What is Gochujang? And Why You Need It Now
Gochujang is one of the hottest condiments around, a chili paste like no other, so if you’re a spicy food lover, you definitely need this ingredient in your kitchen.
I’ve noticed Gochujang popping up in stores more and more lately. This is GREAT news. It means the rest of the world is starting to catch up to my spicy food palate. Keep spreading the word, my spice loving friends! I’ve been cooking with it for a while now, and I absolutely love the stuff.
I just turned in my latest cookbook, which focuses on easy spicy meals, and I used Gochujang in a number of the recipes. It’s a wonderful chili paste that will change up your dishes in the best of ways.
What is Gochujang? And Why You Need It Now.
Gochujang is a red chili paste that is both spicy and slightly sweet, and it is a MUST in any spicy food lover’s kitchen. It may remind you of one of our favorites, Sriracha, though Sriracha has nothing on this glorious condiment that I’ve fallen completely in love with as a spicy cook.
Gochujang is a Korean fermented chili paste made from chili powder, glutinous rice, fermented soybean powder, barley malt powder, and salt. It is thick and pungent in flavor, adding a zingy depth to your dishes. There are a number of brands on the market today, and they range in heat levels from mild to very hot, so be sure to check the label. There’s a heat range to suit your personal palate. Nice!
How to Cook with Gochujang
As Gochujang is a chili paste, you don’t want to use it like your typical Sriracha, straight up as a condiment. You’ll usually want to thin it out a bit with another liquid or condiment, or swirl it into simmering sauces, soups or stews to bring some desirable zest to your dishes.
Here are some Gochujang recipe thought starters:
- Spicy Peel and Eat Shrimp with Honey-Gochujang Glaze
- Spicy Gochujang Mayo for a nice sandwich spread
- Gochujang Honey Glaze for finishing grilled meats
- Gochujang and Soy Sauce Stir Fry
What Are Some Good Gochujang Substitutions?
If you are unable to find Gochujang, you can substitute with other condiments or ingredients. The flavor won’t be the same, but they should still work for the recipe. Some substitutions include Sriracha, Garlic Chili Paste, Thai Chili Paste (thinned with soy sauce). Other chili pastes can work as well.
Can You Make Gochujang at Home?
Yes, you can. I have seen recipes around the web, though it looks quite involved, and I ama person who enjoys fermenting. For now, personally, I will stick with purchasing Gochujang for my cooking needs. There are a number of brands I can’t wait to try.
How Long Does Gochujang Last?
Gochujang will last you a long time in the refrigerator, as it is a fermented product. If you notice your Gochujang has begun to dry up or is becoming discolored, you should replace it. Be sure to keep it in the fridge.
So what are you waiting for? Get yourself some gochujang and get cooking! Highly recommended! – Mike H.