My mom often cooked cabbage when I was growing up, so it is a comforting vegetable that I’ve always loved eating.  She would cook it down with some butter (though she’s since moved on to olive oil), onions and thyme, with the aromatics counteracting any funky smells – and adding to the deliciousness.

Brussels sprouts, a family member to cabbage, were a foreign concept.  I never ate them as a kid, and whenever I’d seen them, they looked questionable and vaguely grey in color.

And then as an adult I saw the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, make them.  She roasted them, with olive oil and salt, until they were browned and crispy.  A new veggie love was born to me.

Roasted brussels sprouts are the beginning of the recipe from Momofuku, a restaurant in the East Village of New York City with inventive food.  I felt a need to mix it up a little bit with a new Thanksgiving side dish this year, and so I experimented with these.

They exceeded all expectations.  After roasting, they are tossed in an extraordinary vinaigrette of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, water, cilantro stems and chili peppers.  Cilantro leaves top the whole mixture.

Even my father, who previously wanted no part of brussels sprouts even if they were the only food left on earth, went back for seconds.

This year, I’m thankful for these brussels sprouts.  I can’t wait to make them again.

To try the recipe for yourself, visit