Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Ponzu Fried Garlic, Guanciale, and Bonito Flakes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Ponzu, Fried Garlic, Guanciale, and Bonito Flakes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Recipe adapted from Dennis Lee, Namu


  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
  • ¼ lb. guanciale
  • 1 tablespoon fried garlic
  • 4 oz. ponzu
  • 4 oz. soy dashi
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Shichimi or Togarashi spice
  • Bonito flakes


  1. Cut the guanciale into about ½ inch cubes (remember it will slightly shrink when it cooks).
  2. Boil the guanciale in a pot with the water at about 1 ½ inches above the meat. Bring it to a boil and simmer until soft. Much of the fat will render, but the flavor will remain rich. Drain and discard the liquid. This can also be done in advance and stored in a refrigerator.
  4. Quarter the heads or globes so the roots stay intact, keeping the leaves together.
  5. Blanch the Brussels sprouts. Always blanch in a large pot (large enough that it won't stop boiling when you drop the sprouts into it) of water with a healthy dose of salt (2-3 tablespoons). While waiting for the water to boil, prepare an ice bath. Boil the sprouts until they turn bright green, then immediately shock them in the ice bath. This can be done up to a day in advance and the sprouts can be stored, in the refrigerator covered.
  6. The Brussels sprouts can either be roasted or pan fried.
  7. TO ROAST:
  8. Roast the sprouts and guanciale in the oven at 375 degrees F until golden brown with enough olive oil to coat, making sure to stir it every 5 minutes or so to get an even color.
  9. TO PAN-FRY:
  10. Put 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan coated with extra virgin olive oil. When the butter melts, add the guanciale and Brussels sprouts. Put the pan on high and stir fry the ingredients. You want to get a nice brown color on the leaves of the sprouts, with some crispiness. The guanciale will also crisp up a little on the surface like bacon.
  11. Once everything is nicely browned, add ponzu and soy dashi. Be careful as the pan will be very hot and will sizzle when you add the wet ingredients.
  12. Let this reduce to the desired flavor, making sure to regularly toss the sprouts.
  13. Top with shichimi, fried garlic and bonito flakes. The flakes will dance with joy.


For the fried garlic, you can mince and fry this yourself on the stove in a pan with enough oil (neutral oil, i.e. rice, canola, grapeseed) to coat the garlic. Fry over low heat until the garlic starts to brown, remove with metal screen strainer (it will continue to brown) and place on paper towel and spread to cool with a spoon or chopsticks. Otherwise they sell wonderful fried garlic in Asian markets in a jar.

For the ponzu, you can also find this in an Asian grocer. If you want to make your own, it's 2 parts dashi stock, 1 part soy, 1 part rice vinegar and citrus juice to taste (Meyer lemon juice or yuzu juice works great).