I was right!1 A few years ago I said that gochujang, Korea’s spicy red pepper paste, was going to be the next big breakout flavor. I was early, but it’s starting to happen. I can buy gochujang in my local grocery stores now – a big change from back then, when I had to search it out in local Asian markets. (And, even then, it was hit or miss.)
How else do I know it’s a hit? My daughter is addicted to it. That squeeze bottle of gochujang at my local grocery store is now a requirement for my dinner table. If we have anything even vaguely Asian, my daughter demands it. It doesn’t matter what kind of Asian, either. Korean? Great! But it also goes on her Chinese stir fry, in a Japanese noodle bowl, and with her Thai curry.
Trying to get ahead of her love of gochujang, I brushed it directly on these shrimp on the grill. And…I have another hit on my hands. (I’m not sure if this is a good thing – she’s demanding these shrimp almost as often as she demands the gochujang sauce.)
4 scallions, trimmed, white and light green part cut into 1 inch lengths
1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or
1/4 cup gochujang paste (Korean red pepper paste.)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Peel and skewer the shrimp: Peel the shrimp and slice the scallions. Skewer one of the pieces of scallion, then fill the skewer with shrimp, then add another piece of scallion at the end. Sprinkle the skewers lightly on both sides with the kosher salt. Whisk the gochujang sauce ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
Set the grill for direct medium-high heat: Set up the grill to cook at medium-high heat (400°F). For my Weber Summit, I preheat the grill with all burners on high for 15 minutes. Then I clean the grates with my grill brush and turn the burners down to medium-high.
Cook the skewers: Put the skewers on the grill over direct medium-high heat, and cook for three minutes, or until the shrimp are starting to brown. Flip the skewers and cook for another three minutes, until browned on the other side. Brush the skewers with gochujang sauce, flip the skewers, and then cook for one minute. Brush again with the gochujang sauce, flip the skewers, and cook for one more minute to tighten up the sauce. Remove the skewers to a platter, and brush one last time with the baste. Let the skewers rest for five minutes, then serve.
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I don’t get to say that often – I have teenage kids who are more than happy to point out how often I’m wrong.↩
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