No matter your culinary expertise, it’s always a good idea to keep your pantry well-stocked with spices and pastes to elevate any meal from ordinary to extraordinary. If you’re looking to try your hand at Korean cooking, you simply have to try Korean gochujang recipes.
One of the key ingredients in Korean cuisine, gochujang sauce creates a sweet, spicy, and umami base that lifts and enriches traditional flavors for an unforgettable experience. Even if you’re sensitive to spice, gochujang is a great way to add an extra dimension to your cooking.
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What Is Gochujang?
Gochujang is a staple ingredient in Korean cooking. This thick, spicy sauce is made from a mixture of red chili pepper flakes, fermented soybeans, glutinous ‘sticky’ rice, and salt. It can take years to ferment properly. As the ingredients break down, starches in the rice and soybeans convert to sugars, and create a residual sweetness common to many Korean recipes.
Now, reading that list of ingredients for gochujang above, I can understand people being hesitant. But, this is one of the tastiest chili sauces and provides a fabulous mix of sweet and spicy to any dish. Unlike other hot sauces, you do need to cook Korean chili sauce one or at least mix it with other ingredients!
You’ll find gochujang in Korean grocery stores, on Amazon and in the international aisle of many major supermarket chains. If you’re looking to try this Korean hot sauce, look for the small red plastic tubs with chili peppers on the label. Be warned though – the ingredients will usually be in Korean, so you may need to try a couple of brands before finding one you like.
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Tips For Cooking With Gochujang
Unlike other Asian hot sauces like sriracha, spicy gochujang sauce isn’t supposed to be used to finish or garnish a dish. That said, there are a variety of Gochujang uses. Its rich, spicy-sweet flavor makes it the perfect marinade for fatty meat and seafood dishes like bulgogi, or creating the quintessential Korean pickle kimchi.
When cooking with this Korean spicy sauce, make sure that you’re using it as a recipe base. Depending on its fermentation time, the spice levels vary from brand to brand, and some may be spicier and more aggressive than others. It’s a good idea to start small and add a bit more of you can handle the extra kick.
Gochujang’s uses vary from kitchen to kitchen – however, it’s perfect for livening up basic dishes like rice cakes, or making magic with starchy vegetables like pumpkin and winter squash. We love using it on chicken tenders to make a Korean fried chicken recipe.
What Recipes Can You Make With Gochujang
There are many recipes using gochujang – more than you may expect!
If there’s one Korean food you’ve heard of, it’s kimchi. This Korean pickle gets its spicy flavor from gochujang sauce, and is often used in Korean cuisine to add a sweet and sour dimension to meats and vegetable dishes. You’ll find kimchi and gochujang coming together in bibimbap, a type of Korean rice bowl made using sliced meat, vegetables and a fried egg.
Gochujang also adds a rich flavor base to popular Korean street foods. Meals like tteokbokki, a kind of Korean rice cake simmered in spicy gochujang sauce, are great for warming your stomach and taste buds as you explore the streets of Seoul.
For more contemporary gochujang recipe ideas, air-fryer Korean fried chicken or cauliflower is the perfect snack food! Coated in spicy gochujang marinade, these make great dipping options for parties, sporting events or simply for an easy weekend meal.
The high spice level means that gochujang pairs perfectly with dairy. Meals like cheese dakgalbi bring creamy and savoury flavors together, and are both satisfying and decadent.
Looking to start using this spicy Korean hot sauce in your cooking, but have no idea where to start? Try some of these great gochujang recipes for your next meal!
The Best Korean Gochujang Recipes
Here are some of our favorite recipes using gochujang, one of our favorite chili sauces to use at home.
Easy Homemade Kimchi
Easy Homemade Korean Kimchi is fermented cabbage and other veggies. It is a staple in Korean households. Kimchi is great for gut health and is primarily a healthy side dish.
Tteokbokki is a popular Korean street food made with rice cakes simmered in a spicy gochujang sauce! Add ramen noodles or dumplings for a delicious meal!
Spicy Korean Meatballs
Perfect as a starter or for a party snack, these spicy Korean meatballs use spicy gochujang sauce to create a hot and tangy glaze. They can also be served over rice for a main course.
Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken
We tend to make a lot of air fryer Korean fried chicken at home, but mostly with boneless chicken – it’s what I prefer. And, it reminds me of a lot of the Korean fried chicken we’ve eaten in Seoul. this is a bit of a different version. It’s a crispy buttermilk fried chicken is tossed with a spicy and sweet Korean inspired gochujang sauce for a delicious air fryer chicken dinner. This is a fabulous way to dress up chicken on the bone in something that is sweet and spicy!
Korean Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings
These Korean Air Fryer Cauliflower Wings are the most delicious cauliflower wings ever. Inspired by Cheesecake Factory’s Korean Fried Cauliflower we gave these a healthier twist so we can enjoy them more often at the comfort of our home. 8 ingredients and 8 minutes is all you need for this vegan, low-carb side, snack or appetizer that is just so yum!
Easy Korean Beef Bibimbap Recipe
This Easy Korean Beef Bibimbap Recipe is made with warm rice topped with delicious thinly sliced Bulgogi Korean beef, mixed vegetables, kimchi, gochujang sauce, and a fried egg. Mix it all together, and the result is a delicious and easy Korean Bibimbap dinner favorite with gochujang flavor that the whole family will love.
Spicy Slow Cooker Korean Beef
Slow Cooker Korean Beef is absolutely bursting with flavor and has the most mouthwatering aroma whilst cooking! Tender pieces of beef are slowly simmered in a dark and delicious hot and sweet sauce with chunks of fresh pear. Served on a bed of jasmine rice it’s a fantastic alternative for takeaway night.
Instant Pot Korean Beef Bulgogi
Korean Beef Bulgogi Recipe made with tender and juicy marinated pieces of beef. All of the sweet and savory Korean flavors of the bulgogi beef from the undertones of the pear, brown sugar, and soy sauce.
Korean Bulgogi Tacos With Gochujang Marinade
Korean Beef Tacos, aka Bulgogi Tacos… Thinly sliced, juicy tender steak marinated then flash cooked and wrapped in tortillas with Asian coleslaw and sriracha aioli. They’re a Flavor Bomb!
Kimchi Fried Rice
Kimchi Fried Rice Recipe is a korean rice dish that is mixed with kimchi, bean sprout and gochujang sauce. It is served with sunny side up egg to add some protein.
Cheese Dakgalbi (닭갈비) is a Korean spicy stir fry chicken that is marinated in gochujang paste, soy sauce, and sesame oil. It is mixed with vegetables like cabbages, spring onion & carrots, and it is topped with mozzarella cheese.
With a few simple ingredients, you can have a plate of this Gochujang Noodles with Bacon and Scallions for dinner in no time. Made in 30 minutes or less!
Kimchi Seafood Soup
This kimchi seafood soup is an easy version of Korean tofu stew (Sundubu jjigae), and is made with kimchi, tofu and shrimp. Make it in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop!
Korean Style Ground Pork Soup
This Korean-inspired soup is a new favorite. Perfectly seasoned ground pork, twirly noodles, bok choy, and soft-boiled eggs in a delectable coconut-based broth. Slurp!
Easy Korean-Style Spicy Pork Mince
This speedy Korean-style spicy pork mince is a great little easy midweek recipe that can be used in so many different ways. Load up some bowls with rice, some chopped veggies, and a nice drizzle of extra gochujang, or add to lettuce leaves for something a bit lighter.
Spicy Tomato Braised Cabbage With Chickpeas
Tomato and gochujang braised green cabbage is served with chickpeas and hearty bread. This results in a spicy and warm comfort dish. A savory one pan cabbage recipe made easily in a cast iron skillet. Perfect as a filling main course or spicy side dish to a rich protein entree.
Gochujang Roasted Butternut Squash
Sweet tender butternut squash pairs wonderfully with spicy savory gochujang sauce. Enjoy this Gochujang Roasted Butternut Squash as a side dish for any Korean-inspired dinner.
Spicy Korean Sweet Potatoes
This is one of the more easy Korean recipes to make. Sweet and caramelized on the outside, fluffy and tender on the inside, these Korean Sweet Potatoes have that ultra combination of sweet and salty, with a touch of spice
Spicy Korean Tofu
This spicy Korean Tofu is made with Gochujang for a delicious and addictive dish. Serve over rice with a vegetable side or add to a Bibimbap bowl.
FAQs – Gochujang Recipes
The main ingredient used to make gochujang sauce is gochujang paste. The paste itself is a blend of red chili and other ingredients which is then fermented.
You can find Korean chili paste at any good Asian market or specialty food shop. Korean chili paste is increasing in popularity and as such, it’s much easier to find. In some shops, you might see it written as go chu jang paste or Gochujang sauce.