A simple, sheet pan side with a modern twist. Roasted carrots, spicy-sweet Gochujang glaze, and all those crispy burnt bits.
When I first started cooking, I fell in love with Ina Garten. I think everyone who cooks and hosts finds themselves crushing on her at some point or another. I loved her recipes, her straightforward style, the way she made dinner parties seem so effortless and elegant. I thought of her as someone who could help me cook simple, memorable, and truly delicious meals.
Except for one thing. She rarely cooked spicy food. And I needed it, on a daily basis.
Now remember, I grew up in a Korean home. To grow up Korean, even in the States, means eating spicy, strongly flavoured food: fermented soy bean paste, raw garlic, dried fish, and of course, kimchi. Even babies and toddlers eat kimchi, albeit with most of the spices washed off.
Suffice to say, spicy food was in my blood. Even while I roasted all manner of vegetables the Ina way — high heat, olive oil, salt and pepper — there were times when I simply couldn’t endure another plain roasted veggie. I needed something more.
That’s when I took Ina’s method for roasting vegetables and added a modern twist: a Gochujang glaze that was simultaneously spicy, sweet, and oh so delicious!
The carrots were burnished to golden-orange perfection. The sauce reduced to a sticky, sweet glaze. And the intense, fiery heat of the Gochujang! The carrots were so good, I almost ate the whole sheet pan in one sitting.
Here’s the method:
Place carrots on a sheet pan that is large enough to ensure they won’t be overcrowded. That means one layer with space in between. Drizzle with sesame oil. Mix together with hands until every carrot is evenly coated.
Roast until carrots are almost fully cooked, but not soft, about 12-15 min. (Test the carrots by sliding a knife into one. The carrots should not be rock hard but have a little give. If they are completely soft and the knife slides right through with no give, you’ve cooked them for too long.)
Meanwhile, whisk glaze ingredients in a small bowl.
When the carrots are half done, drizzle the sauce on top. Mix around with a spatula until carrots are well coated. Return to oven and roast until the carrot are soft and the sauce has caramelized, about 5-8 minutes. Watch the pan carefully here! The glaze burns very easily!
Remove from the sheet pan and onto a serving dish. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Gochujang Roasted Carrots
- 1 lb carrots ends trimmed
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp Gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste)
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 inch piece ginger minced
- Preheat oven to 425F/220C.
- Cut carrots into similar-sized long strips. There’s no need to peel the carrots if they are scrubbed well.
- Place carrots on a sheet pan, in a single layer. DO NOT overcrowd the pan! Drizzle with sesame oil. Mix together with hands until every carrot is evenly coated.
- Roast carrots until they are almost fully cooked, about 12-15 min. Test the carrots by sliding a knife into one; there should be some give but not too much.
- Meanwhile, whisk glaze ingredients in a small bowl.
- When the carrots are half done, drizzle the glaze on top. It will be watery. Mix around with a spatula until carrots are well coated. Return to oven until the carrot are soft and the sauce has reduced and caramelized, about 5-8 minutes.
- Remove from the sheet pan and onto a serving dish. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. Serve immediately or at room temperature.