Take your carrots and cabbage to Seoul and back. It’s worth the trip. [Editor’s Note: That’s all that the lovely Meera Sodha has to say about these gochujang-slathered roasted vegetables with a Korean accent. We gotta say, while we could blather on and on about them, they really require us to say nothing more. You simply need to experience them.]–Meera Sodha

What is gochujang?

Gochujang (pronounced “gah chu jang”) is a Korean condiment that’s traditionally fermented until it reaches uncanny levels of complexity in terms of being salty, savory, and rather unforgettably pungent. It’s based on a red chile paste that’s far more complex than Sriracha and has a sweet heat that varies in intensity from brand to brand. You can buy it at most Asian markets as well as online. You can also make a quick shortcut Cheater’s Gochujang that, while not authentic, does work quite well when you’re stuck at home and can’t make it to the store.

A blue plated topped with roasted carrots and cabbage with gochujang.

Roasted Carrots and Cabbage with Gochujang

5 / 4 votes
These roasted carrots and cabbage with gochujang are generously coated in a mix of Korean spice paste, along with cumin and garlic sauce, and then roasted until crisp. Eating your vegetables has rarely, if ever, been like this.
David Leite
CourseSides
CuisineAsian
Servings4 to 6 servings
Calories290 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour

Ingredients 

  • 1 2/3 pounds carrots, peeled and quartered (or halved, if small)
  • 1 2/3 pounds green cabbage, cut into 3/4-inch (18-mm) wedges
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons gochujang paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 5 tablespoons mild vegetable oil, plus more for the baking sheet
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil and slick the foil with a little oil.
  • Place the carrots on 1 baking sheet and the cabbage on the other.
  • In a small bowl, mix the gochujang, cumin, salt, garlic, ginger, and 3 tablespoons of the oil.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: If you're gluten-free, you'll want to double-check that the particular brand of gochujang you selected is, indeed, without gluten as some brands sneak some into their product.

  • Pour half the spice paste onto each pan of vegetables and mix with your hands so that the marinade gets everywhere.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: You really want to massage the paste onto the vegetables so it sticks to them and not the foil, particularly the cabbage, which has a tendency to cling pretty tightly to the surface. This is why you want to first slick the baking sheet with oil, though of course you can swap cooking spray if you like.

  • Arrange the carrots and cabbage in a single layer and roast until the vegetables are tender and blackened at the edges, 25 to 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the white wine vinegar.
  • Dump the still-hot roasted vegetables into the bowl and toss to coat with the oil and vinegar. Serve the vegetables straight from the bowl or pile them onto a platter. Your work here is done.

Notes

What Do I Do With Lefovers?

We have it on good authority that leftovers, should you have any, are excellent the next morning when chopped, lightly fried, and topped with a crispy egg.
East Cookbook

Adapted From

East

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 portionCalories: 290 kcalCarbohydrates: 32 gProtein: 5 gFat: 18 gSaturated Fat: 3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 1 gSodium: 894 mgFiber: 10 gSugar: 16 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2020 Meera Sodha. Photo © 2020 David Loftus. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

We LOVED these roasted carrots and cabbage with gochujang! My spouse has been devoted to the Curried Roasted Carrots on the Leite’s site since I first tested those and mentioned that he liked these just as much, if not more.

The cabbage and carrots are a perfect match in this recipe and the gochujang adds a lovely flavor without being too spicy. I was initially skeptical about the blackened edges on the vegetables, but it was unfounded—once tossed with the vinegar mixture, it was perfect.

This could make a fun holiday side, or would be really delicious with any meal. My cabbage stuck a bit to the foil that lined the pan, and I would probably try to figure out a different solution for next time, but this time I just sort of scraped it off into the bowl and it was still lovely.

For the sake of transparency, I bought a giant tub of gochujang for this recipe. This was a risky move, but it ended up being a genius investment since I’ll be using this recipe as a base to roast many of my other vegetables going forward. This dish also transports me back to when it was okay to eat inside my favorite crowded Koreatown haunts before the pandemic. *sigh*

The truth is, this fermented chili paste adds so much life to simple, humble carrots and cabbage. It adds a nice, funky heat to complement the naturally sweet vegetables. I also loved finding the little nuggets of roasted crushed garlic amongst the main stars. (Biting into its charred skin to find its creamy interior is particularly a dream.) The final toss in the white vinegar also added a great tangy pop to make this a complex, completely satisfying bite.

If I could make one note, I’d recommend putting the carrots on the lower rack to get them cooked to the same level of perfection as the cabbage. There was still a bit of crunch to some of the thicker carrot slices. While I don’t necessarily mind because it was a nice textural contrast, some people do.

A very simple and spicy side! Sweet roasted vegetables and spicy delicious baked-on goodness. Comes together in under an hour and would be a solid player with many different proteins. This was loved by all taste testers and is on our rotation!

Love this twist on roasted vegetables! The large chunks and longer roasting time makes this dish the perfect thing to pop in the oven while you prep your main dish, whatever it may be. The carrots were the star here—the long roasting time made them sweet and caramelized, which tempered the heat.

We served this alongside fish tacos, which was perfect. Be sure to cut each wedge of cabbage through the core/stem end, so that the pieces stay together.

What a nice, spicy surprise! This side dish was very different from anything I’ve made before, but we really enjoyed it.

My gochujang paste was very thick, even when mixed with the other sauce ingredients, so to ensure the cabbage and carrots were well coated, I had to massage it on. I put on some food-safe gloves to do this and would highly recommend this method.

Overall, it was super easy to throw together, and roasted for exactly 35 mins. I served it with a simple grilled steak and roasted potatoes so there weren’t any competing flavors and it was perfect!

Definitely worth cooking! This came together in less than 45 minutes and the flavor is fantastic.

My carrots were really small (I had 14 carrots) so I cut them in half rather than quarters and they cooked faster than predicted. I used Hawaiian sea salt, which is good because the gochujang can be a bit salty, too, which would overpower the vegetables.

You most definitely need to line the pan; otherwise, this makes a sticky caramelized mess of your pans. My carrots were done at about 25 minutes and the cabbage was crisp-tender at that point as well. As it sat, the cabbage continued to soften so you don’t have to wait until the cabbage is completely softened to remove it from the oven.

This served 6 people with a few leftovers, which actually didn’t make it the rest of the night because the carrots are delicious to nosh on even after they’re cooled.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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