Brussels Sprouts

Why are Brussels sprouts so called? Because, presumably, it was around the city that they were first grown.

Effectively tiny cabbages, Brussels sprouts need very little cooking as those over the age of 40 will testify, having suffered them boiled to perdition, developing in some cases a life-long aversion. This recipe may win such sufferers round.


  • 1 kg/ 2ΒΌ lb small Brussels sprouts
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp dark (Oriental) sesame oil
  • 3.5-cm / 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into matchstick strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • pepper


Trim off the outer leaves of the sprouts and parboil the sprouts for 3 minutes in lots of rapidly boiling salted water. Refresh in ice-cold water and refrigerate until needed. You can do this the night before if you are feeling very pressed.

Put the sunflower oil and sesame oils in a wok or big frying pan over a high heat. Throw in the ginger strips and the chopped garlic, stir, add the sprouts and toss to coat them well in the aromatics for a minute or so.

Add the oyster sauce, toss the contents of the pan one last time and transfer to a warmed dish. Grind some black pepper over the sprouts and serve them immediately.