Sometimes things just hit you upside the head.  Like finally realizing your mother DID know most things.  Or driving with the windows down and the air conditioning off does NOT give you better mileage.  Or, maybe understanding, and appreciating what you have is more important then what you want.

And this time, it was testing a Kung Pao sauce and recognizing I will never buy it again.  And it goes on virtually everything.  Chicken, shrimp, veggies, pork tenderloin.  It will NOT work on popcorn.  Not at all.  Though I am working on a spice mix that will give the same type of flavor profile.

So, I offer you this recipe.   But triple the sauce.  And don’t eat the peppers.  Unless you are a true daredevil.



Kung Pao Sauce with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Almonds.


2 lbs.  Brussels sprouts

2 cloves Garlic  (Hack: use minced garlic in the jar.  Drain well.  Use 2 T.)

3 Green onions, sliced on diagonal.  Use white and bright green parts.

1/4 cup slivered Almonds, toasted

2 tsp Apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp Olive oil

1 tbsp Sesame oil

2 tsp Garlic chili paste

1 T Hoisin sauce

1/2 cup Soy sauce

1 tspBlack pepper, Freshly ground

1 T  Swerve granulated.  (Note: if you are not making this Keto, use brown sugar)

1 T Cornstarch

1 tsp Kosher salt

3 dried Chile de Arbol, lightly crushed

1 tsp sesame seeds for garnish.


Putting it Together:

Turn on oven to 425F.  Clean and thoroughly dry the Brussels Sprouts.  Cut off ends and slice in half horizontally.  Put on rimmed cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Place into oven for 15-25 minutes.  Should be browned and have crispy bits.


While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, make the sauce.

In a medium sauce pan, add the sesame oil.  Add minced garlic to sesame oil and heat till fragrant.  Should be 1-2 minutes.  In a separate cup, whisk the cornstarch and water together.  Be sure to slowly add the water to avoid lumps. Set aside.

Add Soy, vinegar, hoisin, Swerve or brown sugar and chili paste to pan.  Stir well.  Add the lightly crushed, (big pieces-like 2 or three per chili), salt and pepper.  Add the cornstarch slurry to the pan.  Turn heat up to medium and bring to boil.  It will thicken in about 2-3 minutes.


Remove Brussels sprouts from oven.  Put in bowl or platter.  Drizzle with sauce.  Top with almonds, sesame seeds and green onions.


Serve with extra sauce.  Eat and Repeat.



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