While not an actual tea leaf salad, the flavors for the dressing are inspired by that delicious Burmese dish.
The key to this “salad” is to separate the Brussels sprout leaves. It’s a dish to make if you’ve made pickled Brussels sprouts or roasted Brussels sprouts and thus trimmed a large amount of Brussels sprouts and find yourself with a bunch of those exterior leaves that are perfect for this dish. Since those leaves are so hearty, save them in a loosely tied plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week to use here.
Brussels Sprouts (Tea) Leaf Salad
- 6 cups tightly packed Brussels sprouts leaves
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2- inch piece fresh ginger
- 1 serrano chile
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons raw peanuts
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Rinse and dry the brussels sprout leaves. Set aside.
- Peel the garlic. Thinly slice 3 of the cloves and set aside. Mince the remaining clove and put in a large mixing or salad bowl. Peel and finely grate the ginger and add it to the garlic. Seed and mince the chile; add it to the garlic and ginger. Pour in the lime juice and the fish sauce, stir to combine, and set aside.
- Heat a large cast iron or other heavy frying or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds and cook, stirring, until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a plate or bowl.
- Add the peanuts to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until they’re toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer the peanuts to a plate or bowl and set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic slices and cook, stirring, until they turn golden, about 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to layers of paper towels to drain and set aside.
- Pour the oil into a bowl to let cool, then whisk it into the dressing in the bowl.
- Without wiping the pan out, return it to the heat and increase the heat to high. Add the brussels sprout leaves, sprinkle with the salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until the leaves are wilted to about 1/3 of their original volume and the leaves pretty much all have brown bits and edges, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the leaves to the bowl and toss them with the dressing. Transfer the salad to a large plate or platter and let them cool off until just warm.
- Finely chop the peanuts and sprinkle them on the brussels sprouts, add the garlic slices and sesame seeds and serve.