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What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a robust chili paste made from Korean red chilies, glutinous rice, barley malt powder, salt and fermented soybean powder. It has a slightly sweet and smokey flavor and is rarely used by itself. Gochujang really shines in condiment recipes, marinades and sauces.

It’s time to chat about Gochujang.

Cooking World-inspired cuisine leaves me with a lot of spices and sauces. I don’t want these to go to waste so I end up using them on an everyday basis.

Once I made a popular Korean condiment called Ssamjang and had leftover Doenjang and Gochujang. By the time I used it again, it had dried out in the back of my fridge.

It occurred to me that maybe this happens to you too. Today we are taking a deep dive into this robust Korean chili paste.

How to make Gochujang at home

Traditional Gochujang paste has been made with fermented soybeans, glutinous rice powder and barley malt powder. The rice and barley add some sweetness during the fermentation process and the fermented soybeans add valuable umami.

We can use these flavor properties in order to make an easy homemade Gochujang at home, minus the years of fermenting in lidded jars.

Quick & easy (cheater) homemade gochujang paste

In a small mixing bowl add equal parts for the first 3 ingredients and add the soy sauce to taste.

  1. gochugaru (Korean chili powder)
  2. molasses (may substitute maple syrup, honey or rice syrup)
  3. miso or doenjang (fermented bean paste)
  4. soy sauce to taste (check for saltiness)

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a year.

What’s a good Gochujang substitute?

Just about any cohesive combination that has umami, sweetness and heat.

  • Homemade gochujang recipe above.
  • A mixture of miso, hot sauce and sweetness such as honey or maple syrup

Don’t Worry, you can find pre-made gochujang – just look for the red tubs!

Gochujang Sauces & Marinades

Gochujang is an easy way to level up your heat and flavor in your everyday cooking. Simply mix this amazing Korean chili paste with a few ingredients and you have some amped up sauces to use as marinades, condiments, dipping sauces and more. Really the only limit for uses is your imagination.

Try some of these ideas

  • 3 parts Gochujang, 2 parts rice vinegar, 1 part sesame oil, 1 part maple syrup (brush on meat and veggies before baking, think sheet-pan dinners)
  • 1 part Gochujang, 1 part catsup, 1 part brown sugar, 1 part apple cider vinegar (use as a spicy BBQ sauce)
  • 1 part low sodium soy sauce or Tamari, 1 part rice vinegar, 1 part honey (or maple syrup or rice syrup), 2 parts Gochujang, 2 parts miso (or Doenjang paste), 1/2 diced onion, 1 Tbs grated garlic & ginger (Use as marinade for ribs and roasts)

If you create your own sauce, leave a comment below and let us hear all about it.

more ideas on how to use up that extra gochujang

  • Add some to your favorite cream cheese crockpot dip for some smokey heat.
  • Spice up your soup or stew with a few tablespoons.
  • Add to marinades.
  • Mix with Ranch dressing for a spicy drizzle on fries or veggies.
  • Mix with olive oil and salt and brush on chicken wings before baking.
  • Add to your fried rice recipe.

Where to find Gochujang?

You can definitely find this amazing ingredient at any Asian market. Gochujang is becoming more popular and I have seen it in some American supermarkets. If you can’t find any, you can always order online.