It’s great to shake up the Christmas sprouts with some Asian assistance. Frying them for just a few minutes means they retain the bite they so often lack when boiled and overcooked, and also helps keep that bright colour. Try to get hold of smaller Asian peanuts for this; failing that, just chop regular ones in half.
Thai black rice 700g
white miso 160g
rice vinegar 90ml
groundnut oil 90ml
ginger 6cm piece, peeled and julienned
red chillies 5, deseeded and julienned
garlic cloves 5, peeled and thinly sliced
small peanuts 120g, skin on (or regular peanuts chopped in half)
sesame seeds 2 tbsp, toasted
brussels sprouts 1.2kg, trimmed, cut in half lengthways (or quartered, if big)
sesame oil ½ tsp
mirin 2 tbsp
coriander leaves 20g, roughly chopped
limes 2, halved
Put the rice in a large saucepan with 1.8 litres water, the miso, two-thirds of the vinegar and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer gently for an hour, until very little liquid is left. Shake the pan every once in a while to stop the rice from sticking to the base. Take the pan off the heat, cover and set aside for 10 minutes, until the rice is cooked but still retains a bit of a bite; by this time, any remaining liquid should have reduced to the consistency of thick jam.
Heat the groundnut oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat, then fry the ginger, chilli and garlic for 2 minutes, until the garlic goes translucent. Add the peanuts, fry for 3 minutes more, until everything is golden-brown and crisp, then transfer to a small plate with a slotted spoon (keep the oil in the pan). Mix the sesame seeds and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt into the peanut mix.
Return the pan to a high heat, add the sprouts and half a teaspoon of salt, and fry for 6–8 minutes, stirring often, until the sprouts are dark golden-brown and starting to go crisp. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil, mirin and remaining rice vinegar.
To serve, spoon the rice into a large, shallow serving bowl and top with the sprouts. Sprinkle over the coriander and squeeze over the lime juice, top with the crisp chilli and peanuts, and take to the table.