Perfectly cooked stir-fried Brussels sprouts from your wok in a fraction of the time that it would take to oven-roast them. Buttery, garlicky and slightly caramelized on the outside yet tender on the inside.
Stir-frying Brussels sprouts in a wok is a great alternative to roasting them in the oven. They take a fraction of the time, and I would even argue that they taste better! They’re tender on the inside but not too mushy. On the outside, they’re so buttery and perfectly caramelized for that extra flavor.
The secret to cooking Brussels sprouts in a wok is to use a bit of water to help steam them right in the wok. This will ensure that the inside is properly cooked. Once the water evaporates, they will then be able to caramelize beautifully on the outside.
This is a side dish that frequently makes its way to our dinner table here at our house. It’s so easy, convenient, and pairs with just about any dish!
You can use a wide variety of seasoning and spices, but my go-to is salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Depending on the main dish that you’ll be pairing the sprouts with, you can add a bit of rosemary, thyme, crushed red pepper, or even a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice to finish.
TIP: You can add carrots to this recipe for some color and sweetness. By cutting them into approximately 1/4-inch pieces, they will have the same cooking time as the Brussels sprouts.
How to Stir-Fry Brussels Sprouts in a Wok
Rinse 1 1/2 pounds of fresh Brussels sprouts, trim the stems, then cut them into halves.
Melt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter in a wok over medium-high heat.
Add all of the Brussels sprouts to the wok, then stir-fry to coat the sprouts in the melted butter.
Pour 1/2 cup of water over the sprouts. If your Brussels sprouts are very small, you can use less water here.
Stir occasionally to allow the water to evaporate. The water will help steam the Brussels sprouts so that they are perfectly cooked on the inside.
When you can see that the water has evaporated (this usually takes about 8 – 10 minutes), spread the Brussels sprouts into a single layer in your wok, then allow the sprouts to sit untouched for about a minute. This will help it caramelize slightly, giving it that extra flavor.
Stir, then let it sit untouched for another minute to caramelize even more of the sprouts.
Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
If you would like to use fresh garlic in place of garlic powder, I recommend adding the fresh minced garlic to the wok with the sprouts at the beginning before adding the water.
Transfer to a serving plate, then serve with your favorite main dish. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use frozen Brussels sprouts, but keep in mind that frozen Brussels sprouts tend be soft in the center already, so I would use less water to help steam the sprouts so they don’t get too mushy.
Yes, absolutely. However, I find using a wok more convenient as you have much more room to work with when stir-frying. A skillet will work, though, as long as it is large enough.
Cut the bacon into 1/4-inch pieces, then fry them in the wok till just before they get crispy. Remove the bacon from the wok, then add the butter, followed by the sprouts, etc. Return the bacon to the wok after the Brussels sprouts have caramelized.
Jumped straight here to the recipe? Please consider coming back to read the whole post when you have the time as I have included step-by-step instructions with photos.
Wok Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts
- 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
- 1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts trimmed, cut into halves
- ½ cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
- garlic powder to taste
- Melt the butter in your wok over medium-high heat.
- Add the Brussels sprouts, then stir-fry to coat the sprouts in the melted butter.
- Pour the water over the sprouts.
- Stir occasionally, allowing the water to evaporate. The water will help steam the brussels sprouts so that they are perfectly cooked on the inside.
- When you can see that the water has evaporated (about 8 – 10 minutes), spread the brussels sprouts into a single layer in your wok, then allow the sprouts to sit untouched for about a minute.
- Stir, then let it sit untouched for another minute to caramelize even more of the sprouts.
- Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
- Serve with your favorite main dish. Enjoy!
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