Canadian-born chef Adria Wu is all about elevating the usually side-lined veggie part of a finished dish to make it the superstar of the show, so when she took part earlier this year in Channel 4’s new foodie show, Five Star Kitchen, this was the concept that took her to the final as one of the last three chefs competing to take over the world famous 5-star Palm Court restaurant at London’s Langham hotel.

If ever there was a veg that could challenge this concept it is the humble sprout, and here Wu turns her talent to that oft-maligned seasonal dish to offer an upgrade that will be hard to resist. And her mince pies – stuffed with mulberries and other superfoods – bring an exotic twist to an otherwise not so exciting festive treat.

Adria Wu is the founder of the London café group Maple & Co. @adria_wu

Ginger sesame Brussels sprouts

Gluten-, dairy- and nut-free. Serves 6, 80g each as a side. You will need a baking tray and baking parchment.


750g Brussels sprouts
1 tbsp olive oil
30g ginger, freshly peeled and grated
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
150g frozen peas

For the glaze:

3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil

To serve:

1 tbsp sesame seeds


Preheat the oven on grill setting to 240C (or highest temperature, but not exceeding 240C). Line the baking tray with baking parchment.

Wash the sprouts, drain and halve. Transfer to a bowl.

Toss the sprouts in the olive oil and ginger with the salt and black pepper. Transfer to the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until charred. Reduce the oven temperature to 200C on fan/bake setting and bake for 5–10 minutes more.

Meanwhile, mix the glaze by combining the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and sesame oil. Set aside.

Cook the peas according to the package directions. Drain.

When ready to serve, combine the hot cooked sprouts with the glaze and the peas, and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.

Gluten-free superfood mince pies with goji, jujube and mulberries

Gluten-free, with a vegan option. Makes 12 small mince pies. You will need a 12-cup mini-muffin tin, a 64–76mm round cookie cutter and a 50–64mm star cutter.

Ingredients for the pastry:

220g rice flour, plus extra for dusting the work surface
half the zest of an orange – the juice and the other half will go into the mincemeat
pinch of fine salt
100g butter, chilled and cubed (or 100g coconut oil for vegans), plus a little more for greasing the tin
8–10 tbsp very cold water
1 egg, beaten (optional, for glazing)

Ingredients for the mincemeat:

100g jujube fruits, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes – use medjool dates if you can’t find jujube fruits
75g goji berries
75g mulberries
the rest of the orange zest
the juice of the orange
3 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp brandy or port (optional)
15g coconut sugar for sprinkling


First make the pastry dough. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the orange zest and salt and mix together. Add the cubes of butter or the coconut oil and mix with fingertips until crumbly. Add the water one tbsp at a time until a sticky dough is formed. Knead for one minute or until smooth. Shape into a ball, wrap in a damp tea towel, and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Next make the mincemeat. Chop the jujube fruits (or dates) and mulberries and put them in a saucepan with the goji berries, orange zest and juice, mixed spice and alcohol (if used). Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes to let the flavours mingle. Leave to cool for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Lightly grease the mini-muffin tin with butter or coconut oil.

Once the pastry has rested, generously dust a work surface with rice flour and carefully roll out the pastry dough to 1cm thick.

Using the round cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles. Using the star cutter, cut out 12 stars. Using your thumbs, gently press the circles into the mini-muffin tin. Fill each circle with the mincemeat and use water or beaten egg to seal the star top to the base. Brush the star tops with egg (optional).

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Sprinkle with coconut sugar and serve.