Brussels sprouts may be the only crunchy green baby cabbages that are loved by adults and children alike, thanks to evolving cuisines. Some people like it simple: roasted with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, while others have it fancy with some parmesan and pancetta. If you don’t want them either way, there are yet other ways you can cut up and savor these babies!
It’s evident that this veggie can only be loved by someone who knows how to cut these vegetative buds right and knows which cut suits which dish best. If you don’t like these hearty veggies, chances are you never learned how to prepare them properly. Let’s cut to the chase and learn how to cut Brussels sprouts right away!
How to cut Brussels sprouts:
- Trim the tips of the stem of Brussels sprouts no more than ¼ inches. To cut the Brussels sprouts whole, cut an X into the core.
- To cut the Brussels sprouts in halves, cut them lengthwise through the core.
- To shred the Brussels sprouts, cross-cut halved sprouts into thin shreds.
The freshest Brussels sprouts are ones that have bright green leaves tightly packed and layered together. The sprouts must feel firm to the touch when squeezed and only be 1-1 ½ inches in diameter. You must also be careful about the size. Choosing smaller sprouts is crucial because they taste tender and sweeter than larger ones.
Moreover, with any yellowing or browning on the leaves, the chances are that the sprouts have passed their peak. It’s okay to choose them if the leaves are still firm and closely layered. Lastly, if the sprouts are still attached to their stalk, twist and snap it away as it is inedible.
How to prepare Brussels sprouts
Preparing Brussels sprouts consists of two stages: cleaning and trimming.
For cleaning the Brussels sprouts, put them in a colander and run cold water over them. As the water runs over the sprouts, rub them over with your hands to remove any dirt or debris. Do not run hot water over the sprouts as the leaves might wilt or microorganisms may seep in.
Trimming Brussels sprouts
If you look closely at the base of the Brussels sprouts, you’ll find a spot in the sprouts that denotes that it was earlier connected to the stalk. This spot is the part that you must trim before cooking your Brussels sprouts. Use a paring knife or a chef knife to trim off this dry, browned tip of the stem no more than ¼ inches to allow the core to remain intact.
Next, remove any leaves that appear yellowish, brownish, or wilted. Remove all such leaves until you get to the good part where the firm, green leaves are. By now, your Brussels sprouts are all prepped for cutting.
How to cut Brussels sprouts
How to cut Brussels sprouts whole
Brussels sprouts taste so good when they are whole. This point is especially true when making some no-fuss roasted Brussels sprouts or simply blanching them to avoid water logging between the leaves.
To cut Brussels sprouts whole, you need to use a paring knife to carve out an X at the core. Learn all about a paring knife here. The core is the most solid part of the entire veggie, so it takes more time to cook. Carving out an X would allow faster heat penetration into the core so it cooks evenly and the leaves don’t overcook in the process.
How to cut Brussels sprouts in halves
Some recipes call for Brussels sprouts cut in halves, or maybe you want them halved because you demand faster cooking times! Either way, cut in halves or quarters allow for a flat surface, which cooks better on the hot pan and, even when baking, will enable it to be brown ideally.
Place the Brussels sprouts onto the cutting board and cut them lengthwise through the sprout core. Do not mistakenly cut the sprouts longitudinally, or you’ll end up with one part with the core and the other having loose leaf tops.
How to cut Brussels sprouts in quarters
For cutting the Brussels sprouts in quarters, cut the halved sprouts into halves again lengthwise through the core. Easy peasy.
How to mince/julienne Brussels sprouts
Julienned Brussels sprouts are our favorite by far. These shredded babies provide a delightful texture to any dish or salad they become a part of.
For julienning Brussels sprouts, cut the Brussels sprouts in half. Place the half onto the cutting board with the flat side facing the cutting board surface. Begin to cross-cut the sprout latitudinally into thin shreds. This step will allow the shreds to separate from the core into slivers.
How to separate Brussels sprouts into individual leaves
Sautéed Brussels sprouts are done best when separated into individual leaves. If you want to get the restaurant feel at home, this is what you need to learn next.
You need to trim the core and get rid of the wilted, brown, or yellow leaves. Next, pluck out the firm green leaves as you dive deep into the core. As you go deeper, the leaves will be smaller and more difficult to pluck out. You may give up and move on to the next sprout when this happens.
How to cut Brussels sprouts from the core
You may also come across a recipe that asks you to obliterate the core for a faster cook. When this happens, cut out the core of the Brussels sprout with a deep V. If the recipe calls for using the sprouts in a sauce, you might want to twist them a little to allow more surface area to coat.
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How to store Brussels sprouts
There are different ways that you can store your Brussels sprouts. If you intend on using them within a few days, use a zip lock bag to keep fresh, unwashed Brussels sprouts. Place the bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator where the sprouts will last you for three to four days, a week tops, before losing their sweetness.
If you wish to freeze your Brussels sprouts, start blanching them in hot water for 3-4 minutes. Next, give them an ice shock by plunging it into ice water for three minutes. Once dried, place the Brussels sprouts into Freezer bags and put them in the freezer. Your frozen sprouts will last for a year.
Now that you have mastered the art of cutting Brussels sprouts, it’s time to put your cutting skills into action! Before you go, you might want to try our utility chef knife to begin your culinary adventures. Chop Chop.