I never need an excuse to fire up my BBQ. I love cooking over fire and it gets me out of my tiny kitchen. I grill when it is sunny, and when it rains. I don’t mind. I just love to be out there. Over the bank holiday I gathered lots of random stuff from my fridge and cupboard and cooked it. The result was some terrific new recipes, one of which I will share now.
Gojuchang is one of my favourite store cupboard ingredients. A fermented hot paste made from gochugaru (a wonderful Korean red pepper powder which I use a lot too), glutinous rice, fermented soy bean powder, barley malt powder and salt. So far, so mesmerising and confusing, but this is one of the most delicious things that you could have in your kitchen. Hot (but not face melting), rich and deep, I add it to many things. Korean food, of course, but also unexpected things like soups, stews and bolognese. It is perfect for BBQ marinades.
I tend to create in chaos, which many find stressful, but I love being surrounded by a cornucopia of different pantry ingredients. It was exactly in this kind of situation that I spied the gojuchang and my 3 year old parmesan and thought – those in a burger – I think that will be ace! And it was.
The best food is often speedy, letting ingredients speak for themselves. Cheese on a burger? Yes. Cheese in a burger? Better! (Try both if you are a complete cheesehead). If you don’t know it already, the gojuchang will be a revelation. Buy a big tub and try my other gojuchang recipes too.
You should also try:
- *makes 5 burgers
- 400g minced beef
- 25g fresh grated parmesan
- 2 tbsp gojuchang (3 if you want them spicier)
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- *tomato salad
- 200g small cherry or baby plum tomatoes, chopped small
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- optional - for hot heads - 1 tsp chilli oil
- *optional garnish
- Thai sweet basil - gives a lovely fresh anise quality - I eat a leaf between bites and I love it. Coriander works well too, torn on top.