Asian/ Recipes/ Roundup

15 Ways to Use Gochujang Korean Chilli Paste

24/01/2020 (Last Updated: 23/07/2020)

Do you ever find yourself with unusual ingredients you bought for a recipe, but don’t know what to do with them afterwards? Gochujang is one such ingredient. We love using this spicy fermented chilli paste in hotpots and stir fry dishes, but this versatile, mouthwatering paste has so much more to offer. 

Tub of Korean Gochujang Chilli Paste.

What is gochujang? What is it made of?

Gochujang is a deep red, smooth and spicy paste popular in Korean cuisine. A staple condiment, it’s made from Korean chilli powder (gochugaru),  fermented soybean powder (mejugaru), glutinous rice powder (sssalgaru) and salt. The traditional method to make gochujang can take anywhere from three to six months, where the paste is stored in a clay pot and aged in full sun. 

What does gochujang taste like?

We think gochujang has a deep, rich tomato-like flavour – sweet, sour and spicy all in one! But it might surprise you how complex the flavour actually is. Fermentation gives it a deliciously salty umami kick, while Korean chilli powder gives a hint of sweetness to round it all out. 

How spicy is gochujang?

Gochujang can be found in both mild and hot versions. If you’re worried about too much spice when using it for the first time, try adding less than the recipe requires until you become used to the flavour and heat level. Then you can happily adjust until you get the perfect spice level to suit your preference.

What is gochujang used for?

We use gochujang most often as a base for stews such as Budae Jjigae (Korean Army Stew), Dakgalbi (Spicy Korean Chicken Stir Fry) and Tteokbokki. It can also be used to amp up dipping sauces, bring savoury intensity to soups, and be slathered on as a marinade for meats such as Korean fried chicken. 

It’s also the base ingredient for ssamjang, a popular dipping sauce for Korean BBQ, dished up with platters of grilled pork belly, beef, lettuce and onion. 

Top view of budae jjigae heated up and ready to eat.
Korean Army Stew (Budae Jjigae)
Learn how to cook this easy Korean-American hotpot recipe. Korean Army Stew (Budae Jjigae) transforms simple everyday ingredients like spam, noodles, mushroom and veggies into a mouth-watering spicy stew. Budae Jjigae is perfect for sharing and entertaining too – if you have a table top cooker, why not cook it all together with friends!
Check out this recipe
Bowl of Tteokbokki with boiled eggs and chopsticks.
Tteokbokki Recipe – Korean Spicy Rice Cake Stir Fry
Tteokbokki is a super popular street food dish in Korea, thanks to a handful of superstar ingredients. This fiery tteokbokki recipe features mouthwatering Korean chilli flakes, gochujang spice paste and dashi stock, smothered over chewy rice cakes. Masshisoyo!
Check out this recipe
Spicy Korean Chicken stir fry in a pan.
Dakgalbi with Cheese – Korean Spicy Chicken Stir Fry
Featuring succulent pieces of Korean spicy chicken stir fried in a mouthwatering Dakgalbi sauce and smothered with melted cheese. Cook it on the stove, or better yet, in the middle of the table surrounded by friends.
Check out this recipe

What can I use instead of gochujang?

A quick and easy substitute for gochujang is to make your own blend using miso paste and Korean red chilli pepper powder. This will head you in the right direction towards the salty-sweet-spicy-umami profile gochujang is best known for. If you don’t have Korean chilli powder, you can substitute with regular chilli powder or equal parts cayenne and paprika. You can also try adding a sprinkling of sugar or a dash of soy sauce for good measure. Give it a try and see what you think.

After all, we think the most important part is to have fun with cooking – be curious, adventurous, and enjoy the process of discovery!

Does gochujang expire?

As long as you store it in the fridge, gochujang should easily last a couple of years after opening. During this time you might notice a separation of the liquid, it’s fine to give it a good stir and use as normal. 

Where to buy gochujang?

Gochujang can be found at your local Asian supermarket or grocery. If you don’t have one nearby, you can also purchase direct from Amazon. You might even find it at your regular supermarket, especially if it has a good selection of imported ingredients.

It’s also totally possible to make gochujang at home – but remember, it will take up to six months in the sun to fully ferment. That’s a commitment to flavour you can be proud of!

How to make Gochujang at home! | Kimchi Mari
Home made Gochujang (Korean Chili Paste) is simply the best and making it is easier than you might think.
Check out this recipe

Is Gochujang vegan and vegetarian friendly?

Yes and yes! So smother your tofu, veggies and other amazing ingredients in this sauce – Right. Now!

15 Ways to Use Gochujang Korean Chilli Paste

As a sauce or condiment

Easy Korean Beef Bibimbap Recipe
Easy Korean Beef Bibimbap Recipe | The Forked Spoon
Easy Korean Beef Bibimbap Recipe made with warm rice topped with thinly sliced Bulgogi Korean beef, mixed vegetables, kimchi, gochujang, and a fried egg. Mix it all together, and the result is a delicious and easy Korean Bibimbap dinner favourite the whole family will love.
Check out this recipe
Vegan Korean Mushroom Bulgogi Bowl
Vegan Korean Mushroom Bulgogi Bowl | Rachael Hartley Nutrition
This veggie packed vegan Korean mushroom bulgogi bowl uses meaty portobello mushrooms in lieu of beef! It’s easy for meal prep, and topped with a spicy sriracha mayo sauce!
Check out this recipe
Spicy Baked Korean Chicken Wings
Spicy Baked Korean Chicken Wings | Joyous Apron
These chicken wings are baked not fried yet super crispy, then drizzled with an oh-so-flavourful sauce made with Korean hot pepper paste! So delicious!
Check out this recipe

As a marinade

Korean Spicy Chilli Bulgogi with Gochujang
Korean Spicy Chilli Bulgogi | All Ways Delicious
Spicy Korean chicken is flavoured with gochujang, a fermented red chilli paste that is spicy and full of umami. This Korean chicken recipe is easy to make either on the barbecue grill or in a grill pan on the stovetop.
Check out this recipe
Pressure Cooker Korean Pork Ribs
Pressure Cooker Korean Pork Ribs | Supergolden Bakes
These pressure cooker Korean pork ribs are irresistible and very easy to prepare. Deliciously sticky and finger lickin’ good! This recipe is also suitable for your slow cooker.
Check out this recipe
Spicy Korean Chicken in Gochujang Sauce
Spicy Korean Chicken in Gochujang Sauce | Where Is My Spoon
A spicy Korean chicken recipe: gochujang chicken breast with green onions, a healthy and easy way of enjoying chicken Korean style.
Check out this recipe

As a dressing

Spicy Beef Soba Noodle Salad
Spicy Beef Soba Noodle Salad | Delightful Plate
This Spicy Beef Soba Noodle Salad is not only easy to make but also healthy and filling. It features beef, soba noodle, lots of fresh and crisp vegetables and a spicy gochujang dressing.
Check out this recipe

As a glaze

Korean Steamed Chicken Breast
Steamed Chicken Breast with Gochujang Glaze | Krumpli
Gentle cooking is often associated with slow cooking but this simply steamed chicken breast in Korean Gojhujang glaze cooks in less than 20 minutes and tastes sublime.
Check out this recipe
Korean Gochujang Ribs
Korean Gochujang Ribs | Bacon Is Magic
Korean gochujang ribs are a spicy twist on a classic favourite. So easy to make as barbecued ribs, in the oven or slow cooker.
Check out this recipe
Gochujang Bean Balls
Gochujang Bean Balls | Quite Good Food
Gochujang is the star of the show in this full on, flavour packed, Korean style take on vegan meat balls.
Check out this recipe
Asparagus with Spicy Gochujang Glaze
Asparagus with Spicy Gochujang Glaze | Kroll’s Korner
Spice up your side dishes with these spicy Korean hot pepper asparagus spears and green beans!
Check out this recipe

As a base for soups or stews

Bowl of Tteokbokki with boiled eggs and chopsticks.
Tteokbokki Recipe – Korean Spicy Rice Cake Stir Fry
Tteokbokki is a super popular street food dish in Korea, thanks to a handful of superstar ingredients. This fiery tteokbokki recipe features mouthwatering Korean chilli flakes, gochujang spice paste and dashi stock, smothered over chewy rice cakes. Masshisoyo!
Check out this recipe
Gochujang Hobak Jjigae - Spicy Zucchini Soup
Gochujang Hobak Jjigae – Spicy Zucchini Soup | Daily Cooking Quest
Korean gochujang hobak jjigae is hot pepper paste, zucchini, tofu, shiitake, and onion mingles together in wonderfully aromatic anchovy soup.
Check out this recipe

For something a little bit different

Crazy Good Gochujang & Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Crazy Good Gochujang & Peanut Butter Sandwiches | Quite Good Food
A ridiculously delicious sandwich combo for the chilli lovers, featuring fiery Korean hot pepper paste and peanut butter.
Check out this recipe

These recipes are sure to help you find new and exciting ways to use up your tub of gochujang paste. All you need to do now is decide: Which recipe will you try first? 

And if you’ve already tried one or more of these tasty dishes, let us know how it turned out in the comments!

Looking for MORE delicious ingredient ideas to use up those condiments in the cupboard? Try these:

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Jo
    05/02/2020 at 10:47 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe collection couldn’t come at a better time as I’ve got some of this lovely chilli paste sitting in the fridge and was wondering on how to use it without repeating myself. Now I have so many lovely options, thanks!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/02/2020 at 1:07 pm

      Cheers Jo! Glad it could help you too. It’s amazing how versatile a little paste can be!

  • Reply
    Safira
    05/02/2020 at 10:17 pm

    5 stars
    I absolutely love Gochujang so this is the best round up for me ever! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/02/2020 at 1:07 pm

      Ah yay, glad to have found another fan. Hope you found a new use or two for it!

  • Reply
    Alice | SkinnySpatula
    05/02/2020 at 8:31 pm

    5 stars
    The paste sounds so versatile. I’ve never had it, but I think I’m definitely missing out. Must try!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/02/2020 at 1:06 pm

      It really is, because it’s not too hot either, it really lends more flavour to a dish rather than overtaking it with heat and spice, which is awesome!

  • Reply
    Katie
    05/02/2020 at 5:00 pm

    5 stars
    This is so helpful! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/02/2020 at 1:05 pm

      You’re welcome Katie!

  • Reply
    Emily
    05/02/2020 at 2:15 pm

    5 stars
    I had no idea you could use Korean chilli paste in so many ways! The glazed asparagus is calling my name!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/02/2020 at 1:05 pm

      Yesssss, how good does that Asparagus look!

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