Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts with Plum Sauce

4.6 from 5 votes
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The Brussels sprouts are roasted in the oven until golden and crispy and served with a sweet and sour plum sauce. The dish is so flavorful that it totally stands on its own as a main dish. {Gluten-Free adaptable, Vegan}

The Brussels sprouts are roasted in the oven until golden and crispy and served with a sweet and sour plum sauce. The dish is so flavorful that it totally stands on its own as a main dish. {Gluten-Free adaptable, Vegan}

Brussels sprouts are in that genre of veggies that you either love or hate. And if you hate them, it’s probably because the ones you’ve tried weren’t cooked right.

I introduced my favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts in a previous post – you roast them until the surface turns crispy and the inside is tender. They are tasty in the same way that potato chips are: you don’t want to stop eating once you’ve started.

Roasted brussels sprouts tossed with plum sauce

Not your typical roasted brussels sprouts

While living in Austin, Texas, I discovered another great way to serve crispy Brussels sprouts. We frequently dined at our favorite ramen shop Tatsu-Ya, and nearly every time we were there, we would order their dish “Sweet & Sour Yodas”. It consists of deep fried Brussels sprouts that are extremely crispy and served with a sticky sweet and sour plum sauce with apricot vinegar and curry spices. 

Unlike the usual Chinese plum sauce, which is made from fresh plums, this one uses dried plums and a vinegar base to create a condensed and more profound sweet and sour sauce that is tart and rich. It tasted GREAT. In fact, it tasted so perfect that I stole the idea to make this copycat recipe the next day.

The secrets to making the best sweet and sour brussel sprouts 

Hidden flavor

The thing I like the most, is that they used a small amount of curry powder in the plum sauce to add a depth of flavor. If they hadn’t told me, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it at all. It blended in so naturally with the fruity flavor and created a hint of savoriness. To mimic the flavor, I’ve tried both mild Madras and Japanese curry powder. Both worked out wonderfully. Neither is very pungent and both taste slightly sweet. I added a dash into the sauce as the hidden flavor. It worked like magic.

Roasting method

When making sweet and sour brussels sprouts at home, of course I prefer to roast them instead of deep frying them. To make the surface crispier, I usually use a generous amount of olive oil and roast at a slightly higher temperature. 

Note, depending on the freshness of your brussels sprouts, the roasting time can vary. It’s a good idea to always keep an eye on them, so you can pull them out when the bottom has just turned golden brown and the texture is just softened.

Ingredients

You only need a few pantry staples to make this dish. If you want to make a gluten-free version, use balsamic vinegar instead of Chinkiang vinegar and you’ll be all set!

Ingredients for making sweet and sour brussels sprouts
Roasted brussels sprouts coated with a sticky plum sauce

Cooking process

  1. Mix the brussels sprouts with salt and pepper and oil, then place them cut side down. Roast them in the oven.
  2. To make the sauce, gently saute the aromatics and prunes.
  3. Pour in the liquid seasonings and spices and bring to a simmer.
  4. Once the brussels sprouts are done, toss them with the sauce right before serving.
Sweet and sour brussels sprouts cooking step-by-step

Once done, you can further drizzle some homemade chili oil to add more savory umami!

Afterthoughts 

This sweet and sour brussels sprouts dish is so flavorful that I’d totally serve it as a main dish. It is also perfect to serve as a side for your holiday gathering or dinner party. 

Next time you’re looking for a side dish or appetizer, try out these Asian-style roasted Brussels sprouts. The flavor works well in both East Asian and Western meals.

Roasted sweet and sour brussels sprouts close up
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The Brussels sprouts are roasted in the oven until golden and crispy and served with a sweet and sour plum sauce. The dish is so flavorful that it totally stands on its own as a main dish. {Gluten-Free adaptable, Vegan}

Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts with Plum Sauce

4.6 from 5 votes
The Brussels sprouts are roasted in the oven until golden and crispy and served with a sweet and sour plum sauce. The dish is so flavorful that it totally stands on its own as a main dish. {Gluten-Free adaptable, Vegan}
To make this dish gluten-free, use balsamic vinegar instead of Chinkiang vinegar. Use tamari to replace the soy sauce.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Side
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Keyword: holiday cooking
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs (450 to 600 g) Brussels sprouts , tough ends removed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Plum sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 2 cloves garlic , grated
  • 2 tablespoons shallot , finely minced
  • 6 seeded dried plums prunes, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon madras curry powder (or Japanese curry powder)
  • 2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sugar)

Serving option

Instructions

  • For the Brussels Sprouts: Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place Brussels sprouts onto a baking tray. Add vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to mix well. Then spread out without overlapping. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Flip the brussels sprouts to check on it twice, after 10 minutes and after 15 minutes. If the bottom has browned too fast, flip them and keep cooking. Once done, the bottom should have turned golden brown and the texture turned tender. If they are not quite done, return the baking sheet to the oven to bake for another 5 minutes or so.
  • For the Sauce: While baking Brussels sprouts, prep and cook the sauce. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot. Stir and cook until the herbs start to sizzle. 3. Add the dried plums and stir a few times. Turn to medium low-heat. Add the curry powder. Cook until the ingredients are evenly coated with curry, 1 minute. Add the Chinkiang vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. Continue cooking until it comes to a boil. Let cook for another minute or two, until the sauce thickens.
  • Right before serving, place the Brussels sprouts in a bowl and add the plum sauce. Gently toss a few times and serve immediately as an appetizer or side dish. Add a few drops of homemade chili oil, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 342kcal, Carbohydrates: 63.6g, Protein: 5.9g, Fat: 11.2g, Saturated Fat: 1.7g, Sodium: 254mg, Potassium: 1038mg, Fiber: 9.7g, Sugar: 34.3g, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 2mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don’t forget the last step! Tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Kevin | Keviniscooking says:

    5 stars
    This plum sauce is on my list, love the fact curry is used with dried plums and balsamic vinegar. Sounds fantastic Maggie! Pinned.

  2. Keith says:

    3 stars
    My one comment on this was that I couldn’t reduce the prunes down. It just ended up being a mushy mess in my pot. Should I have diced the prunes smaller instead of just chopping them?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Keith, I think you can dice the prunes to smaller pieces. Sorry I wasn’t very specific in my recipe. I won’t cook them until turning to a mush, but still a bit crunchy. Cutting them to smaller pieces will help.

  3. Justini says:

    5 stars
    When I first went to Ramen Tatsuya in ATX I was taken aback by how delightfully delicious these yodas were! I am overjoyed that you have managed to unlock this magical recipe and I will be sure to cook this within the next few days!! Thanks again!!!

    • Maggie says:

      Me too, love those in Tatsuya (and of course their ramen)! TO create the restaurant version, you need to deep fry the brussels sprouts. I found it too troublesome, so I baked them in the oven. Either way they will turn out very delicious 🙂
      Happy cooking and let me know how the dish turns out!

      • Justini says:

        5 stars
        I followed your recipe and roasted the fresh brussels sprouts in the oven! They came out absolutely perfect! So perfect, that my boyfriend requested that I make them again! Ha! Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic recipe.

  4. Sara says:

    My friend made this for dinner tonight and it was incredible! Thank you for the recipe!

    • Maggie says:

      I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the dish Sara! Hope you have a great week ahead 🙂

  5. Sharon Josephson says:

    Hi there–can you advise how many people this recipe serves as a side dish? It says the yield is 1-2 servings but that seems like a lot of Brussels sprouts for one or two people. Thank you!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Sharon, the recipe can serve 4 to 5 people as a side. We love brussels sprouts and usually finished the whole pound, but yes, it is a lot of sprouts for two people!
      Happy cooking and hope your dish turns out well 🙂

  6. Valerie says:

    These look amazing!! I’m wanting to make them for a big thanksgiving potluck party, so I may need to triple the recipe and roast in batches. To make sure that they’re warm when it comes time to serve, do you think it would work to reheat the sauce and wait to pour it on until it’s time to serve?

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      Hi Valerie, you can definitely reheat the sauce later because it holds very well. The sauce will thicken when cools down. If you find it too thick, simply add a bit water when you reheat it. Happy cooking!

  7. Bridgette V. says:

    5 stars
    It was delicious thanks for another great recipe!

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