TEMPURA-FRIED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH PECORINO & LEMON
They were once the most maligned member of the cabbage patch but, ever since we learned how to cook these wee sprouts (read: don’t boil them until they’re grey), they’ve turned into the belle of the ball, either roasted and spiced or sautéed in a pan. Here, we do them one better by giving them a crispy coating and a delicate gilding of sharp pecorino.
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour 2 tbsp (30 mL) cornstarch
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup (250 mL) cold club soda
2 cups (500 mL) vegetable oil
1½ lbs (750 g) Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, outer leaves removed, sliced in half lengthways Sea salt to taste
½ cup (125 mL) pecorino or Parmesan, grated with a microplane
1 lemon, wedged
1 To make batter, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and mix thoroughly with a whisk. In a separate large bowl, add the egg and beat well, then add club soda and combine. Slowly add the flour mixture to egg mixture, a third at a time, whisking gently until incorporated. Some lumps are fine. Do not over-mix if you want a light and crispy tempura.
2 Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towel. In a large wok, heat oil to 375°F (190°C). Add Brussels sprouts to the bowl of batter and fish them out with a slotted spoon, adding them to the hot oil, adjusting the heat to maintain the temperature. Cook, a third at a time, stirring to keep Brussels sprouts from sticking together, and cooking evenly, for about 4 minutes or until tempura batter is bronzed and Brussels sprouts are cooked within. Transfer to lined baking sheet and let drain briefly, season with salt, and place on a serving dish. Scatter with grated cheese and side with lemon wedges for squirting.