Whole Roasted Gochujang Cauliflower with Smashed Cucumbers



Full of flavour! I am not usually the person ordering whole roasted anything, partially because I don’t like the texture and also I feel the flavour only penetrates the top bit, leaving the middle bit bland.

Well folks, I loved this! Thanks to the combination of spicy (marinade) and sour (salad) and creamy (the cauliflower). Don’t skip the toasted sesame seeds or spring onions, I love the texture they add.

Gochujang is a Korean red chilli paste and its savoury, sweet, and spicy and often fermented, its gorgeous in marinades.

Zero Waste: you can lightly fry the outer leaves from the cauliflower, season and add to the plate along with the roasted cauliflower.

Serves 2 but can easily doubled up. I would suggest opting for 2 small cauliflowers rather than 1 large one.


  • 1 medium whole cauliflower, outer leaves removed, small inner leaves left on
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 spring onions, topped & tailed, white and green parts, finely chopped
  • portion jasmine rice to serve


  • 1 (mild) or 2 (spicy) tablespoons gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (you might need more to make a thick paste)

Smashed Cucumber Salad

  • 2 medium sized Lebanese cucumbers
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 handful coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 generous pinches salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 220c
  2. In a large pot add 1 tablespoon of salt, bring to a gentle simmer and add the whole cauliflower, use a heavy lid to keep the cauliflower submerged and cook until tender, about 12-15 minutes (depending on the size of your cauliflower) but DO check after about 7 minutes. A sharp knife should be able to pierce easily.
  3. Drain and let the cauliflower steam dry for 10 minutes, this is an important step. At this stage you can keep your cauliflower up to 2 days in the fridge before cooking.
  4. Line a baking dish with baking paper, add the cauliflower and season with oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the top part of the oven for 15 minutes, until the cauliflower start to caramelise.
  5. Meanwhile make the marinade by adding all the ingredients together and balance the flavour to your liking, maybe more sweetness?
  6. Remover the cauliflower and brush or spoon the marinade all over the cauliflower, trying to get into all the nooks and crannies. Turn the cauliflower up side down and marinade the bottom.
  7. Pop back in the oven and roast for 12 minutes. Remove and add a little more marinade (reserve some for the end) and whack the oven onto full grill, add the cauliflower and grill until well caramelised, for about 3 minutes (while keeping a close eye). Remove the cauliflower.
  8. To make the cucumber salad, bash the cucumbers with a heavy rolling pin (or a pot) until well smashed, cut into bite sized pieces. Add to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, season to your liking and well balanced.
  9. Add the cauliflower to a pretty plate, cut into four or six pieces, gently add a little more marinade to the pieces and season with salt & pepper. Finally add the spring onions and sesame seeds (reserved leaves). Serve alongside the rice and cucumber salad and leftover marinade. Delicious!
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