How To Use Gochujang + Delicious Spicy Korean Recipes

This Korean chili paste is a spicy lover's dream!

IMAGE Pixabay

It's the ingredient that makes your saucy and spicy tteok-bokki dish so red. It's the paste that tops your bibimbap and gives your favorite Korean fried chicken a bit of heat. 

This red paste is gochujang, a popular Korean red chili paste that is used as a spicy ingredient in recipes. 

What is gochujang?

Gochujang or korean red chili paste
Photo by Pixabay

Gochujang is a hot pepper paste but it's more than just that. It's a fermented chili paste made from gochukaru or gochugaru, the dried red chili powder from Korea, soybeans, rice or wheat, and salt. According to Maangchi's homemade gochujang recipe, her recipe uses barley malt powder, sweet rice flour, rice syrup, fermented soybean powder, kosher salt, and water. This is mixed together to form the paste and simmered until thickened. This is then placed in a claypot, covered, and then left to ferment under the sun. This requires time and effort because it does need to be mixed regularly to develop into the spicy, sweet, salty, and delicious fruity flavor that we associate with the paste. 

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No need to go through this hassle and make it yourself! There are many Korean grocery stores and packs of gochujang, dobanjang or the fermented soybean paste, frozen tteok-bokki or rice cakes, and other Korean ingredients and products are also available in major supermarkets. 


Gochujang is a great condiment for your dishes but it's also a fantastic ingredient in recipes, too. This is the paste that gives your Korean fried chicken sauce that touch of red as well as its fruity spiciness and heat. Beef bulgogi recipes may also have it for that spicy kick instead of using gochugaru

It's easy to add this paste to your recipes! It can be as simple as scooping up a teaspoon (or three) and stirring it into your sauce until it dissolves with the rest of the ingredients. Slather this sauce on during the last minute or two of cooking to avoid burning the sugars or marinate your meats in it overnight. 

Are you excited to try recipes at home that use this sticky and delicious paste? Here are recipes to try! 

Photo by Dairy Darilag

1 Bibimbap Recipes

The Korean trend actually started way before the Korean fried chicken craze. It may have started with bibimbap, a rice dish topped with many ingredients on top, including beef bulgogi and a sunny-side-up egg. This looks like a breakfast-for-lunch bowl but it's Korea's version of the Mongolian rice bowl: it was topped with many of the side dishes that are commonly served with every meal, including samgyupsal


Freshly steamed rice on the bottom is tossed with all the ingredients, including a dollop of gochujang, when ready to eat. 

korean sesame drumsticks
Photo by Michael Angelo Chua

2 Korean Fried Chicken Recipes

This saucy fried chicken is super crispy, thanks to the double frying method used to guarantee its supreme crispness in the face of all that sauce. The gochujang gives the sauce its spicy and fruity kick. 


spam kimchi fried rice
Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

3 Kimchi Rice Recipes  

Not all kimchi rice recipes have gochujang in the ingredients list but for those who wish their kimchi has more liquid, the gochujang can deliver on the spiciness your kimchi fried rice recipe demands. Kimchi is fermented, too, using the same dried red chili powder that gochujang is made from, but with the added benefit of being more flavorful than just spicy and tangy. 


kimchi butter
Photo by Aldwin Aspillera

4 Spicy Kimchi Butter Recipe 

This may be the most brilliant recipe for anyone who loves kimchi, butter, and anything spicy. Compound butter are easy to make and for this recipe, finely chopped kimchi, gochujang, gochugaru, butter, and a little salt combine to create this chunky spread that you will want to spread on everything. You can now make that epic sandwich crammed with tender bulgogi and kimchi with this buttery spread under the buns that celebrates your love for Korean food


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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here!

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