Spicy Brussel Sprouts: Gochujang x Cranberry Sauce

(Last Updated On: 14 January 2021)

It’s been a while since I just threw a totally random creation out into the universe, but here we are today with Spicy Brussel Sprouts. These little green cabbage dudes are smokey, and sweet, charred and spicy. They are, in my opinion, an insanely tasty, Christmas with a twist, party snack.

Quick disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using the links in this post, I may receive a small commission at no extra expense to you. I only recommend and link to stuff that I personally love, and either own or have owned, that’s the tea.

Not since the heady heights of the, now archived, katsu arancini (RIP) have I dropped a recipe that I would class as either “out there” or an umm “fusion food”, this recipe ticks both of those boxes. These sweet and spicy Brussel sprouts get those two characteristics from homemade cranberry sauce and Korean Red Pepper Paste (or gochujang) respectively.

Close up of Spicy Brussel Sprout off the plate, smothered in vibrant red spice paste

I would love there to be an awesome story behind these gochujang Brussel sprouts, but really what happened is far less interesting. Essentially, after the final test run of my Christmas cranberry sauce, I had some leftover cranberry goodness in the saucepan. It transpired the jar I had chosen wasn’t gonna fit the whole lot, so rather than either waste it, or dirty another pot I set about finding a way to use it.

So here we are, smothering the divisive mini cabbages in masses of flavour and creating a blooming lovely brussel sprouts recipe!.

Ingredients

To make these spicy sprouts you will need:

  • Two tablespoons of cranberry sauce – either homemade or store-bought
  • 1.5 tablespoons gochujang – a spicy Korean paste made from red chilli peppers, soybeans, salt and rice. It’s PACKED with umami savouriness.
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger – that’s approximately 22 grams
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 500 grams of Brussel Sprouts
  • A drizzle of sesame oil
Ingredients to make spicy brussel sprouts

How to prepare Brussel Sprouts

Before you chuck the sprouts into a pan, you need to prepare them. Do so by chopping off the stem, and remove any damaged, horrible looking leaves and discard. Alternatively, you can keep them and recreate the aesthetic I went for in my photos… and then discard them. Give the sprouts a thorough washing, dry them off – and we’re ready.

You don’t need to do that classic mum trick of popping a cross on the bottom, at least not today.

How to pan-fry Brussel Sprouts

I love using my cast iron skillet for pan frying brussel sprouts – you get a really good char, and they just cook nicer than in a regular old frying pan.

Add about a tablespoon and a half of oil, and heat until smoking hot over high heat. Carefully add the sprouts, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. I let the Brussels catch on the bottom of the pan. It adds a smokiness to the finished dish. You’ll lose the occasional outer leaf – make sure you keep them though. We’re discarding nothing here.

Whilst the sprouts cook add the ingredients for the gochujang cranberry collaboration into a small saucepan. That’s cranberry sauce, Korean gochujang paste, soy sauce, the juice of half an orange and approximately 22g of freshly grated ginger. Bring this to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat.

With about 2 minutes to spare on the sprouts, toss in the slightly reduced spicy sauce, and stir continuously for 2 minutes.

Transfer to serving dish – drizzle with sesame oil and a large pinch of sea salt flakes. Serve IMMEDIATELY.

Above shot of bowl of spicy gochujang brussel sprouts
Brussel Sprout on a skewer on top of a pile of gochujang covered brussel sprouts

Can I make this with leftover/ already cooked brussel sprouts?

100% This recipe is a fantastic way to cook/ save those leftover sprouts that may or may not have been more than a little bit over boiled!!

You’d save at least 10 minutes on the cooking time. Make sure your pan is super hot as above, and cook until the sprouts are warmed through, and crispy on the outside for peak spicy brussel sprout goodness.

White bowl containing vibrant green brussel sprouts covered in vibrant red korean gochujang paste.

More Brussel Sprout Recipes

There’s plenty more where this recipe came from in the sprout department, just not yet.

Later this week I’ll be posting recipes for a lovely sprout, kale + Squash salad with a creamy tahini dressing. Also, there will be a Christmas Day sprout side dish that involves bacon and a stilton crumb. DELISH.

Until then check out these oven-roasted sprouts from Cookie + Kate, or these also roasted-sprouts, with balsamic and honey from Once Upon a Chef.

Building an exciting veggie buffet

Before I leave you, I just wanted to point you in the direction of some awesome veggie dishes I have here on The Accidental Chef, for considering on your Christmas sharing menus.

The reason being – I used to be terrified of vegetarian food when I was working in a professional kitchen. As someone who did eat a lot of meat, it was meat that was always the star of the show, vegetables and plant-based options just weren’t at the forefront of my creative mind. These days, however, I LOVE being experimental and creating vegetable led dishes – so just in case you’re in the position I was here are my top three dishes that can be shared this holiday season.

Stay in touch

Well that’s it – Spicy Brussel Sprouts like you’ve probably never seen them before.

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider subscribing to my fairly irregular newsletter – I’ll get the hang of all this multitasking one day, and it’ll be worth the wait. You can get me over on Instagram too – I’m a bit better at that than I am newslettering.

Merry Christmas and I’ll catch you soon!

5 from 1 vote

Spicy Brussel Sprouts

The ultimate sprouts for those that need convincing. These little green cabbage dudes are smokey, and sweet, charred and spicy.
Servings 4
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 22 mins

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 2 tbsp Cranberry Sauce or store bought
  • 1.5 tbsp Gochujang
  • 2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • Juice of half an Orange
  • Thumb sized piece of Ginger approx 22 grams

For Sprouts

  • 1.5 tbsp oil
  • 500 g Brussel Sprouts

To Serve

  • drizzle of Sesame Oil

Instructions

  • Peel and wash sprouts.
  • Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or frying pan until very hot. Carefully add sprouts. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occassionally.
  • Combine cranberry sauce, gochujang, soy sauce and orange juice in a small pan over medium-low heat – grate in the ginger. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Add sauce to sprouts – fry for a further 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Transfer sprouts to serving plate, drizzle with sesame oil and serve immiediately.
Calories: 228kcal
Course: Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Cuisine: Christmas Recipes, Sides & Starters
Keyword: budget friendly, Christmas, gluten free, vegan, Vegetarian
In Season: December, February, January, November, October

Nutrition

Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 538mg | Potassium: 580mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 979IU | Vitamin C: 116mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg

Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    We tried this with leftover boiled sprouts and it was a great snack! What would you serve it with?

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