Okonomiyaki-Style Brussels Sprouts
You’ll find variations of okonomiyaki all across Japan (the name itself translates to “as you like it, grilled,” speaking to the dish’s flexibility). The savory cabbage pancakes can have all sorts of add-ins (pork belly, octopus, shrimp, squid, cheese!) and are typically decorated with zig-zags of tangy-sweet Kewpie mayonnaise and salty-sour okonomiyaki sauce and piles of wispy bonito flakes and nori. While nothing compares to the real deal, we took a cue from the okonomiyaki tots at Brooklyn’s Chuko and dressed roasted brussels sprouts like okonomiyaki, with lots of our favorite toppings. This okonomiyaki sauce is an approximation of the bottled stuff and achieves a similar sweet-acidic-salty-gingery punch that’s tamed by the rich, cooling mayo. Don’t skip it! If you’re a vegetarian, leave off the bonito flakes and seek out veg-friendly Worcestershire sauce.
- 2 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved lengthwise
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. ketchup
- 2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. finely grated peeled ginger (from one 1" piece)
- ½ tsp. shichimi togarashi, plus more for serving
- 1 toasted nori sheet, crushed into confetti-size pieces
- Kewpie mayonnaise (for serving)
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced into rounds
Arrange oven racks in top and lower thirds of oven. Place one rimmed baking sheet on top rack and another on bottom rack; preheat to 450°. Toss brussels sprouts and oil in a large bowl; season with salt. Carefully remove one hot pan from oven and transfer half of sprouts to pan—they’ll sizzle! Working quickly, turn sprouts cut sides down (don't worry if you can't get to all of them; it doesn't have to be perfect!). Repeat with second pan and remaining sprouts. Roast brussels sprouts, rotating pans halfway through, until cut sides are seared and tops are browned, 15–20 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, honey, vinegar, ginger, and ½ tsp. shichimi togarashi in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened and glazy, 3–4 minutes. Taste and season with salt.
Pour glaze over brussels sprouts and toss to coat. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with nori, then squeeze mayonnaise over in stripes, covering the whole dish (trust us!). Pile bonito flakes in the center of the sprouts. Top with sesame seeds, scallions, and a dusting of togarashi.