We’re all about starting the day with tons of flavor. And this Crispy Thai Brussel Sprouts & Polenta Brunch Bowl recipe is exactly the kind of fiery, savory and colorful dish we’re looking for.
In addition to the total flavor bomb from buttery polenta, jalapeno chimichurri and Thai-spiced brussel sprouts, the texture in this bowl truly set it over the top. From silky-smooth polenta to jiggly poached eggs to extra-crispy roasted brussel sprouts, there’s something to love in every layer of this beautiful bowl.
How to Make Extra Crispy Brussel Sprouts
What is the secret to super crisp, golden roasted brussel sprouts? First of all, it’s all about getting a nice hot oven. While the brussels marinate in the Thai flavors, make sure you let your oven preheat fully to 425°F.
Then, just before you pop the veggies into the oven, give them a dusting in cornstarch. Just a fine layer of this gluten-free starch will help crisp up every nook and cranny of your brussels.
If you’re roasting the tomatoes and brussel sprouts at the same time for your brunch bowls, leave the tomatoes on the bottom of the oven and get the brussels near the top. This allows plenty of air to circulate so they get crunchy from all sides.
- ½ cup fish sauce
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 16 cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 2 tablespoon chili garlic sambal or 1-2 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
- 1½ pound brussel sprouts, cut in half lengthwise
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- ½ pound tomatoes, cored and cut into ¼-inch slices
- 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ½ cup cilantro, de-stemmed
- 2 small white anchovies (optional)
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, de-stemmed
- ¼ cup parsley, de-stemmed
- 3 tablespoons oregano
- ½-1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, cut into large chunks (optional)
- ⅓ cup shallot, minced
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup wine vinegar, red or white
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt (¾ teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, fresh cracked (~10 turns)
- 6 cups water (or 3 cups water + 3 cups veggie or chicken stock)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups polenta
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, fresh cracked
Poached Eggs + Garnish
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 4-6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped for garnish (optional)
- 1 tablespoon mint, chopped for garnish (optional)
1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, coconut sugar, half of the minced garlic and optional chili. Add the brussel sprouts and toss until thoroughly coated. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours, tossing occasionally.
2. After marinating, preheat the oven to 425°F. Strain the marinade from the brussel sprouts and reserve.
3. Heat half of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic and cook until golden and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels.
4. Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. Pour the reserved marinade into the empty skillet and return to medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce the marinade for about 5 minutes, until thick and syrupy.
5. On a baking sheet, coat the tomato slices with 2 tablespoons of oil and roast on the bottom rack of the oven for 15-18 minutes.
6. Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper and toss the brussels in the cornstarch and the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Roast on the top rack of the oven for 13-14 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
7. While the vegetables are roasting, prepare a blender or food processor fitted with the s-blade. Add garlic, jalapeno and anchovies, pulsing until completely chopped and all garlic is up on the sides of the food processor. Scrape down the sides and add picked herbs, pulsing an additional 5-6 times. Add shallots, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, pulsing until just combined, another 6-8 pulses. Idea is not to puree here. Transfer to a 2 cup lidded container and store in the refrigerator for now.
8. Next, bring 6 cups of water and salt to a boil in a saucepan for the polenta. When the water boils, whisk in the polenta and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring frequently for about 7-8 minutes. When the mixture is thick and most of the water is absorbed, whisk in the butter, cheese, and pepper. Add more water if necessary to reach your desired consistency. After about 10 minutes, season to taste and remove from heat.
9. In a separate saucepan, bring 4 cups of salted water to boil with the vinegar. When the water is at a bare simmer, carefully place the eggs into the water one at a time. Gather the whites with a slotted spoon and cook for 3-4 minutes for jammy yolks.
10. Remove the brussel sprouts from the oven and toss with the reduced marinade and fried garlic. Serve crispy brussel sprouts over polenta topped with a poached egg and fresh herbs. Enjoy immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Making Chimichurri Sauce
If you haven’t made chimichurri sauce before, do not be intimidated by the longer list of ingredients. Mostly, this sauce is a mixture of bright, fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, and oregano. And it’s also quite forgiving. You can substitute one herb for another if you’re out of something.
To make the vibrant green sauce, simply add everything to a high-speed blender and let it come together into a smooth, fluffy dressing. If you end up with leftover chimichurri, you can store the sauce in an airtight container for up to four days.
Use it to punch up salads, sandwiches, tacos and so much more. It’s truly a use-on-anything sauce that you’ll want to keep in your back pocket.
More Delicious Brunch Recipes
We love an elevated brunch around here, and if you do too, give these other popular recipes a try next:
- Asparagus Ricotta Quiche is great for Mother’s Day, or any sunny Sunday in the spring
- Gluten-Free Strawberry Coffee Cake is fruity, dense and delicious any time of year.
- Homemade Salmon Gravlax is a must-try recipe to impress guests or yourself!