A simple yet delicious side dish, these Kung Pao Brussels sprouts are easy-to-whip-up in the air fryer. Garnished with roasted peanuts and sesame seeds, they can be made in less than 30 minutes.
To say it in two words about these kung pao Brussels sprouts is that they are SO GOOD. My whole family loves them. I am always surprised that my picky daughter who does not eat much veggies, also enjoys these (see the pic below of both digging into them).
Brussels sprouts are not exactly a favorite vegetable as it reminds many of cabbages. But they make up for a great side. I have shared both the air-fryer and oven method.
I would not hesitate to call this a P.F.Changs copycat recipe, as their Brussels sprouts is what got me into enjoying this veggie too.
Just because of this recipe, my 8-year-old asks me to buy Brussels sprouts. Now that is a win!! In case this is your first time eating Brussels sprouts, you are in for a treat, as this dish is inspired by the famous Kung Pao Chicken recipe.
The Kung pao sauce is mildly spicy, tangy, and sweet in taste. I have also added some roasted peanuts to this recipe as traditionally the kung pao chicken is served with them.
You can have this dish as a snack, an appetizer, or as a side dish with rice or quinoa.
We will be making the Kung pao sauce from scratch, so here is the list of ingredients you need to have ready before making this dish.
Brussel sprouts: Use fresh brussels sprouts. Washed, outer layer peeled and quartered. You can also just half them if they are small in size.
Dry red chilles: These add a lot of flavor. Remove the seeds to make them less spicy.
Roasted Peanuts: You can use either salted or unsalted. If using salted, taste the dish before adding any additional salt.
For the sauce mix:
- Dark Soy sauce
- Tamari or regular soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Red chili paste
- Agave/honey/maple syrup
- Sesame oil
- Ginger and garlic
Prep the Brussels sprouts
Next, it is time to prepare the Brussels sprouts. Rinse them well under running water and dry them using a kitchen towel. Then slightly trim the bottom part of each brussels sprout and cut them in quarters. In case they are too small, you can cut each in half or roast them whole.
If you can, buy similar sized Brussels sprouts as it will help in even cooking.
- Then take a large bowl and add all the sauce ingredients and mix them well together.
- Then add the cut Brussels sprouts and toss them in the sauce until they are well coated
Once they are well-coated, you can either air-fry or roast them in the oven.
Air Fryer Method
- Layer the brussels sprouts in a single layer
- You can air-fry them at 380°F for 8-10 minutes.
- Then add roasted peanuts and air-fry them for 1 more minute.
It allows the peanut to blend with the Kung Pao sauce.
Then take it out on a bowl and garnish them with sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and more roasted peanuts.
- Follow the same steps as above to prep the brussels sprouts
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Then spread sauce-coated Brussels sprouts on a baking tray and cook for roast for 20-25 minutes, until they are crispy on the edges and tender inside.
- Add roasted peanuts and add the garnish of sesame seeds or red pepper flakes.
Tips to make your kung pao Brussels sprouts even better:
- Choose fresh: Go for fresh Brussels sprouts in this recipe. I have tried with frozen brussels sprouts and they do not work as well. Try choosing similar sized Brussels sprouts as they help in even cooking.
- Want them saucier: While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, whip up some extra sauce (skip the cornstarch and sesame oil). Toss the cooked Brussels sprouts in the sauce and serve immediately
- Serving: You can serve these Brussels sprouts as an appetizer or as a side to any Asian style rice or main dish. Don't judge, but I could literally enjoy these as a meal too.
If you want to try more veggies cooked in the air fryer recipe:
- Chinese Garlic Green Beans
- Perfectly Roasted Aspargus
- Air fryer Roasted Broccoli
- Spicy Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
- Air Fryer Plantains
- Air Fryer Beets
Hope you enjoy these Kung Pao Brussels sprouts. Don't forget to share a pic and tag #pipingpotcurry
Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts
For the sauce
- 2 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dark soy sauce skip for gluten-free
- 1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Agave Syrup or honey or maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Red chili paste adjust to taste
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon Ginger grated
- 3 cloves Garlic pressed or minced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl.
- Add the brussels sprouts and dried chillies to the prepared sauce.
- Take out the brussels sprouts in a bowl. Garnish with sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and more roasted peanuts. Enjoy!
- Preheat oven to 400°F. After tossing the brussels sprouts in the sauce, roast for 20-25 minutes, until they are crispy on the edges and tender inside. Add roasted peanuts. Garnish and serve!
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.