The funk of salted eggs, long a beloved Asian flavor, is finally catching on here in the states, and I am here for it! If you are not familiar with this trendy ingredient, my Salted Egg Salad is a perfect place to start. This is read more
This Brussels Sprouts Salad is a surprise star on our menu. While everyone likes brussels sprouts that have been fried with bacon and showered with cheese, people rarely seem to clamor to eat them raw. But finely shredded in a creamy dressing, they are a revelation. Plus this Brussels Sprouts Salad is loaded with goodies like candied oranges, toasted pine nuts, and crunchy coconut chips. It’s a healthy salad that tastes totally indulgent, and what started as a special item quickly became a customer favorite and is now permanently on our menu.
Brussels Sprouts Salad Dressing
Every great salad starts with a great dressing. And this one manages to be both creamy but light tasting. Seasoned Rice Vinegar brings a tangy sweetness, and a bit of fish sauce adds a funky pop. A little good old fashioned mayo creates the creamy base. This dressing is highly flavored and it should be used sparingly. Resist the urge to load it up like a coleslaw. I use half of it on the salad/slaw first, taste it, and then add some more. You could always pass the remaining dressing at the table too for those who can’t get enough sauce.
Prep the Veggies
The secret to this Brussels Sprouts Salad/Slaw is to very finely slice the sprouts. If you have a food processor with a shredding disk that will make quick work of it. Otherwise this is good practice of your knife skills…
I always remove several outer leaves because I find them too fibrous for a salad. It’s not necessary to core the sprouts but look over the sprouts carefully. Little critters also love Brussels sprouts and I sometimes find them lurking inside. You can tell they’ve made a home if you see pin holes or evidence of chewing.
Combine all the veggies in a big bowl and thoroughly mix. This makes a generous batch but it keeps well. You can also halve the recipe if you don’t think you can consume the full amount.
Brussels Sprouts Salad Garnishes
The real magic of this salad lies in the garnishes. The dried oranges are so sweet and delightfully chewy, the coconut adds an unexpected tropical vibe, and the pine nuts add welcome crunch. This combination works so well; I’ve been told by more than a couple people, it’s the reason they order the Brussels sprouts. If you find the toppings difficult to source, get creative and it will still taste great. You can substitute orange flavored craisins for the orange, different nuts for the pine nuts, and some crunchy trail mix or fried shallots for the coconut.
The dressing is assertive, so start by adding half to the salad and tasting to see if you want to add more.
I love it as a light lunch, as a potluck item, or to serve at a barbecue. If you want to make it part of a full meal, it’s perfect served with:
Make this Brussels Sprouts Salad and find out why it’s such a favorite with our guests. And then take a moment to rate and comment on the recipe below. And don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- ½ cup mayonnaise (I used low fat)
- 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Seasoned Rice Vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- ½ pound brussels sprouts
- 1 medium carrot
- ¼ red onion
- Small handful cilantro (about ¼ cup)
- 2–3 pieces candied orange slices
- 3 Tablespoons roasted coconut chips
- 3 Tablespoons pine nuts
Make the dressing:
- Combine the mayonnaise, fish sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, ground black pepper, and granulated garlic in a small container.
- Whisk to combine and set aside.
Make the salad:
- Trim the brussels sprouts at the base and peel off a couple of the outer leaves. Slice the brussels sprouts as thinly as you can and place them into a colander. Wash the brussels sprouts and drain thoroughly. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Peel and trim the carrot. Slice thin and then stack the slices and cut through them to create thin strips (julienne cut). Put them into the colander and wash and rinse. Drain and put the carrots into the bowl with the sprouts.
- Peel the onion and then thinly slice. Again wash the onions and drain thoroughly. Place them into the bowl with the other vegetables.
- Toss the salad ingredients in the bowl so everything is nicely mixed.
- Roughly chop the cilantro.
- Slice the candied orange into thin strips and then cut through the strips to create a very fine dice. Set the oranges aside.
- Pour half of the dressing over the brussels sprouts and toss to coat. The dressing is strong so you may not need all of the dressing. Taste the slaw and add more dressing as needed.
- Mound the slaw onto a plate and garnish with the oranges, cilantro, pine nuts, and coconut chips.
*You can substitute any kind of crunchy coconut and nut/seed trail mix, clusters, or topping instead of using the coconut chips and the pine nuts.
*If you have problems sourcing the orange slices, try something with an orange flavor such as orange flavored dried cranberries.
Keywords: brussels sprouts, vegetarian, plant based, salad, slaw,
Sunomono are light, vinegar based salads frequently enjoyed in Japan as side dishes or starters. The recipe I’m sharing today is a choose your own adventure sunomono; you choose the seafood- be it crab, shrimp, octopus, or anchovies, or you could make a vegan sunomono and just prepare the classic Japanese combo of cucumbers and wakame. Sunomono is a perfect warm weather dish, as it is served cold and the vinegar dressing is super refreshing.
If the phrase “vinegar based dish” gave you pause, don’t worry. Sunomono uses rice vinegar, which is very mild. A little sweet and a little tangy without the harsh bitterness you might associate with vinegar. Whipping up the dressing is so easy-you just stir the ingredients together until the sugar dissolves. That’s it! Making a double batch is a good idea because it’s a great way to add a little oomph to rice.
While the vegan version of this is delicious, I like to add seafood to make this a heartier dish. I’ve included instructions for the four types I use most often so choose your favorite. Or set them all out and let people choose!
The only one that requires cooking is the shrimp. Just bring water to a boil, add the shrimp, turn off the heat and let them sit for 3 minutes.
Then remove them from the heat and drain. Once they are cool enough to handle, slice them in half and keep chilled until ready to serve.
If you’ve chosen the (imitation) crab legs, just cut them into bite sized chunks.
Once the seafood is prepped it’s time to get the veggies ready. First I bloom the wakame in water. The seaweed will unfurl in about 10 minutes, and then I drain it.
Now that the veggies, seafood, and dressing are all ready, it’s time to combine them and serve! I add the dressing to the wakame and cucumbers first so it can be thoroughly combined, and then gently add the seafood.
This salad is so bright and refreshing, (and easy!) I know you’re going to enjoy it too! Please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. And tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen.com, we love to see what you create!
- 1 european cucumber
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon dried wakame seaweed
- 8 pieces imitation crab or shrimp, or 4 ounces of boiled octopus, or 4 tablespoons shirasu (boiled baby anchovies)
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dashi powder (optional)
Make the dressing:
- Combine the rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, salt, and dashi powder if using.
- Stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
For the Seafood:
- If using the shrimp, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the shrimp. Then stir the shrimp in the pot, turn off the heat, and cover the pot with a lid. Let the shrimp sit for 3 minutes. Drain the shrimp and set aside until cool enough to handle. Slice the shrimp in half and set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
- If using octopus, slice the octopus on an angle in very thin slices. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
- Unwrap the crab sticks if they are wrapped in plastic and cut into thirds. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
- Put the wakame in a bowl and cover with 1 cup of water to bloom, about 10 minutes. Once the wakame is soft, drain and set aside.
- Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Slice the cucumber into thin half moon pieces. Put the cucumber in a colander and sprinkle with the salt and mix. Set the colander in a bowl or in the sink and set aside for 10 minutes, mixing once more while it sits.
- Squeeze the cucumbers lightly to remove excess water and then place in the bowl with the wakame. Add the dressing and toss lightly to mix. Add whichever seafood you’ve chosen and gently mix to combine.
- Split the cucumber salad into 4 serving bowls or one larger bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.