Cauliflower with Gochujang
Have you told yourself you are going to eat more plants this year? I have and I’ve decided they are not going to be boring. Cauliflower with Gochujang is tastier, stickier, and spicier than a Korean dating show.
I don’t like dating shows. Too fake, too crass, and just too much for me. So when my brother told me I should check out Singles Inferno, a South Korean reality dating show, I had my doubts.
The first episode of Season One? So cringe-y that I barely made it through. But I thought I’d give it one more try, so I watched episode two.
And I couldn’t stop watching after that. Everyone is so polite, so pretty, and so Korean! Plus, the commentators are hilarious.
I loved it and am now finishing up Season Two.
The premise of Singles Inferno is five girls and five guys on a deserted island off the coast of South Korea with no electricity, social media, or phones. They cook, haul water, and compete in physical challenges together as they get to know each other. It’s not exactly camping but more like adult summer camp at the beach.
The goal: meet someone who is as interested in you as you are in them and go to Paradise, a luxury hotel, where you can get to know them better. And by that, I mean their age and their profession. Compared to other dating shows, Singles Inferno is pretty wholesome.
But there are still some spicy moments, and some involve gochujang.
Gochujang is a popular condiment in Korea. Dark red and spicy-sweet, it is a fermented red chili paste used in all kinds of dishes including bibimbap, meat marinades, soups, stews, and tteokbokki. It is also the base for condiments and sauces to which soy sauce, vinegar, sesame seeds, and other spices are added.
My auntie made her own gochujang from scratch for years. It contained gochugaru (red chili peppers), sticky rice, and fermented soybeans, along with some salt. She would airmail my mom a jar or two when the batch was ready.
Gochujang can be purchased in most Asian markets and on Amazon, of course. Be aware that there are different heat levels from mild to extremely (and I mean extremely) hot. If you’ve never tried it, get a small container and experiment with it on meats and veggie dishes like this one.
- Be sure your batter is fairly thin and runny before dipping the cauliflower florets otherwise you will wind up with a thick and claggy mess.
- As written, this recipe is spicy. If you need to tone down the heat, use 2 tablespoon gochujang and ½ cup brown sugar instead.
- This dish pairs well with steamed rice and a fresh cucumber salad. Or serve it with Korean bbq ribs and kimchi.
Many thanks to Bon Appetit for the sticky and spicy baked cauliflower recipe.Print
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 ½ lb cauliflower head, cut into florets
- ¼ cup gochujang
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar
- Garnish: toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/204 C. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Tip in 1 ¼ cup of water and whisk to form a thin batter. Add more water if necessary.
- Dip cauliflower florets one at a time into the batter, shake off excess, and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes or until just starting to turn golden brown.
- Combine gochujang, soy sauce, and brown sugar in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10-ish minutes or until the sauce has enough body to it that it will coat a spoon. Tip in the vinegar and stir.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the baked cauliflower, tossing to coat the florets. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.
Keywords: cauliflower with gochujang