What to do with a handful of Brussels sprouts and little else on a dark winter evening when hunger is urgent? Having traveled 3,000 miles across country I felt fortunate to find a few staples on hand and set to work with my chef's knife. In eight minutes I had improvised a light but warming, spicy and healthy meal which quickly eased the fatigue and hunger of long distance travel.
Brussels Sprouts in Thai Basil Miso Broth
12 medium Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup water
1 tablespoon light miso paste
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon dried Thai basil leaves, crushed
a few drops chile infused toasted sesame oil
Slice the sprouts thinly so that they will cook quickly. In a saucepan with a lid, heat olive oil and lightly saute shredded sprouts on a medium flame for a minute or two until fragrant and a few are just turning golden brown. Add one cup of water, cover immediately to retain steam and simmer gently on a low flame for two or three minutes.
Dissolve miso paste in about 1/4 cup water and add to pan. Sprinkle in basil leaves and a few drops of sesame oil, cover and remove from heat. Allow to rest a minute or two. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve in a heated bowl. Yield: One serving.
If you don't have basil leaves, herbs such as fresh or dried marjoram, mint, parsley or cilantro will work well. Garnish with your choice of sliced fresh ginger root, lime or lemon juice, toasted sesame seeds, red pepper flakes or sliced scallion.