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Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts

dairy-free egg-free gluten-free keto low-carb vegetarian
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5 from 17 votes
By Carine Claudepierre -
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These Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts are crispy Brussel sprouts served with a spicy, sweet, and sour sticky Chinese sauce famous in Chinese restaurants.

This recipe is also gluten-free, dairy-free, and easy to adapt in a low-carb version.

Kung Pao Brussel Sprout

I love serving Brussel sprouts as a side dish to grilled meat or as a light dinner.

It’s such a delicious, low-carb vegetable with a lovely crispy texture when roasted or air fried. Of course, like any vegetables, Brussel Sprouts are even better when covered with a sauce!

Last time, I shared my Asian Brussel Sprouts, a pretty close recipe but less spicy or sweet.

So today is time for a new Chinese-style recipe with brussels sprouts.

What’s Kung Pao?

Kung Pao is a popular Chinese sauce often served in Chinese restaurants to make stir-fry dishes, the most popular is a sticky sweet and sour chicken kung pao recipe. 

The sauce is spicy, made of chili and peanuts, and originated in the Sichuan Province that’s why the authentic kung pao contains Sichuan black peppercorn.

Kung Pao Brussel Sprout

How To Make Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts

It’s very easy to turn your Brussel sprouts into a lovely kung pao dish.

Ingredients

All you need to make this recipe are:

  • Brussel Sprouts – Trim the feet and cut in halves or check my post on how to cut Brussel sprouts for help.
  • Soy Sauce – I am using dark soy sauce, but you can also use a soy-free option like coconut aminos.
  • Sesame Oil – Use sesame oil or peanut oil.
  • Garlic – Freshly peeled and crushed.
  • Water
  • Chinese Black Vinegar
  • Sichuan Black Peppercorn – It’s optional, but if you can find some at the store, this makes all the difference in a kung pao sauce.
  • Ginger – Freshly grated.
  • Dried Red Pepper Flakes – Or dried chili deseeded, but I found it easier to use chili flakes as the size of dried chili varies a lot, it’s difficult to make the sauce to the right spiciness.
  • Hoisin Sauce – it’s made of fermented soybean a little bit like BBQ sauce but with Asian food flavors.
  • Roasted Peanuts
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Brown Sugar or brown erythritol for a sugar-free option
  • Scallion – also known as Green onions.

Picking Method

First, you need to roast the Brussel sprouts.

Wash, trim the end of the sprouts and cut each of them halfway lengthwise, following my tutorial on how to cut brussels sprouts if needed.

There are two ways of roasting Brussel sprouts for this recipe, Oven-roasting or Air Frying.

Pick the method that suits you the best. However, these posts have been written using spices that won’t taste right with the Kung Pao sauce.

So follow the tutorial using only Brussel sprouts and olive oil and no additional spices.

Overall it takes between 25 minutes and 30 minutes to make golden brown crispy Brussel sprouts.

If some Brussel sprout leaves come out, remove them and turn them into Brussel Sprout Chips.

Making The Sauce

The best part is the kung pao sauce, and it’s ridiculously easy to make.

In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch with water, soy sauce, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, black Chinese vinegar, ginger, and ground Sichuan peppercorn. Set it aside.

In a non-stick saucepan, over medium heat, warm sesame oil, then add garlic, and dried chili, and stir fry for 10 seconds until fragrant.

Add the soy sauce mixture, stir and simmer until the sauce has thickened.

Assembling The Dish

Place the roasted Brussel sprouts onto a large mixing bowl, top with roasted peanut and the warm sticky kung pao sauce.

Stir well to combine and coat all the Brussel sprouts.

Serve with sesame seeds and freshly chopped green onions or scallions. Adjust with salt and pepper if desired.

Kung Pao Brussel Sprout

Serving Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

Serve hot with some extra salt and pepper if you like and freshly chopped scallions or dill.

You can also serve it with a side of:

Storage Instructions

You can store the cooked Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts in a sealed container for up to 4 days in the fridge.

Rewarm in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat until warm or in a microwave-safe dish.

This side dish can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container.

Kung Pao Brussel Sprout

Allergy Swaps

If you have some food allergies, you can pick some of the below options to adjust the recipe to your food preferences:

  • Sugar-Free – Use a sugar-free granulated sweetener in the same amount of sugar and replace cornstarch with xanthan gum. Also, pick a low-sugar hoisin sauce or skip it.
  • Gluten-Free – Check that your hoisin sauce and soy sauce are gluten-free, or use tamari sauce instead.
  • Soy-Free – Skip hoisin sauce and use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
  • Peanut-Free – Use sesame oil and cashews instead of roasted peanuts on top.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are your most frequent questions answered.

What Can I Use Instead Of Chinese Black Vinegar?

Chinese black vinegar is a dark color, sweet vinegar that can be swapped for rice vinegar.

How Can I Make The Recipe Low-Carb Keto-Friendly?

To decrease the carbs, replace the sugar with a keto granulated sweetener like allulose or erythritol. You can replace cornstarch with 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum.

Have you made this vegetarian kung pao recipe? Share a review or comment below.

Kung Pao Brussel Sprout

Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts

12.6gNet Carbs
This Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts are crispy Brussel sprouts served with a sweet and sour sticky Chinese sauce famous in Chinese restaurant
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 serving

Nutrition

Net Carbs 12.6g
Fat 11.4g
Protein 10.6g
Calories 202.1kcal
5 from 17 votes
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Ingredients

Sauce

To Serve

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Instructions

  • Roast the Brussels sprouts following my instruction on this air fryer Brussel sprout recipe or oven roasted Brussel sprouts recipe. Add only the oil, no spices or salt, use only for the cooking instructions.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk soy sauce, water, black vinegar, hoisin sauce, sugar, ground Sichuan peppercorn, ginger, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  • In a non-stick saucepan, warm sesame oil, add garlic and dried chili flakes, and cook for 10 seconds, then pour in the soy mixture made previously.
  • Simmer sauce for 3-4 minutes, stirring often until it thickens.
  • Add the roasted peanuts to the sauce and the roasted Brussel sprout halves.
  • Stir to coat the vegetables with the sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes until warm.
  • Serve with freshly chopped green onions and sesame seeds.

Storage

  • Store up to 3 days in a sealed container in the fridge or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Note 1: Sugar can be replaced with erythritol for a low-carb version.
Note 2: Chinese black vinegar can be substituted for rice vinegar.
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Nutrition Facts
Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 202.1 Calories from Fat 103
% Daily Value*
Fat 11.4g18%
Saturated Fat 1.8g11%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.9g
Cholesterol 0.1mg0%
Sodium 900.2mg39%
Potassium 638.3mg18%
Carbohydrates 18.9g6%
Fiber 6.3g26%
Sugar 5.4g6%
Protein 10.6g21%
Net Carbs 12.6g
Vitamin A 974.3IU19%
Vitamin C 97.7mg118%
Calcium 77.2mg8%
Iron 2.5mg14%
Magnesium 64.7mg16%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Carine Claudepierre

About The Author

Carine Claudepierre

Hi, I'm Carine, the food blogger, author, recipe developer, published author of a cookbook, and founder of Sweet As Honey.

I'm passionate about sharing easy, tasty recipes that are both delicious and healthy

Cooking and Baking is my true passion. In fact, I only share a small portion of my recipes on Sweetashoney. Most of them are eaten by my husband and my two kids before I have time to take any pictures!

Browse all my recipes here.

I hope that you too find the recipes you love on Sweetashoney!

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The recipes, instructions, and articles on this website should not be taken or used as medical advice. You must consult with your doctor before starting on a keto or low-carb diet. The nutritional data provided on Sweetashoney is to be used as indicative only. The nutrition data is calculated using WP Recipe Maker. Net Carbs is calculated by removing the fiber and some sweeteners from the total Carbohydrates. As an example, a recipe with 10 grams of Carbs per 100 grams that contains 3 grams of erythritol and 5 grams of fiber will have a net carbs content of 2 grams. Some sweeteners are excluded because they are not metabolized. You should always calculate the nutritional data yourself instead of relying on Sweetashoney's data. Sweetashoney and its recipes and articles are not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease. Sweetashoney cannot be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or advice found on the Website.

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