Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 25, 2021

© David L. Reamer

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Stir-fried Brussels sprouts and wok-fried eggs

12 oz. (340 g) Brussels sprouts
2 tbsp. (30 ml) Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1½ tsp. (7.5 ml) fresh lime juice
1 tsp. (5 ml) soy sauce
1 tsp. (5 ml) sugar
2 tbsp. (30 ml) peanut or vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1-in. (2.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced and cut into matchsticks
2 green onions, white and green parts, halved lengthwise and cut into 1½-in. (4-cm) segments
1 or 2 red Thai chilies, thinly sliced, or to taste
2 wok-fried eggs (recipe follows)

Trim the Brussels sprouts and discard any wilted leaves. Halve the smaller ones and quarter the larger ones. Keep any fresh leaves that detach.

Fill a medium pot two-thirds full with water, add a few big pinches of salt and bring to a boil. Add the sprouts and leaves, and cook until bright green and just beginning to tenderize, 45 seconds. Drain in a colander and cool under cold water. Spread out on a kitchen towel to dry and continue cooling.

Stir together the fish sauce, lime juice, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl, and set near the stove.

Before you get to stir-frying, know that this is a super-quick cooking process, so it is important to have everything prepped and ready to go. Line the ingredients up next to the stove in the order that they will be added.

Also, this is a high-heat process, but if the stir-fry begins to burn, reduce the heat briefly, add the next ingredient(s) to bring the temperature down, and then continue over medium-high or high heat.

Heat a flat-bottomed wok over high heat. (You can also use a 10-inch/25-cm sauté pan over medium-high heat, but the timing will be a little different, so rely on the visual cues.) Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom and edges of the pan. When you begin to see wisps of smoke, add the garlic and ginger, and stir-fry until just brown at the edges, 15 seconds. Quickly add the green onions and chilies, and continue stir-frying until wilted, 15 seconds more. Add the Brussels sprouts and stir-fry until lightly browned in some spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the fish sauce mixture and continue to stir-fry until the sauce is slightly thickened, 1 minute more.

Transfer the stir-fry to a warm platter. Top with the eggs and serve family-style. Serves 2.

Tip: After plating the stir-fry, quickly wipe the wok with paper towels and fry the eggs. The sprouts will stay hot in the short time it takes the eggs to cook.

Wok-fried eggs

When eggs are fried over high heat in a well-seasoned wok, the edges turn crunchy, and the tops and bottoms crisp and turn a deep golden brown. The best part is that the yolks stay saucy to moisten fried rice, stir-fried noodles or vegetables. To get the best results, be sure that the oil is smoking hot before adding the eggs, and don’t fry more than two at a time.

3 tbsp. (45 ml) peanut or vegetable oil
2 room-temperature eggs
pinch of salt

Heat a seasoned, carbon-steel or nonstick flat-bottomed wok over high heat. Add the oil, and swirl to coat the bottom and edges of the pan. When you begin to see wisps of smoke, add the eggs; they will spit and splatter. After 45 seconds, they will be crispy and browned on the bottom. Flip the eggs away from you to avoid splatter, and cook until crisp and browned on the other side, 30 to 45 seconds more. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel, or directly onto the dish. Sprinkle with salt.

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