Korean chili powder, or gochugaru, is an essential ingredient in many of our favorite Korean dishes because of its smoky-sweet fire. Find out more about this ingredient below.
What Is Korean Chili Powder? How Does It Taste?
Korean chili powder is a vibrant red seasoning traditionally made with sun-dried chili peppers ground into different consistencies ranging from fine to flaky.
Though not as spicy as cayenne or other chili powders, it will still bring some heat. It tastes sweeter than Sichuan chili flakes and has a slightly smoky flavor. It also adds that recognizable vibrant red color to Korean pickles, soups, and stews.
How To Use Gochugaru
Perhaps its most well-known application is in making seasoning paste for kimchi. However, we also add it to stews like Kimchi Jigae and Soondubu Jigae, where it adds sweet heat.
You’ll see in those recipes that we add chili flakes in quantities like 1-4 tablespoons. An indication of their relatively low level of heat!
In short, Korean chili powder can work in just about any recipe that calls for some heat. It works especially well in sauces and marinades, and we love the flavor it brings to our Beef and Kimchi Fried Rice.
Buying & Storing
You can find Korean chili powder at Asian markets, both in physical stores and online.
The more authentic and higher quality brands will say “sun-dried” (“taekyung” or “taeyangcho”) on their packaging. Many Korean chefs prefer coarsely-ground powder over fine.
Store them in an airtight container for about 18 months. After that, replace them to ensure your dishes have the best flavor!
Our Favorite Recipes That Use This Ingredient
Soondubu Jigae (Korean Soft Tofu Stew)
Beef and Kimchi Fried Rice