A Hack For Shredding Brussels Sprouts When Knives Are Inconvenient

For many of us, our first introduction to Brussels sprouts began with a parent boiling those little cabbages to death. Luckily, chefs have devised better and drier ways to enjoy this delicious cruciferous green, making Brussels sprouts more popular than ever. But many of these recipes involve a little more prep in the kitchen than just dropping the whole sprout in a pot of boiling water. 

Brussels sprouts are great for creating flavorful salads and side dishes, and when enjoyed raw or for a quick sauté, the little cabbages should be shredded, which makes them more tender. While a chef's knife will do the trick for making thin slices, albeit slowly, home cooks can speed things up using a blender, mandolin, or food processor. The downside of using these small appliances is the cleanup, of course, but more parts to wash is the sacrifice you make for speed. Luckily most parts are dishwasher compatible.

Prepare the Brussels sprouts before cooking by washing, drying, and trimming off the fibrous stem and any bruised or dry leaves. To use the blender, add the sprouts and pulse the veggies a few times until they break down into bite-sized pieces. Avoid overprocessing, which will turn Brussels sprouts into baby food. Unlike using a chef's knife, the pieces will be irregularly shaped.

Quickly shred Brussels sprouts

Compared to a blender, a mandolin will give you consistently thin slices, as you run each sprout across the blade. While you can control the thickness of each piece, it takes longer than a blender to get through the bushel. The obvious downside of this technique is that the mandolin can be dangerous, and cooks are prone to shaving a fingertip or two during the process when they get too zealous or decide not to use the guard.

The quickest method for shaved Brussels sprouts (aside from buying them prepackaged at the grocery store) is using a food processor. This also gives relatively uniform shredded Brussels sprouts, making it a favorite option. Using the large slicing disk attachment that most machines come with, feed handfuls of Brussels sprouts through the tube as the food processor runs. It will take seconds to get through a 12-ounce package that can feed four.

Whether enjoying them raw in a winter salad or pan-fried shredding Brussels sprouts puts a side dish on the table within 20 minutes. Slicing or shaving the veggie halves the cooking time and increases the surface area for crisp edges. Ten minutes in the air fryer can result in crispy Parmesan Brussels sprouts with a dose of umami from the nutty cheese. For an instant upgrade to any recipe, render diced pancetta or bacon before panfrying Brussels sprouts in the fat