I cleaned out our refrigerator over the weekend and found a tub of Gochujang (Korean fermented chile paste) hiding in the back, far away from where most of my condiments live. Which might explain why I forgot about it for some time. And I’m not sure how because it’s one of those ingredients that really earns its keep — it stays good forever in the fridge (up to 2 years) and a little goes a long way to impart a deep, spicy, slightly funky dimension to whatever you’re cheffing up. I particularly like mixing the paste into a glaze for roasted fish, which I did on Sunday. Here’s the no-recipe recipe.
You can find gochujang at any Asian market or specialty store.
For the glaze: Whisk together 1 tablespoon gochujang, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 2 teaspoons brown sugar.
For the fish: Slice a 1 1/2-to-2-pound filet of char or salmon into four pieces, season with salt and pepper and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Set the broiler to high and cook salmon (unglazed) for about 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, brush a thin layer of the glaze on top of each filet, and broil another 2-4 minutes, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn. (If it looks like it’s burning, you can turn off the broiler and just let the hot oven finish cooking it.)
Remove the salmon from the oven when the glaze looks deep red and the edges of the fish are a little crispy. Brush with another suuuuper thin layer of glaze (just to make it a little shiny), sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve with a big green salad. (I made one with butter lettuce, arugula, avocados, radishes, cucumbers, basil, and a sherry-shallot dressing.) Perfect Sunday dinner.
P.S. For simple vegetarian recipes, check out my New York Times bestselling book The Weekday Vegetarians. Reminder: All the fun stuff these days happens in the Dinner: A Love Story newsletter on Substack, which is consistently in the Top 10 most-read food newsletters on the entire platform. You can subscribe here.