Recently, I saw the appearance of arctic char paired with brussel sprouts on the Nobu San Diego brick oven menu. Remembering how much I liked the the way brussel sprouts were done with seared scallops at Matsuhisa, LA, I thought it would be nice to re-do the arctic char dish I wrote about back in April (https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/broiled-arctic-char-nobu-style/) . This time I would do the dish using salmon belly and brussel sprouts (cooking the salmon belly as I had with the arctic char). I’d use the butter ponzu sauce as before. So the question was, how to cook the brussel sprouts?
Reviewing the Scallop And Brussel Sprout recipe (can be found online at: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/9816556/ns/today-food/t/forget-reservations-enjoy-nobu-fare-home/ and can also be found in Nobu Now), the key to preparing them was to separate the leaves so that they cook quickly and evenly. So I started by separating the leaves –
The key I found was that, after you got past the larger, easier-to-separate outer leaves, you needed to periodically cut off the bottom stem portion. Once you got to the inner leaves that were harder separate, I found it necessary to split to sprout leaf-lengthwise in half. I used about 6 sprouts (weighing a total of 6 2/3 oz) for a single serving of the salmon belly/brussel sprouts with butter ponzu sauce. For cooking the brussel sprout leaves, I heated my wok, added rice oil (the original recipe says grapeseed oil), and stir fried them with two 3 fingered pinches of sea salt (about ~1/2 teaspoon) for about 3 minutes at 50% max power.
In the original recipe, it calls for adding clarified butter to finish the stir fry, but I chose to leave it out since I would be adding the butter ponzu sauce to the finished dish. Too many times when I’ve had others cook brussel sprouts for me, I’ve found them overcooked and bitter. I must say I was really happy with this method of cooking brussel sprouts. Thank you for sharing this recipe, Matsuhisa-sama.
One quick comment: Preparing the brussel sprouts with this method (i.e. separating the leaves) does take time, but if time is available, it is so worth it.