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Eggplant, Cauliflower, and Tofu Ssam-Style Lettuce Cups


We love the traditional pork bo ssam and wanted to try a meat-free version that still carries those savory, spicy flavors with some crispy texture. Here we did a combination of tofu, cauliflower, and eggplant, but you could change it up with almost any sturdy roasting vegetables you have on hand.

Serves 4

2 to 3 eggplants cut into ½-inch-thick half-moons (slender varieties like Japanese, Chinese, or fairy tale work best here)

1 small head cauliflower (about 2 cups of 1-inch florets)

8 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes

grape-seed oil

kosher salt

For the gochujang sauce:

¼ cup gochujang

¼ cup grape-seed oil

3 cloves garlic, grated

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons fish sauce (optional)

2 teaspoons low-sodium tamari

For the ginger-scallion sauce:

1 bunch scallions, finely minced

2 heaping tablespoons grated ginger

¼ cup neutral oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

To serve:

cooked sushi rice

butter lettuce leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Set a half sheet pan in the oven to preheat.

2. Toss the eggplant, cauliflower, and tofu together in a large bowl. Add a few glugs of oil and a couple pinches of salt. Carefully remove the preheated sheet pan from the oven and scatter the veggie and tofu mix onto the pan. Return it to the oven and let cook for about 45 minutes, rotating the pan and tossing the vegetables halfway through.

3. While the veggies roast, make the gochujang sauce and the ginger-scallion sauce.

4. About 5 minutes before the veggies are done, take them out, drizzle ⅓ of the gochujang mixture over them, and toss to coat. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes.

5. When done, scatter the veggies on a serving platter and serve with the remaining gochujang sauce, the ginger-scallion sauce, kimchi, rice, and lettuce cups.

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