Gluten-free Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

A sticky, spicy, sweet, Kung Pao sauce without the gluten and sugar? You’d better believe it. Charred sprouts pair with this classic Chinese sauce to create the ultimate in at-home take-out. This may even fit into your keto diet depending on your macros.

When I was in college, I took a six credit Chinese class. Looking back, I genuinely cannot give you a reason as to why. It sounded glamorous? I really like Chinese food? Needless to say, after meeting nine times a week (yeah, you do the math) for a discussion section in only Mandarin, and attempting to understand numerous lengthy lectures on the origin of certain Chinese characters, I dropped out.

These days, I stick to just appreciating their cuisine. Which was, unfortunately, cut short last year when I found that I started having reactions after eating out at my favorite Asian restaurants, mainly those of Chinese persuasion. My hands get puffy, splotchy, and sometimes itch. This is, of course, in addition to all the sugar that is hidden in Chinese food.

kung pao brussels sprouts
Extreme sprout close-up! Blistered brussels sprouts drizzled with a sweet and spicy kung pao. The toppings make these yummy little morsels even more exciting — don’t omit them!

Best Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts Recipe – Keto, Low Carb, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, LCHF

After more research, it looked as though I would have to start avoiding my once favorite cuisine. Huge disappointment, I assure you. I threw out all my hoisin sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and even my sriracha (which I’ve now repurchased since the sugar in that one is really negligible for me). For a while, I thought I would never again get to enjoy Chinese take-out.

Michelle Tam at Nom Nom Paleo really inspired me early on. She has a number of incredible paleo recipes that made avoiding the standard Chinese restaurant and cooking at home instead a viable option for me. After trying several of her recipes of the past year, I’ve wanted to try my own. The recipe you see below is my first go at my own Chinese food. Fingers crossed that it becomes a keeper for you too. I’ve eaten it twice already this week.

I really love spicy food, so Kung Pao sauce sounded like something I could tackle. I scoured the internet for hoisin sauce recipe inspiration and created my own gluten-free and sugar-free version which is featured in this recipe. Do you have to make it? No, but if you really are trying to avoid sugar and processed weirdness, I would suggest it. Plus, you’ll have enough left over to make these sprouts again next week.

crispy kung pao brussels sprouts just out of the oven
Make sure to drizzle kung pao sauce and not over-do it; sprouts need to be browned and crispy otherwise you’ll have a soggy result.

Keto Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts Recipe Tips & Tricks:

Soggy sprouts can become a real reality. Make sure you really have given these some time in the oven to crisp up and brown. Also, be discerning with the oil. A heavy hand will just encourage the issue. One last thing, don’t go crazy with the sauce. You are better off adding a bit more once this is on your plate then oversaucing and putting back in a hot oven. Wilt, wilt, wilt. Yuck.

Garnishes are such a necessity. I know sometimes I read these and think, “I don’t have time for decorative nonsense.” This is not the case here. The peanuts add wonderful texture. The sesame seeds compliment the oil in the sauce, and the green onions are just a yummy, fresh pop of brightness.

These are not a good left-over item. I’ve tried. This still tastes delicious, but the texture doesn’t get better with time. This dish is best right out of the oven.

The serving size on the recipe card is debatable. We easily devour this between the two of us with a bit left over for my work lunch. My son thinks anything green is not worth his time.

Other Keto Low Carb Asian Take-out Recipes You’ll Love

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts
Yield: 4 people

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Crispy, blistered Brussels sprouts drizzled with a gluten-free, sugar-free kung pao sauce. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper

Kung Pao Sauce

  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp erythritol, Swerve
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Homeade Healthier Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek

Garnish

  • toasted sesame seeds
  • 2-3 stalks green onions, sliced
  • crushed peanuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Cut the off stem, remove outer leaves, and halve Brussels sprouts.
  3. Spread out sprouts on a sheet pan. Drizzle sprouts with oil. Salt and pepper to your liking. Mix to coat.
  4. Place in the oven to cook. Approximately 10 minutes. Sprouts should start browning/crisping, but do not overcook.
  5. While sprouts cook, make the sauce.
  6. Mix coconut aminos, rice vinegar, erythritol, hoisin, and sambal oelek in a small mixing bowl. Set aside. 
  7. Heat sesame oil in a small sauce pan. Add crushed garlic. Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  8. Add sauce mixture to sauce pan. Reduce heat, and bring to a boil until sauce thickens. Set aside.
  9. Once sprouts are crispy/brown, pull out of the oven. Drizzle with sauce. Return to the oven to let sauce caramelize or pop into the broiler for a few minutes. 
  10. Spoon into serving bowl. Garnish of toasted sesame seeds, green onions, and crushed peanuts.

Notes

Use my Healthier Hoisin Sauce to ensure that you have no gluten or sugar in this recipe.

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out! Leave a comment below and make sure to join the @noshinandnumnums community on instagram or facebook and tag me in your cooking pictures! 

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