Fried Brussels Sprouts at Home with Chef Amar Santana

Fried Brussels sprouts are one of the most popular side dishes at VACA, co-owned by Chef Amar Santana. 

And it’s easy to see why.  Brussel sprouts can be tricky because they can turn out bitter.

But with a little help from our favorite Top Chef  alumnus (and competition finalist), you, too, can make them a delicious family favorite. Amar has generously shared his secret recipe tailored for cooking at home. The ingredients are listed below.

Video by Feel Right Inc.

Fried Brussels Sprouts
with Chinese Sausage, Cilantro, Sweet and Sour

Makes 4-6 portions as a side dish


1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
4 Chinese sausage (Lap cheong), sliced thin on the diagonal  
1 quart canola oil
1 cup sweet and sour sauce (see recipe below)
Sprigs of cilantro for garnish

1 cup sweet and sour (store-bought)

½ cup rice wine vinegar
2 cups sugar
½ cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons sriracha


For the sauce: mix all the ingredients together and set aside.

Set the fryer at 350 Fahrenheit (or a deep pan, using a thermometer). Drop Brussels sprouts and Chinese sausage and fry for about one minute; remove and blot the excess oil with paper towels. Toss while hot with the sweet and sour sauce, add cilantro leaves and serve.

Chef’s note: This Brussels sprouts recipe can be sautéed for a healthier version but it won’t taste the same–frying gives a richer, more caramelized flavor.