Recipe: Jessica Gershman. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
For the Nuoc Cham sauce:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Thai Bird chili, seeded and minced
2 Tbsps. sugar
2 Tbsps. lime juice
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup warm water
1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
2 slices fresh ginger, each slice about the size of a quarter
2 shallots, chopped
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, root end trimmed and bruised outer leaves removed, shredded or sliced to 1/8” on a mandolin
½ cup red cabbage, shredded
½ cup carrots, julienned
2 to 3 Thai Bird chilies, seeded and ribs removed, minced
1 cup duck confit, shredded and at room temperature
2 to 3 Tbsps. Nuoc Cham Sauce
1. For the dressing: Using a mortar and pestle to make a paste of garlic, chili and sugar. Add remaining dressing ingredients and blend. Set aside.
2. Using a wok or large sauté pan, heat vegetable oil to 350°F. Add the slices of ginger to the oil for approximately 10 to 15 seconds, just long enough to release the “chi” of the ginger. Remove immediately and discard. Be careful not to scorch.
3. Add shallots to the oil and flash fry for 1 to 2 minutes until crisp. Pour both the oil and shallots through a strainer, reserving the oil. Drain the shallots on a paper towel.
4. Return oil to pan and return to 350°F, add the Brussels sprouts and fry 3 to 5 minutes or until beginning to crisp. Maintain some tenderness in the Brussels sprout, be careful not to overcook.
5. Pour the Brussels sprouts and oil through a colander and drain the Brussels sprouts on a paper towel. Discard the oil.
6. Toss fried Brussels sprouts and shallots with cabbage, carrot, chilies and 2-3 Tbsps. of dressing. Plate the salad and top with shredded duck confit. Serve warm.