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Thai brussels sprouts

Thai brussels sprouts in a white bowl.

If you told me when I was a kid that when I’m older, I’ll be eating brussels sprouts with joy and by the bowl-ful, I would have laughed and laughed. During my childhood, my only exposure to brussels sprouts was the super slimy green ball variety found in the winter vegetable soup. The stinky gross brussels sprout that came out of a frozen veggies bag and which was cooked for a good long time with the rest of the soup, thus suffering the worst of veggie fates – being overcooked.

It seemed there was always only one of these per bag of frozen veggies and so my mum took in in turns to either serve it to me or my brother. And if my plate of soup landed in front of me with this little gift in it, well – it was not a good day.

Does anyone have similar childhood memories? I have heard this a few times over the years. It makes me sad just to think of it. Because eating brussels sprouts honestly does not need to be like that. Brussels sprouts are not only super nutritious, they are pretty cheap and super quick to make if you know how. Here’s how I like to eat my brussels sprouts.

Thai brussels sprouts in a white bowl.

How to make these Thai brussels sprouts

I had these for lunch on Sunday. It took me only about 15 minutes from pulling the bag of (fresh) brussels sprouts out of the fridge to sitting down at the table with a steaming bowl of these little delights (and that probably included taking these shots!).

Yep, they’re super fast and easy to make. I wash them, pat them dry, slice off their bottoms (though this step can be omitted if your brussels sprouts are nice and fresh) and chop them in half. You can also skip that step, if you like, but I like halving them because then I can see that gorgeous charring on the cut side and that makes me super happy. You eat with your eyes too, right?

Next, I cut up some bacon (if using), heat up olive oil and toss the brussels sprouts and the bacon in the oil, cooking both over high heat. As they cook, I make up my Thai sauce. After about 5 to 7 minutes of cooking, I pour the sauce on, cook for maybe another 2 to 3 minutes and then, tadaaa – done. And who doesn’t have time for that!

The short cooking time means that these brussels sprouts end up lightly cooked, still a little crunchy, slightly charred and beautifully flavoured with the Thai sauce. Definitely not overcooked, slimy and stinky!

Thai brussels sprouts in a white bowl.

How good are these Thai brussels sprouts for me?

Oh so good. Brussels sprouts are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, in particular vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and bone health, and vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps promote iron absorption and is involved in tissue repair and immune function, but also vitamins A and B6, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium and phosphorus.

As if that wasn’t good enough, their high fibre content helps support gut health and regulate blood sugar levels. and their impressive antioxidant content helps reduce oxidative stress in your cells and your risk of chronic disease and cancer.

Brussels sprouts are especially high in kaempferol, an antioxidant that may reduce cancer cell growth, ease inflammation and improve heart health.

And how about this? Brussels sprouts are one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, with 135 mg of ALA in each half-cup (78-gram) serving of cooked brussels sprouts. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce blood triglycerides, slow cognitive decline, reduce insulin resistance and decrease inflammation.

Source: Healthline

How impressive is that?

And I believe that serving them lightly cooked with a bit of olive oil (which should allow for the nutrients to be better absorbed by your body) and some delicious Thai sauce is the best way to serve them (bacon is optional but delicious). And yes, if the Thai sauce seems familiar, you’re not imagining things – it’s my Thai salad dressing without the olive oil (because why add more, when there’s already some in the pan). The salty, sweet and sour flavours work wonderfully here and how good is it when you can use your favourite dressing elsewhere than in a salad? Can you tell I am slightly obsessed with this sauce?

And you will be too when you realise it’s gluten free thanks to the tamari (I use this one) and refined sugar free (thanks to the maple syrup). The bacon gives it extra flavour but feel free to omit it, if you’re plant-based.

Why are they called brussels sprouts?

Interesting tidbit time! Wikipedia says that although native to the Mediterranean region with other cabbage species, brussels sprouts first appeared in northern Europe during the 5th century, and were later being cultivated in the 13th century near Brussels, Belgium, from which they derived their name.


Thai brussels sprouts in a white bowl.
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5 from 12 votes

Thai brussels sprouts

Servings 1 serve
Author Katerina | Once a Foodie


Brussels sprouts

  • glug olive oil
  • 300 g brussels sprouts, sliced in half
  • 100 g thickly sliced bacon (optional but delicious), diced or cut into batons
  • about 2-3 tbsp Thai sauce (recipe below, though the amounts shown below are more than you will need – you can use the rest to make my rainbow salad with Thai salad dressing)

Thai sauce

  • 1.5 tbsp tamari or gluten free soy sauce
  • squirt of garlic paste (or 1 garlic clove, crushed)
  • scant 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp fish sauce


  • Wash and dry the brussels sprouts. Slice the bottoms off them (if needed), then slice them in half.
  • Slice or dice your bacon, if using.
  • Heat up the olive oil over high heat in a medium to large frying pan, then toss in the brussels sprouts and bacon.
  • Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes over high heat, stirring occasionally (towards the end) – until the brussels sprouts are looking nice and lightly charred.
  • While the brussels sprouts are cooking, make your Thai sauce – simply place all the ingredients in a small glass jar, put on a lid on tightly and shake until combined.
  • Pour 2 to 3 tbsp of the sauce over the brussels sprouts and bacon. Let cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, then take off the heat and serve immediately. Do not overcook.


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Thai brussels sprouts in a white bowl.

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  • Judee

    I have always been a vegetable lover, but I have to admit that as a kid I could never ever eat a Brussel sprout. I carried this on until once at my daughter in laws, she made roasted Brussels spouts that were absolutely delicious! After that I started eating and loving them! As you said, who knew we would eat them? Recipe looks delcious!

    • Katerina

      I totally understand, Jenny – that was me until I tried them this way! Utterly delicious, I promise! Thanks so much for your comment.

  • Amy

    5 stars
    These look AMAZING! I’ve actually always liked Brussels sprouts but this is a really good twist on them – you can never go wrong with adding bacon! Thanks for sharing I will definitely need to give these a try sometime 🙂

  • Matt Two Tickets To

    What a fun way to cook brussels sprouts! I’ve got to admit, they’re one of my favourite things about Christmas dinners – got a real soft spot for them. However, I would never have thought of having them at any other time of the year – this recipe has changed my mind! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Nancy

    5 stars
    Mmm! I love Brussels sprouts when it’s prepared right! The Thai Brussels sprouts look delicious. It is great that it is packed with nutrients as well. Thats my favorite type of bacon hehe. Thanks for sharing the recipe~

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  • Balvinder

    I got familiar with Brussels sprouts after coming to Canada 20 years ago and I liked it because they are just the mini version of cabbage. Love your recipe with Thai flavors. Will give it a try.

  • Linger

    5 stars
    Like you, I did not like Brussel sprouts as a kid. The smell alone made me gag. But as I grew up, and tried them they way they’re truly suppose to be served, I’ve come to loves so much. I love that they are incredibly good for you and quite versatile in many dishes. But I’ve gotta tell you, you put it over the top by adding this Thai sauce. I most definitely will need to try these. Thanks so much for sharing

  • Annie

    I’ve actually never tried Brussels sprouts before so I have no idea whether I like them or not! I’m always interested in the backstory behind names of things. Also love hearing about the nutritional value of different foods. I definitely need to start incorporating Brussels sprouts into my diet!

    • Katerina

      They are so good for you, Annie, aren’t they!? I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this post – many thanks for your comment!

  • Sophie Wentworth

    Okay, this sounds very interesting and they look amazing. I would never say I was a huge fan of sprouts but this has definitely given me an idea or two of how to mix them up and try them in a different way. Definitely going to give a variation of this a go x


    • Katerina

      I know how you feel – I was really doubtful at first too, but they taste so different! Thanks so much Sophie!

  • Lauren

    5 stars
    I feel like every kid subjected to boiled brussel sprouts (i.e. in soup) is going to hate them….are there any adults that like them like that even? I’ve always wondered! Your method is so much better and I can’t wait to try the thai sauce!

    • Katerina

      I totally agree – I would not like them boiled even now! Gah! These are delightful though, I hope you try them! Thanks so much Lauren!

  • Jill

    Wow this recipe sounds delicious! My dad is a professional chef and he makes his brussels with bacon too! People always say they hate brussel sprouts until they have his haha. I will have to try this recipe! Also, that is such a fun fact about brussel sprouts that they’re in the cabbage family!


    • Katerina

      That’s wonderful to hear! I love these. And don’t they look like tiny little cabbages? So cute! Thanks so much for your comment, Jill!

  • CoCo

    I’m dying over here thinking about my own childhood experience with Brussel Sprouts, Katerina. Oh my gosh, it was not good at all and totally slimy the ones you had! Thankfully, I love them now and I love Thai food too so I can’t wait to try this flavor combination. I know these are going to be fabulous! Thanks for the recipe. Hugs and happy summer, CoCo

    • Katerina

      Ah well, it’s good that we can laugh about it now, CoCo! It wasn’t much fun back then. And I’m glad you like the look of these! Thanks so much!

  • Renuka Walter

    Wow…these look so gorgeous! Never heard of such sprouts. I’m fond of greens so much that I can have them in any form and any time! Thanks for another great recipe!

    You are truly a friend in this time of house arrest. 🙂

  • Laura Bambrick

    I used to HATE brussels sprouts as a kid! They were the worst and I’d always be the last at the table. But now I’m starting to come around. Especially when they look as delicious as these! The Thai flavors are one of my favorites. I need to try these!

  • Christie

    5 stars
    Ooh they sound so good with the thai flavours here! I love brussels sprouts so this would be great! I love that you used fish sauce as part of the flavour profile! And I’ve actually never tried garlic paste before even though I use garlic in almost all of my savoury dishes! Thanks for sharing Katerina!

    • Katerina

      Thanks so much, Christie! I have garlic paste in the fridge at all times – it’s so easy to pop a little in everything that way!

  • Simone

    Brussels sprouts honestly haven’t been my favourites because I just didn’t know how to cook them. The bitter taste is not really my cup of tea. I think the thai sauce is just the perfect match because it’s more sweet and therefore very enjoyable. This meal looks very delish and you convinced me now to buy those brussels sprouts.

    xx Simone
    Little Glittery Box

    • Katerina

      I totally agree – they need to be cooked right! I do hope you give these a go, they are so good for you! Thanks so much, Simone!

  • David @ Spiced

    5 stars
    Interesting! I had no idea that Brussels sprouts are actually related to Brussels…that must be why we always capitalize the B in the Brussels. Check off that box for ‘learn something new today’! Also, I agree with you about Brussels. They are SO good roasted. I’ve never put a Thai spin on ’em before, though. I’m totally craving the flavors you’ve got going on here. Talk about a healthy AND delicious side dish!

    • Katerina

      The origin of names is so intriguing, isn’t it? Thanks so much, David – I’m loving Thai flavours on anything these days!

  • Hanna

    You got me at childhood perceptions! I used to dislike a whole lot of veggies and I remember staying in the dining table for hours because my Dad would watch me finish my plate 😂 As an adult, I never thought I’d say it, but vegetables are indeed delicious and there are so many ways to make it more palatable!

    I love this recipe, Katerina. I’d definitely try this out this week for my hubby’s packed lunch. Thank you for sharing, as always!❤️


    • Katerina

      Ohhhh, my father would do the same! I don’t think that’s particularly helpful – it’s important to figure out your own relationship with food. Thank you so much Hanna, I’m so glad you like this!

  • Alex

    5 stars
    How delicious! I am a huge sprouts fan (always have been.. even as a child haha) and I am loving the flavours in this. That Thai sauce sounds so good and I would love to try both these sprouts and your salad!

    • Katerina

      Thanks so much, Alex! That’s amazing that you’ve always loved brussels sprouts, your parents must have known how to cook them properly!

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