I have a new obsession. It’s called gochujang, and it’s an absolutely brilliant condiment – a potent dark red paste that delivers a perfect symphony of sweet and spicy and salty and umami in a single spoonful.
It’s what makes Korean friend chicken so finger-licking good, the secret sauce that makes bi bim bap so endlessly delicious, the extra oomph that makes spicy bulgogi just that much better than regular bulgogi.
If you’ve never tried it before, this recipe is a good way to test the waters without diving straight in – you start with bright orange crescents of delicata squash, toss them with a spoonful of gochujang, a spoonful of nutty white miso, and a drizzle of sweet maple syrup, and then roast them in a blazing-hot oven until the edges of the squash are caramelized and crispy and delicious.
The combination may be a little unorthodox, but it’s surprisingly well-balanced, a side dish that’s both simple and memorable at the same time.
Admittedly, almost any kind of hard winter squash can be used in this recipe, but delicata appeals to my innate laziness – unlike the rest of its brethren, the skin is thin and soft, so you can eat the roasted squash peel and all. Not to mention that those little crescents with their scalloped edges are just so darn pretty on the plate.
It’s a stellar side dish to serve alongside roasted or grilled meats, or you can cool the slices to room temperature and toss with some lightly-dressed greens, a sprinkling pomegranate arils and a handful of toasted almonds to make a substantial fall salad.
Or you could just eat it all on its own, if you’re not particularly fussed about a balanced meal… which might just be exactly what I did with the leftovers. :)
- 1 medium-sized delicata squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp white miso paste
- 2 tsp gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Slice the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Slice into ½" thick crescents.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, miso and gochujang until smooth. Add the squash slices, and toss to coat with sauce. Arrange on a baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until squash is tender and lightly caramelized around the edges, flipping over the squash slices halfway through to ensure both sides crisp up evenly. (If the squash is tender after 35 minutes, but isn't quite caramelized enough for your liking, turn on the broiler for a minute or two to crisp up the edges, but make sure to watch it like a hawk or else you'll have burnt squash on your hands!)