150g of gochujang paste
100ml of dark soy sauce
50g of light brown soft sugar
25ml of mirin
75ml of rice wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
50ml of sesame oil
50g of stem ginger and
1 tbsp of syrup
1l of cooking oil, for frying, plus 1 tsp for rubbing the celeriac
200g of buttermilk (or oat milk for a vegan version)
Dredge (see below)
2 tsp of chopped coriander
2 tbsp of sesame seeds, toasted
400g of strong white bread flour or gluten-free flour
40g of corn flour
2g of baking powder
6g of garlic powder
8g of onion powder
10g of white pepper
6g of smoked paprika
5g of cayenne pepper
3g of ground turmeric
Step 1For the sauce simply place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add a little water if needed to reach a nice, saucy consistency. Keep in the fridge in a sealed container until needed.
Step 2Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas Mark 6.
Step 3Rub the celeriac with the tsp of oil and then rub over a good amount of sea salt and wrap the celeriac tightly in foil. Cover with a further 4 layers of foil – this helps the celeriac almost steam itself and leaves it with an amazing texture. Bake for about 1½ hours (the exact time will depend on the size of your celeriac), until tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Then, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool in the foil for 2 hours or so.
Step 4Remove the foil and then, using a knife, remove the celeriac skin, taking as little flesh away as possible. Using your hands, tear the celeriac flesh into small chunks – different sizes is best, so you end up with some nice, small crispy bits alongside some lovely large pieces.
Step 5Pour the cooking oil into a deep pan until two-thirds full and heat the oil to 180°C on a cooking thermometer or until a cube of day-old bread turns golden in 60 seconds (or preheat a deep-fat fryer to 180°C).
Step 6Get 2 mixing bowls: put the buttermilk (or oat milk) in one of them and the dredge in the other. Using your hands, place the celeriac pieces into the buttermilk or oat milk first, then into the dredge. Make sure the celeriac pieces have a good coating on them. Fry the pieces in batches, for about 3 minutes per batch, until golden and crisp. Set aside each batch to drain on kitchen paper, while you fry the next. Once all the pieces are fried and drained, place them in a clean mixing bowl, season them slightly with salt and coat them in the sauce. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped coriander and toasted sesame seeds.
Step 7To make the dredge, combine the ingredients in a large bowl, then transfer to an airtight container and store in a dry place. The dredge will keep for 6 months or more.