Pan-seared Brussels sprouts in a sweet-savory soy glaze are truly one of the best things ever.
“Spiteful little cabbages” is what an old friend of mine used to call Brussels sprouts. The name still cracks me up, even though I find these leafy little bulbs to be more delightful than spiteful.
Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts Are the Best
This method of making pan-seared Brussels sprouts has become hands-down my favorite way to cook them.
The sprouts are halved and seared in oil in a hot cast-iron pan until their cut sides are deeply browned and caramelized and then finished in the oven. They turn out perfectly tender and sweet, and the stray leaves become irresistibly crispy-crunchy.
Brussels Sprouts Are Endlessly Versatile
Brussels sprouts are super versatile, taking to all sorts of flavor profiles from classic Southern style (bacon and turnips) to Italian (garlic and balsamic vinegar) or Thai (fish sauce and chiles).
Or try our Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garbanzo Beans and Almonds. I tossed these in a Chinese-style sweet-savory soy sauce-based glaze and added slices of fresh hot red chile peppers in addition to whole garlic cloves.
I use my largest cast-iron skillet (14 inches) to make my pan-seared Brussels sprouts. First I cook them the hot skillet on the stovetop. Next, I pop the whole thing into the oven to finish.
If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, just roast them on a rimmed baking sheet in a hot oven. It will take a bit longer, but the final effect will be nearly the same. Roast them, cut side down, in a 400ºF oven for about 30 minutes.
The Perfect Side for Roasted Meats
I serve these alongside roasted meats, especially pork loin roasted in a Chinese five-spice marinade. But honestly, I can easily make a meal of these delicious seared Brussels sprouts and a bowl of steamed rice.
Seared Brussels Sprouts with Soy Glaze, Garlic and Chiles
- 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil enough to cover the bottom of the skillet well
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
- 5 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 red chiles serrano or jalapeño, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, place the sprouts in the pan in a single layer, cut-side down. Add the garlic cloves and chile slices in between the sprouts. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook without stirring or turning until the sprouts are well browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, turn the sprouts over so that the cut sides are up.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast, stirring occasionally if needed, for about 10 minutes, until the sprouts are browned and tender and the stray leaves are crisp.
- While the sprouts are in the oven, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened to a glaze. Remove from the heat.
- As soon as the sprouts come out of the oven, add the soy sauce glaze to the skillet and stir to coat the sprouts well. Serve immediately.