Gaji Namul (Gochujang-Marinated Eggplant)

Chef Sunny Lee’s roasted eggplant in gochujang marinade is a delicious twist on gaji namul, a classic Korean banchan dish.

Gaji Namul (Gochujang-Marinated Eggplant)

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Chill Time:
1 day
Total Time:
1 day 25 mins
8 servings

Gaji namul, one of the most classic Korean banchan, features beautiful batons of steamed marinated Chinese eggplant. In her version of the dish for her New York City pop-up, Banchan by Sunny, chef Sunny Lee starts by caramelizing the eggplant to impart deep, savory flavors. Serve this piquant, garlicky, and umami-forward banchan with a hot bowl of rice or as a side dish with Korean fried chicken, barbecued spare ribs, tofu, or other proteins.

For this dish, look for Chinese eggplant, which has a long, narrow shape with skin that ranges in color from light to bright purple. The tender white flesh has few seeds and a mildly sweet taste. You can find Chinese eggplant at most Asian grocery stores.


  • 2 pounds Chinese eggplant (unpeeled), halved lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 10 cups)

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon gochujang

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as Three Crabs)

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (such as Kadoya)

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup), plus more for garnish

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus more for garnish


  1. Stir together eggplant, canola oil, and salt in a large bowl.

  2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, cook eggplant, stirring often, until browned and caramelized on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer eggplant to a plate, and let cool.

  3. Whisk together vinegar, gochujang, fish sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, and sugar in large bowl. Fold in eggplant, scallions, and sesame seeds. Transfer to a 1- to 1 1/2-quart airtight container, and refrigerate at least 1 day or up to 1 week before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Garnish with additional scallions and sesame seeds.

Suggested Pairing

Ruth Lewandowski Rosé, a rosé blend, is fruit-forward, bright, and light in texture, which pairs nicely with the richness of gaji namul.

Related Articles