Brussels sprouts and bacon are a classic flavor combination. Combine them to make truly unique Brussels sprouts and bacon dumplings, then take them over the edge with an outrageously good fish sauce caramel dipping sauce.
There are few culinary delights in the world that make me as happy as indulging in fresh dumplings. I'm partial to Asian dumplings in particular, but truly I'm an equal opportunity dumpling lover.
These brussels sprouts and bacon dumplings are a really creative spin on the classic. The original recipe I've adapted has you deep fry half the brussels sprouts and blanch the other half.
I decided to simply roast them all in a 400 degree F oven for about 30 minutes, just tossed with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. They were delicious and perfect, so I would do the same next time. The recipe below will showcase the original method.
Store-bought dumpling wrappers make this brussels sprouts and bacon dumplings recipe fairy easy to make. They're not only convenient but they have a nice texture when you pan-fry them.
The brussels sprouts and bacon filling for these dumplings is incredible. There is so much flavor there, and a wonderful mix of textures from the tender, slightly charred roasted sprouts and the crispy, salty bacon.
A bit of brown sugar, garlic, and vinegar in the filling really hit every note on your palate.
To these beautifully balanced brussels sprouts and bacon dumplings, add the unusual sounding, but strangely appetizing Fish Sauce Caramel as a dipping sauce and you have a fantastic creation! Its sweetness is actually a wonderful pairing to the savory dumpling filling.
Considering how easy these dumplings are to make, especially by simply roasting the sprouts and also utilizing store-bought wrappers, I can see myself making them on a whim in the future.
They were hugely popular by those who tried them, and I already have requests for a repeat. I actually halved the recipe with plans to make 30 dumplings, but I ended up with 24.
Other recipes you may like
- Devils on Horseback (Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese)
- Älplermagronen (Swiss Alpine Macaroni and Cheese)
- Spaghetti alla Carbonara (Coal Miner's Spaghetti)
- Bacon Jalapeño Popper Quiche
- World's Greatest Sandwich from Spanglish (BLT with Egg and Cheese)
- Shake Shack SmokeShack Burger
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Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Dumplings
Fish Sauce Caramel:
- ½ cup (120 ml) rice vinegar
- ½ cup (120 grams) brown sugar
- ¼ cup (60 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fish sauce
- 1 pound (450 grams) bacon, diced into ¼-inch (0.6 cm) pieces
- Oil for deep-frying
- 2 pints (1 ½ pounds) fresh brussels sprouts
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 tablespoons (30 grams) minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons (40 grams) brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) reserved bacon fat
- 60 round dumpling wrappers
- To make the fish sauce caramel: Combine the rice vinegar, brown sugar, granulated sugar and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and add the fish sauce. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature before serving. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months. Makes ¾ cup.
- To make the dumplings: In a large saute pan, render the bacon over medium-high heat until it is completely cooked and crispy. Strain and cool the cooked bacon on a paper towel–lined plate. Reserve the bacon fat.
- Preheat a small pot of oil to 375°F/190°C. Trim the bottom ends and old leaves from the brussels sprouts. Reserve any fresh leaves that may have fallen. Quarter the brussels sprouts, leaving the root ends intact.
- Divide the trimmed brussels sprouts in half. Deep-fry half of the brussels sprouts in small batches, cooking each batch for 2 to 3 minutes until the leaves are caramelized and brown. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with salt. Once cool, chop the fried brussels sprouts into small pieces or pulse in a food processor.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the remaining brussels sprouts until tender, about 3 minutes. Refresh in ice water to stop the cooking and then drain on paper towels. Dry the blanched brussels sprouts well with paper towels and then chop finely (or pulse in the food processor).
- Combine the cooked bacon, fried chopped brussels sprouts, blanched chopped brussels sprouts and minced garlic in a large bowl. In a small bowl, sift together the brown sugar and cornstarch until it is well mixed. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the filling, add the fish sauce, vinegar and bacon fat and mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate the filling for at least an hour.
- Fill and form the dumplings in the classic pleat style. I prefer using premade wrappers for this dumpling. Heat a wok or large nonstick frying pan over high heat. Add ½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) of oil to the hot pan, tilting the pan to coat the bottom. Place the dumplings in a single layer in the hot pan and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add ½ cup (125 ml) of water and immediately cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook until all of the water has been absorbed and the dumpling skins have cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dumplings. Serve with the Fish Sauce Caramel.
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*