Gochujang is a key ingredient in many Korean recipes, including our Beef Bibimbap, Pork Belly Kimchi Bowls, and Kimchi Stew (Kimchi Jigae). But what is gochujang exactly? We’ll tell you everything you need to know in this quick article.
What Is Gochujang?
Gochujang is a savory, spicy, and pungent fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, glutinous rice/wheat, fermented soybeans, and salt. It looks like a smooth, thick, red sticky paste, and its flavor is sweet and spicy.
Depending on the chilies used, it can be relatively mild or hot. Most of the gochujang commonly found in US grocery stores have mild to medium spice levels.
It’s traditionally homemade and naturally fermented in large earthenware pots outdoors, but today, it’s readily available for purchase in Korean and other Asian markets as well as online.
How Is It Used?
Gochujang can be added to Korean soups, stews, and stir-fries for flavor and color. It can also be used as a condiment, most commonly for Korean mixed rice bowls, or bibimbap, as well as in meat marinades.
Buying & Storing
You can buy gochujang at Korean supermarkets like H-Mart, as well as Chinese and other Asian stores. It can also be readily purchased online these days. Once opened, store it in the fridge tightly sealed.
Because it is a fermented food, gochujang has a very long shelf life and will last months in the fridge. The only thing you have to worry about is the paste drying out in the refrigerator (it can become dry and hard, such that you can’t spoon it out!), so make sure that the package is tightly sealed.
Our Favorite Dishes That Use This Ingredient:
- Korean Beef Bibimbap
- 10 Minute Crispy Pork Belly Kimchi Bowls
- Kimchi Stew
- Salmon Bibimbap
- Korean Fried Chicken Tenders
If you have further questions about gochujang, let us know in the comments––we try to answer every single one.