PF Chang's Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts - Crispy, tender Brussels sprouts wok-fried in a deliciously spicy kung pao sauce. It's easy to make at home and a perfect side dish for any Chinese meal!
Can't get enough of PF Chang's? Try my Sesame Chicken next!
🥡 About This Recipe
Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts is probably the most underrated dish at PF Chang's—perfectly charred and smoky brussel sprouts coated in a sweet, tangy, and subtly spicy sauce.
This recipe is based on a famous Kung Pao chicken recipe with a few adaptions to make it easier for home cooks. But don't worry; no flavor has been sacrificed.
Searing the Brussels sprouts on high heat is essential for getting a smoky flavor. A carbon steel wok is ideal for this, but you can also use a cast-iron pan or a stainless steel skillet.
For The Sauce:
- Soy Sauce: Serves as the base of the sauce, providing plenty of saltiness and umami.
- Rice Vinegar: Adds a nice tangy flavor. It's milder than other kinds of vinegar, which keeps the sauce balanced and not overly harsh.
- Brown Sugar: Balances the salty and tart flavors from the soy sauce and vinegar. You can substitute it with white sugar, but brown sugar has more character.
- Sriracha: Adds just a tinge of spiciness to take the sauce to the next level. Any other chili paste or chili flakes can be substituted.
- Cornstarch: For thickening the sauce.
For The Stir-Fry:
- Oil: Any neutral-flavored oil like canola oil or vegetable oil works.
- Brussels Sprouts: We'll need about one pound today, trimmed and halved.
- Dried Red Chilies: You can find these chilis in clear packaging in Asian grocery stores. You can also use Arbol chili peppers or red pepper flakes.
- Garlic and Ginger: Freshly minced is a must; do not use pre-minced or powdered.
- Roasted Peanuts: Provide a delicious crunch!
STEP 1: In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients.
STEP 2: Heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok over high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 1 minute undisturbed until they start charring. Toss and saute for another 2 minutes.
STEP 3: Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining three tablespoons of oil to the wok. Add the dried chilis, ginger, and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
STEP 4: Give the sauce mixture a stir and pour into the wok. Cook for 1 minute until the sauce bubbles and thickens.
STEP 5: Add back the Brussels sprouts and roasted peanuts. Stir to coat everything with the sauce and cook for 1 minute until warm.
💭 Recipe Notes + Tips
- The dried red chilies do not actually make the stir-fry spicy. In Chinese stir-fries, they're usually cooked whole, which avoids adding a lot of spiciness. They're mainly used for flavor, not heat.
- Heat control is essential for perfecting this recipe. The Brussels sprouts require high heat to charr correctly, but we must reduce the heat when making the sauce to avoid burning the aromatics.
- Roasted Brussels sprouts - If you don't have a wok, roast them. Preheat your oven to 400°F. On a baking sheet, toss with oil and roast for 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway, until tender and caramelized. Follow the rest of the recipe as directed.
🥡 Storage & Leftovers
Storing: Store PF Chang's Brussels sprouts in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheating: Reheat leftovers by panfrying on medium heat or microwaving. Add a spoonful of water to speed up cooking and loosen the sauce.
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PF Chang's Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts
- 4 tablespoons neutral oil (divided)
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)
- 8 dried red chilies
- 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
- ½ cup roasted peanuts
- In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients.
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok over high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 1 minute undisturbed until they start charring. Toss and saute for another 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining three tablespoons of oil to the wok. Add the dried chilis, ginger, and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Give the sauce mixture a stir and pour into the wok. Cook for 1 minute until the sauce bubbles and thickens.
- Add back the Brussels sprouts and roasted peanuts.
- Add back the Brussels sprouts and roasted peanuts. Stir to coat everything with the sauce and cook for 1 minute until warm.