I’ve been obsessed with gochujang, a Korean chile paste recently.
While I’ve had it before in bibimbap (and loved it!), it’s only recently that I’ve really opened myself up to all of its possibilities.
Plus while you can get it at any Asian market, recently I’ve noticed that the big local supermarkets are even carrying it in their International aisle, making it extra accessible. If buying it, many of the tubs offer heat levels on the sides and back so make sure to check it out if it does and buy according to the spice level you like. If it doesn’t, just give it a try when you first open to gauge the level of heat before you start using, especially if you intend to use it in large doses and aren’t exactly a spice fanatic.
Gochujang, for those not in the know, is a sort of Korean kicked up fermented soybean paste with chilies, salt and sugar. Sweeter than Sriacha and tamer than harissa, it’s delicious. Point, period, blank. I’ve become highly addicted to it and I’ve been using it in everything – soups, stir-fries, roasted vegetables, burgers, mixed with mayo for dipping, meatballs, etc. If you want to learn more, you can check out the Ingredient Spotlight from the Kitchn here.
So when I needed a quick dinner, I pulled out the trusty gochujang and used that as a glaze for some simple grill pan chicken breasts. On the side, I threw together a quick Asian slaw that I let marry in the fridge while I prepped and cooked the chicken and had dinner on the table in no time.
- 4 (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts – Note: if you can only find the big chicken breasts, cut them in half on the diagonal
- 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp gochujang, divided and set out in a small bowl to allow to warm to room temp
- 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp + 1 Tsp neutral flavored oil (I used grapeseed)
- 1/2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp lite soy sauce
- 6 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (you could use regular cabbage here if you prefer)
- 4 red radishes, cut into matchstick
- 1 bunch of green onions, dark green tops thinly sliced
- In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tsp gochujang, 3 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 1/2 Tbsp oil, 1/2 Tbsp dark sesame oil, 1 clove of garlic, 2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp lite soy sauce until well combined. Pour in napa cabbage, radishes and green onions and toss until well coated and combined. Set aside in the fridge until ready.
- In a small bowl, combine remaining 2 Tbsp gochujang and the last two cloves of garlic. Pound the chicken breasts to an even ½ inch thickness.
- Heat a grill pan over medium heat for 5 minutes - yes five, set a timer and do other things if necessary, you want to be sure the pan is evenly preheated. Evenly brush remaining 1 tsp oil over pan. Place the chicken breasts in the grill pan and cook, covered, for 4 – 6 minutes. If I’m using my high sided square pan I just put a large lid over it, it’s not perfect but it helps to ensure the chicken cooks through and stays moist. If I’m using my flat grill pan I use a wok lid, again not perfect but it gets the job done.
- Flip the chicken, baste with half of the gochujang mixture and cook, uncovered, another 4 – 6 minutes. Flip again, baste the exposed side with the remaining gochujang mixture and cook another minute or until done.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes then serve with slaw.