Brussels Sprouts with Ponzu, Fried Garlic, and Bonito Flakes

The title of this post speaks for itself. There aren’t many ingredients involved to make this spectacular – and I do mean spectacular – vegetable dish. For those foodies who were at the 1st Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival back in November, you all know what I’m talking about. We had this dish at the Foodbuzz dinner and everyone was blown away by the Asian flavors that permeated through these little brussels sprouts. I’ve been meaning to try this recipe created by Chef Dennis Lee of Namu Restaurant in San Francisco. Although we didn’t have all the ingredients, we still made the most of what we had and it still turned out delicious!

Here is the link to the Foodbuzz page where we used the Chef Lee’s recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Ponzu Fried Garlic, Guanciale, and Bonito Flakes. (Keep in mind we didn’t use all of the ingredients, and we didn’t roast the sprouts).

Take about 5 cloves of garlic and thinly slice them and fry in vegetable oil. When they start to brown, take them out and place on paper towel and set aside.

We used 2 packages of 12 oz. brussels sprouts (24 oz total) but you can definitely use less. Quarter the sprouts and blanch them in salted boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drain and shock them in an ice bath.

The ice bath is done by simply using 50% water and 50% ice in a bowl big enough for the sprouts. This helps keep the sprouts from continuing to cook and also helps retain the bright green color.

In a large pan, add some butter and olive oil and then drop in the brussels sprouts. Put the heat on high so that the sprouts get some brown color and continue to toss them. Next, add about 4 oz. of ponzu sauce and 4 oz. of soy dashi. (Tip: We didn't use soy dashi per the recipe, but instead used a little bit of miso which works just fine). Let this reduce to desired taste.

Toss the finished brussels sprouts with the reserved fried garlic, bonito flakes, and Togarashi spice (if available). Chef Lee's recipe actually includes guanciale, which is an unsmoked Italian bacon. We omitted this ingredient because 1) we didn't have any and 2) we wanted to make this a healthier version without the bacon. Ultimately, we still got a wonderful plate of brussels sprouts that is full of flavor from the ponzu sauce and bonito flakes. It's a winner in our book!

Speaking of the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival, we actually met our blogger friends, Kim and Hong from

Ravenous Couple in November. They have an amazing food blog that mainly encompasses Vietnamese cooking. They recently attempted to bake, and lo and behold, Kim’s recipe for Jalapeno Poppers in a Blanket is a finalist in the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry contest! We would appreciate your support for our friend’s recipe by voting for her daily in the Appetizer category up until February 1st.

Just go to this link and click on Appetizer and VOTE for Kim Dao’s Jalapeno Poppers in a Blanket! Let’s root for them to win a trip to NYC!! Congrats for being a finalist and good luck, guys!

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