Hot Pepper Paste – Gochujang

Gochujang is a red chile paste that also contains glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, salt, and sometimes sweeteners. It’s a thick, sticky condiment that’s spicy and very concentrated and pungent in flavor.

This is a spicy condiment used in a lot of Korean dishes. It makes dishes like tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) red, spicy, and shiny. You can find it in red tubs at every Korean supermarket in the gochujang/doenjang section.Gochujang’s sweet-hot-salty flavor truly shines when it’s used by the spoonful to add depth to stews and marinades for meat dishes. It can also be added to stir-fries, sauces, dressings and marinades — anywhere you want to add some flavor and spice!

Think of gochujang as being quite similar to Japanese miso paste — a little goes a long way, but it’s also very versatile. Gochujang can be used in marinades for meat dishes like Korean bulgogi, stirred into dipping sauces, or used to punch up stews or soups. The thick texture of gochujang means that it is a bit difficult to use straight up, so it is usually thinned out with a liquid of some sort. Also remember that if the gochujang contains sugar, searing or grilling meats marinated with it have a tendency to burn easily.