Fried Brussels Sprout Leaves with Lemon and Chili Flakes
Get ready! #Brusselssproutsweek has arrived in full force! This entire week I’ll be showcasing Brussels sprouts in a ton of different ways. Words cannot contain my excitement right now.
I’ve fried ’em, roasted ’em, shredded ’em, prepared ’em raw. You name it, and I’ve probably tried it. In other words, I tried to cover the entire Brussels sprout kit and kaboodle.
A few of these dishes would be perfect last-minute additions to your Thanksgiving Day feast next week, and others are better suited for other occasions.
The idea for this week came to me a few weeks ago when I realized I had a plethora of Brussels sprout recipe ideas. It was further justified after my trip to Chicago, where Connor and I ate our fair share of them at various restaurants across the city.
Plus, I’ve been wanting to do another fill-in-the blank themed blog week ever since last year’s epic soup week. Whenever I work with any one ingredient, I have a tendency to get on a one-track mind.
Ingredient themed weeks are fun. They inspire me to think outside of the box and look at ingredients in new ways, and hopefully they do the exact same thing for you too!
So…whether you’re a Brussels sprout lover or hater (apparently it’s genetic), I implore you to go out to the store, buy one of those crazy-looking Brussels sprout stalks, and try at least one–or preferably, all–of this week’s recipes! You might learn to love them. Let’s get started…
I’m starting the week off with an easy and fun fried Brussels sprouts recipe! Specifically, fried Brussels sprout leaves with lemon and chili flakes!
Because it is Monday and that pretty much explains everything.
Let me start off by saying that if you hate to fry, don’t worry! This is a low-maintenance, extremely fast, and shallow-fry type of recipe. You don’t need a ton of oil or a really deep set pan (literally just an inch’s worth of oil), and it is relatively easy to clean up.
Today’s recipe is a little unique in that you will only be using the outer half of the Brussels sprout leaves. They lend themselves extremely well to frying (aka, they will cook in about one to two minutes total!). It takes a good 10 to 20 minutes to remove the leaves from the sprouts, but I promise it is so, so worth it.
Plop yourself down on the couch in front of the TV and catch up on your favorite show. You’ll finish in no time.
After you’ve separated the Brussels sprout leaves, you simply fry them in batches before tossing them in a bowl with freshly squeezed lemon juice and red pepper flakes. The Brussels sprout leaves caramelize, get extremely crispy (some of them are almost chip like!), yet are still airy and light in texture.
Seriously, this dish could not be more simple or crave-worthy.
These fried Brussels sprouts leaves make the perfect snack or fun appetizer! I could easily down an entire bowl worth of these things. Although they are best straight out of the fryer, they taste good even after they are no longer warm.
Fried Brussels Sprout Leaves with Lemon and Chili Flakes
- 1 lb (16 oz) whole Brussels sprouts
- safflower, vegetable, or canola for frying
- kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Rinse and dry the Brussels sprouts thoroughly (you want the Brussels sprouts to be as dry as possible before frying). Trim the stems with a pairing knife, and carefully peel back and separate the leaves of the Brussels sprouts and set them aside in a large bowl. Note: Since you want to only use the outer half of the leaves for this preparation (they will be too compact in the center to separate), I recommend setting aside and saving the cores of the sprouts for a different preparation, such as roasting.
- Line a half sheet pan with paper towels and set aside. Heat oil in an 8 to 10-inch straight-sided skillet - it should be about 1-inch deep - over medium heat until the temperature reaches 350°F (176°C) with a candy thermometer.
- Fry a small handful of Brussels sprout leaves at a time - stand back and add the leaves to the oil very carefully, as the oil has a tendency to spit. The temperature of the oil will drop when you add the leaves, so adjust the heat as necessary and avoid over-crowding the pan.
- Using a slotted spoon or spider, gently flip the leaves continuously in the oil until the leaves begin to curl slightly and turn golden brown. Skim and scoop the leaves from the oil and transfer them to the paper-towel lined baking sheet. Immediately season with salt. Fry the remaining Brussels sprouts and repeat.
- Place the fried and still warm Brussels sprout leaves in a large bowl, sprinkle them with chili flakes and lemon juice, and toss gently with a spoon. Serve immediately.
32 Comments on “Fried Brussels Sprout Leaves with Lemon and Chili Flakes”
How would they come out if you tossed the leave in oil and then toasted them on a cookie sheet in the oven? I am thinking (in response to Frank Mosher above) that you could probably toss them in 1-Tbsp, using less oil and still getting crispy leaves
Hi Sue! This should definitely work, you just will need to be a little more careful with potential burning. I would try roasting them at around 400 degrees Fahrenheit? Let me know if you try it!
Oh yum, I love the crispy leaves that fall off the brussel sprouts when I make roasted brussel sprouts, I never thought about making myself a bowl of crispy brussel sprout leaves, that’s a brilliant idea!
Seriously, who needs chips when you have these babies! Pretty sure I could eat a whole batch in one sitting.
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Eeee! I’m so excited for Brussels sprout week! This is even better than Shark week. I had no idea that brussels sprout hatred was genetic, so as someone who has the cilanto-hating gene, I now feel bad for all the times I told people they were crazy. I’m not totally convinced though – how can anyone hate brussels sprouts?! Especially if they’re crispy and fried like this!
Hahahah! Cracked up at the Shark week comment (I almost typed ‘Shark Tank’–good lord). I’ve heard it was genetic, but now I’m starting to wonder! Apparently it does have a lot of bitter compounds, which taste extremely strong to some people. I love them though! 🙂
Yum!! I just made a Brussels recipe today too! These look amazing!!
Thanks so much Eric!
These sound amazing Laura! Can’t wait to see what other brussels sprout ideas you have up your sleeve 😉
Thanks Allie! 🙂
It’s kind of fun that Brussels sprouts are taking center stage. It’s a cute little veggie just to look at. Some wonderful recipes for it are popping up. This is one.
Sorry, I like this blog a lot, but deep frying brussel sprouts??? The best adjective I can come up with is “Stupid” – the preparation not the author. One of the healthiest vegetable on the face of the earth, and in one recipe, it is tossed on the bottom of the “very unhealthy” slag heap! Why not steam it, or if you have trouble getting your head around that, why not saute or stir fry it in a cast iron pan or wok, using a spec of oil or water to get started and then beef or chicken cubes to finish?
I understand your concern and certainly agree with your point that there is a time and place for fried vegetables, but it is also not an uncommon or misheard of cooking method (vegetable tempura, etc.)! And unfortunately, your cooking suggestions–while I’m sure tasty–would not yield anything remotely similar to this dish.
These are not meant to be eaten in huge quantities or everyday, and there is very little oil (1/4 to 1/3 cup total) that is absorbed if they are fried and prepared properly. Hopefully you’ll enjoy some other recipes that I plan on posting this week!
Yum! Looking forward to the rest of the recipes.
Round these parts we eat fried brussels about once a week. Huge fan of the crispy outside leaves. And especially when doused in balsamic vinegar right before roasting. Mmmm!
Nice!! Can I move in?! I’m going to try that next!
My boyfriend has been on a fried brussels spouts kick. I think its one of the best ways to eat them. He drizzles them with balsamic vinegar reduction and a squeeze of lemon.
Oooh, that sounds amazing too! I’ll have to try that next!
I loveee that it’s #brusselssproutsweek and this is such a perfect way to start!!
Thanks so much Sues! So happy that everyone is equally as excited about #brusselssproutsweek
I’m so excited for Brussels Sprout week! And if you don’t market these, I bet Doritos will 🙂
So excited that you’re excited! And that is hilarious! I’m not sure Brussels sprouts fit into their favorite ingredient list. Ha!!!
This is going to be the new kale chips. Seriously, market these things girl!
Haha!!! Hmmm….you definitely have me thinking 😉
Fried brussels!?!? Like what could be better? So exited to make these and snack on them all day! So flippin good!!
Can’t wait for more brussles sprouts this week!
Thanks so much Tieghan!
I knew this was going to be an amazing week. When I roast Brussels sprouts the outer crunchy leaves are my favorite and I eat them all! I don’t even think my husband has ever had any! I might need to stop on the way home so I can get sprouts to make this. Yummy.
Aww, thank you Bri! I absolutely love the outer leaves too, this recipe takes that concept to the next level 🙂 Let me know if you try this!
Oh man, like little baby brussels spouts chips!! Dying for these!
Yes! They are so chip-like! Thanks Katrina!