Korean Chili Glaze

I’m trying really hard to keep up with the CSA box despite being back to work, and I find myself flipping through piles of recipes on a regular basis to keep ideas fresh in my mind.  When an item pops up in the box, it’s nice to be able to think, I just saw a recipe for that bunch of beets.  I put together this spicy sauce while anticipating the arrival of eggplant, and upon seeing the white beauty’s tiny size on pick up day, added broccoli to the recipe.  The article was in the Food & Dining section of The Chicago Tribune on July 13, 2016.  The link showcases all 4 of the recipes in the feature; I am posting only the 2 recipes I tried.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/recipes/sc-grilled-steak-brownson-food-0708-20160706-column.html

Red chili steak sauce

Prep: 5 minutes
Makes: about 3/4 cup

1/4 cup medium-hot Korean gochujang
1/4 cup rice wine, mirin or dry sherry
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 to 4 tablespoons ketchup, to tame the heat
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon refrigerated ginger paste or 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Refrigerate covered for up to several weeks.

Nutrition information per tablespoon: 34 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g carbohydrates, 4 g sugar, 1 g protein, 240 mg sodium, 0 g fiber

This sauce came together in no time.  I recently bought a jar of gochujang at the Asian market Jin frequents.  I think you can probably get it in the ethnic aisle of most grocery stores if you don’t have a decent international market nearby (sriracha might be an acceptable substitute, but I really have no idea).  I used rice wine vinegar and changed the ginger component to a teaspoon of ginger powder because I was in a hurry too lazy to mince the fresh stuff.  I used 3 tablespoons of ketchup (it was all we had left in the bottle) and be warned:  this sauce is HOT (but delicious)!  Even husband says so, and he has a very high tolerance for spice.  A couple of days later, I made this:

Red chili glazed eggplant

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 6 or 7 minutes
Makes: 2 servings

1 large eggplant, ends trimmed, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
Coarse salt
Vegetable oil
2 to 3 tablespoons red chili steak sauce, see recipe
Finely sliced cilantro and green onion
Sesame seeds, optional

1. Sprinkle eggplant slices generously with salt. Let drain in a colander in the sink while the grill heats.

2. Prepare a charcoal grill for direct grilling or heat a gas grill to high heat. Put the grill in place and let it heat thoroughly.

3. Rinse the eggplant slices; pat dry. Spritz eggplant generously with oil on both sides. Set the slices on the grill directly over the heat source. Cover the grill; cook without turning. 4 minutes. Flip the eggplant; smear with a light coating of the chili sauce. Cover the grill; cook, 1 minute. Flip and smear the other side with the sauce. Cook until fork-tender, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Remove the eggplant with tongs or a spatula. Serve hot or at room temperature sprinkled with the cilantro, onion and sesame.

Nutrition information per serving: 151 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 19 g carbohydrates, 11 g sugar, 3 g protein, 245 mg sodium, 6 g fiber

Since my eggplant was on the small side, while it drained in step 1, I chopped 2 small heads of broccoli and tossed them in the glaze.  I did the same with the sliced eggplant in step three, omitting the oil (mistake). I laid out the slices of eggplant on a foil-lined baking sheet and put the broccoli on a separate sheet. I roasted the pans at 350º.   Despite checking the eggplant slices frequently, the thinner ones dried out and because the glaze is so sticky, I had a hard time peeling them off the foil (should have used the oil or some non-stick spray).  The broccoli took about 25 minutes and it was pretty soft.  I put the two vegetables together (ok, I admit, I ate most of the eggplant as I peeled it off the sheet).  Tasty, but so spicy!   This is a great side dish to spice up a boring meal or to add to a Korean-themed dinner.  I could see putting these veggies in tacos or in a rice bowl for another twist.   I think this would also be great on potatoes or carrots.  If you are not a fan of the heat, temper this glaze with more ketchup or a greater vegetable to sauce ratio.  Have the fire extinguisher nearby!

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