Sriracha is nearly more popular than salsa (though perhaps by the time you read this, it will, officially, be more popular), and Korean gochujang could possibly be the next Sriracha—it tastes like a love child of miso and Sriracha, but is used more like an ingredient in a sauce or marinade rather than as a condiment. It’s made from red chiles, rice, fermented soybeans, and salt and gives the Brussels sprouts and tofu in this dish a deeply burnished, slightly spicy chile taste. After you offset the Korean gochujang against the sweet, gingery hoisin eggplant, you may find yourself turning to this dinner way more than takeout! —Raquel Pelzel, author of Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless
- 1 Pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, sprouts halved lengthwise
- 1/4 Cup neutral vegetable oil (such as grapeseed or safflower)
- 8 Ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and blotted dry
- 2 Tablespoons Korean gochujang sauce (see headnote)
- 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane-style rasp, or minced
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Pound (about 3 medium-size or 2 large) Chinese or Japanese eggplant, tops removed, eggplants sliced into 1-inch pieces on a diagonal
- 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 Tablespoon mirin (rice wine)
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F.
Toss the Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium-size bowl. Place them on a rimmed sheet pan and roast until they are starting to brown, about 15 minutes.
Slice the tofu into 1/2- to 3/4-inch planks. Stack the planks and cut them into 1-inch-long rectangles. Place the tofu in a large bowl, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and toss to coat.
Push the sprouts to one side of the sheet pan and add the tofu to the other side. Roast until the bottom of the tofu is browned, about 15 minutes, and then flip each piece with a spatula. Cook until the other side is golden, about 10 minutes more.
Whisk the gochujang, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce in a medium-size bowl. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and, with a silicone basting brush, dab the sauce over the sprouts and tofu. Return the pan to the oven and cook until the sauce begins to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
Place the eggplant in a large bowl and toss with the remaining tablespoon vegetable oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Place the eggplant on a clean, rimmed sheet pan and roast until it starts to brown and soften, 10 to 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the hoisin, remaining tablespoon sesame oil, ginger, and mirin in a medium-size heatproof bowl.
Transfer the eggplant to the bowl, toss to coat, then return the dressed eggplant to the pan and continue to roast until it is tender, about 5 minutes more. With a spatula, place the eggplant over the sprouts and tofu. Sprinkle with the scallions and sesame seeds and serve.
Recipe excerpted with permission from Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless by Raquel Pelzel (Workman Publishing, 2017)