] flavor combination of salty/sweet/savory/garlicky/sour PLUS the nuttiness from roasting will make you forget the very first time your mom made you eat plain, soggy, bitter brussels sprouts when you were a kid.”

Amen to that. Here are some of our favorite recipes from around the web, because this is a trend so worth executing at home:

David Chang’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts, from Epicurious
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Chili Sauce, from Steamy Kitchen
Thai-Style Brussels Sprouts, from The Kitchn
Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts with Chili Fish Sauce, from White On Rice Couple
Deep-Fried Brussels Sprouts, from Modernist Cuisine