How To Store Gochujang, Ssamjang, Doenjang

Store these essential Korean pastes for your next samgyupsal feast.

IMAGE Sempio
ILLUSTRATOR Roselle Miranda

The soy-garlic sauce that coats Korean fried chicken may be super delicious but for those who love buffets and barbecues, the samgyupsal or Korean barbecue experience is the ultimate foodie feast. The side dishes or banchan are delightfully numerous that you can mix and match flavors. 

Among the dishes that are presented at every table, there is a small saucer of pastes on the table, too. One is usually a red chili paste, a chunky yellow miso-like paste, and a spicy, savory, and chunky version.

These are gochujang, doenjang, and ssamjang

That red paste is gochujang, a Korean red chili paste.
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Are you familiar with these Korean pastes? All three pastes are fermented pastes, all containing soybeans. Gochujang is a red chili paste made from a combination of hot chili, glutinous rice, fermented soy beans, barley malt powder, and salt. Roughly ground soybeans, fermented and seasoned much like soy sauce would be, is what doenjang is. It's simliar to yellow miso. The third, ssamjang, is actually a combination of gochujang and doenjang. Also known as the wrapping paste or sauce for your lettuce wraps, this is a delicious spicy yet savory addition to the bite. 

If you have these ingredients in your kitchen, you know that it's sealed pretty well and can be kept in your kitchen cabinets. However, once opened the vacuum seal that preserved these pastes at room temperature is broken, allowing air to enter and contaminate the mixture. 

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How do you store gochujangdoenjang, and ssamjang

Just like miso paste, the best way to keep your Korean pastes as fresh as possible after opening is to refrigerate it. The cold will slow down the spoilage. If you have resealable bags, you can store it these useful bags so the air that its exposed to is limited. In fact, do the extra step and vacuum seal it, so that there's little air inside to speed up the spoiling of your pastes. 

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These essential Korean paste ingredients need to be stored properly so you can enjoy a proper samgyupsal when the craving hits.

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