Gojuchang Cauliflower Bites

The first time I bought a tub of gojuchang at the Korean market around the corner from my house, I bought the smallest tub possible, thinking

“Who can honestly eat that giant tub of chili paste?”


I can. I can eat that giant tub of chili paste. That’s who.

Pronounce it with me: Go-choo-jong.

What is it? A Korean condiment that is both sweet and spicy (and I find it smoky). It is made of chili, glutinous rice, barley malt powder, fermented soybean powder, and magic. Yes, magic. I don’t understand it, and I don’t need to; I just should have bought the bigger tub.

Throw out all ketchup and BBQ sauce in your house. Ya don’t want it no more. Where can you buy it? Your local Korean grocery store (or online if you are out in the boonies). Please don’t try to get it at a standard grocery store like Walmart - you will not be getting the real thing, and then this recipe will taste odd.

This recipe is far from traditional. I am definitely not trying to re-create something (I mean, I mixed sesame oil with olive oil….we are wilin’ out here). It is delicious, and that was my aim. I coated cauliflower florets in the sauce (recipe below) and roasted them, but if someone is bougier than me and has an air-fryer, please do that and let me know how it goes!

Before baking, the sauce will be pretty watery, but that is going to change!

Before baking, the sauce will be pretty watery, but that is going to change!

Gojuchang Cauliflower Bites


  • 1 tbs. gojuchang

  • 2 drops Young Living Orange Vitality Essential Oil

  • 1 tbs. honey

  • 1 tbs. sesame oil

  • 4 tbs. olive oil

  • 1/2 tbs. soy sauce.

  • Salt to taste


  • 1 head of fresh cauliflower (not frozen), cleaned and cut into florets

  • 2 tbs. olive oil

  • 1 clove crushed garlic

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Mix together the ingredients for your sauce, stirring gently until everything is well incorporated. You are working with a few different consistencies here, so be sure everything is mixed well. You can set the sauce aside.

Prep the cauliflower by coating the florets in olive oil and garlic. Let sit for a minute so the garlic and oil can really get into the crevices. After letting it rest, pour the gojuchang sauce over the cauliflower and toss to coat. The sauce is watery, so don’t panic. You didn’t do something wrong. It will caramelize in the oven.

Pour the coated cauliflower onto a nonstick baking pan. Bake 40 minutes, regularly stirring the cauliflower on the pan because it is likely to stick (all that honey). You will know you are done when the florets are fork tender and the sauce is a little sticky. Serve warm, perhaps topped with warm sesame seeds or finely diced spring onions.


Samantha Bossalini