Vegnesday: Gochujang and Sesame Butternut Squash

Vegnesday this week brings in one of my favorite Korean flavors – gochujang, or spicy fermented red chili paste.  I’m always a big squash fan, but the addition of gochujang, sesame seeds, and soy sauce added a new dimension to a familiar flavor.  This was also really easy to make, which is always a big bonus for weeknight cooking.  I can’t take credit for the recipe…this time that goes to Bon Appetit, another great source.  Just slice up a butternut squash (or your winter squash of choice), mix up some sauce, add the two together, and roast.  My grocery store didn’t have scallions today, so I made do with a kale garnish for a dash of green.  The end result is spicy, salty, savory, sweet, and eminently satisfying on a rainy day like today in Seoul.

On a sidenote, two things about this made me smile (beyond just the flavor).  Thing one was that on my grocery receipt the squash was listed as “BUTT SQUASH.”  Yes, I’m an adult and that made my day.  Second was my cat’s interest in the final product.  Spoiler alert – scroll all the way down for a cute kitty…

Ingredients

4 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, sliced ¼” thick
  • Scallions, thinly sliced
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Squash 1

Directions

  • Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425°.
  • Whisk the sesame seeds, oil, gochujang, and soy sauce in a large bowl.

Squash 2

  • Add squash and toss to coat. Divide squash between 2 rimmed baking sheets, arranging in a single layer.

Squash 4

  • Roast, rotating sheets once, until tender and browned on some edges, 25–30 minutes. Serve topped with scallions and salt.
Squash 6
These get the official kitty seal of approval!

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