Are sprouts 2017’s must have vegetable?
Sprouts have traditionally been the most controversial element of Christmas dinner, but I am pleased to see that they are finally shaking off their totally undeserved reputation.
Not only is one supermarket selling a festive wreath adorned with real sprouts, yes you heard me correctly, stores are also reporting a boom in the sale of specially designed sprout corers which remove stems, ensuring the vegetables are cooked more evenly.
One expert has described sprouts as being like marmite, because you either love them or hate them. I agree that is true to an extent, but I think the ‘haters’ are coming at this from an historical perspective.
Put it this way, people of a certain generation, and if you grew up in the 1970s or 1980s you will totally back me up here, were used to being served sprouts at home or at school which had been boiled to within an inch of their lives.
It’s like our parents thought they (and the same goes for cauliflower) had to be boiled for an hour, or more, to prevent the risk of food poisoning, when all they were really doing was removing any trace of taste and nutrition.
Thankfully, things have moved on since then and now people are now cooking sprouts very differently. Boiling them is still an option but for no more than five minutes please. They are lovely sautéed but one of my favourite methods is to fry for a few minutes, with some groundnut oil, chilli, garlic and ginger. This means they retain the bite they so often lack when boiled and overcooked, and also helps keep that bright colour.
We talked last week, in our St Andrew’s Day-inspired blog, about deep frying food, so on that same note we have taken the humble sprout and made an Asian-inspired dish. Try having this with your turkey on Christmas Day!
Katsu Inspired Sprouts
- Baby sprouts 350g
- Plain Flour 100g
- 3 eggs
- Semi skimmed Milk 30 mls
- Panko Breadcrumbs 400g
- Good Quality Mayonnaise 250g
- Curry powder 1 tsp
- Chilli powder ¼ tsp
- Turmeric ¼ tsp
- Ginger powder ¼ tsp
- Garlic powder ¼ tsp
- Onion powder 1 tsp
- Desiccated coconut 2 tsp
- Soy sauce 1 tsp
- To begin set your deep fat fryer at 180oC
- Prepare the sprouts by taking a little off the base with a sharp knife and discarding any spoilt outer leaves.
- Using three separate bowls, whisk the eggs with milk in one bowl, put the plain flour in another and the bread crumbs in the last one.
- First toss the sprouts in the flour giving them a good coating then into the egg mix then into the breadcrumbs being careful not to add any extra egg into the breadcrumbs which it will make it clump.
- When the fryer is hot enough, fry sprouts for 3-4 mins till golden brown.
- While the sprouts are frying in a bowl mix the spices, soy sauce, mayonnaise and desiccated coconut till all combined.
- Leave the sprouts for a couple of mins serve with curried mayo and enjoy!