Gochujang Cauliflower

For those of you who don’t know, Gochujang is Korean red pepper paste. It’s the slightly spicy flavouring in a lot of Korean dishes – bibimbap, Korean fried chicken wings, bulgogi, etc. It’s delicious, pungent and lasts a really long time if stored in the fridge.

I’ve been wanting to experiment with it for a while, and bought some just before the summer, but never cracked it open. Well, now that I’m back in Hong Kong it’s time to add it to EVERYTHING!! Okay, maybe not everything, but experimentation is key!

Gochujang is a great ingredient for vegetables and meat, as a marinade or in a sauce. And it’s bright colour means that your food always looks pretty too, because aesthetics are important.

As a word of warning, make sure you wash up whatever you make this sauce in as soon as you are finished with it, or it will stain anything that is not glass. Trust me, I’ve got a white plastic bowl that now has a nice orange tinge to it.


8 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
60 ml soy sauce
80 grams gochujang
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon agave
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons water
whole cauliflower
1 tablespoon gochujang
spring onions
black and white sesame seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. In a small bowl, fully combine the garlic cloves, ground ginger, soy sauce, 80 grams of gochujang, sesame oil, agave, vinegar and water.
  3. Remove the rough outer leaves of the cauliflower, but leave it whole.
  4. Place the cauliflower upside down in a cast iron skillet and pour over two thirds of the gochujang mixture, making sure it gets into the core of the cauliflower. Let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes to fully drip down the cauliflower.
  5. Turn the cauliflower over and pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Use a spoon to scoop some of the sauce in the skillet, ensuring that the entire cauliflower is covered. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Fill a baking tray with water and place it at the bottom of the oven (this will act like a steamer for the cauliflower). Place the skillet with the cauliflower in the middle of the oven. Cook for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and brush the top with the additional gochujang paste (if you need more than a tablespoon, then please use as much as you need). Place back in the oven for a further 15 – 20 minutes, or until a knife can easily slide through the cauliflower.
  8. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped spring onions and the two types of sesame seeds.
  9. Serve with wild rice or as a side dish.

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