Gochujang is a spicy chili paste made with fermented soybean paste, rice flour, salt and sun-dried Korean chilies (called gochu in Korean).
Even though it's only been around for about 300 years, it's an indispensable condiment in Korean cuisine.


Other names: Korean Chili Paste, kochujang

Physical Description

Gochujang usually appears as a dark red, thick paste with a similar texture to tomato paste.

Colors: dark red, crimson,

Tasting Notes

Flavors: pungent, hot, sweet, salty, savory, and sour
Mouthfeel: Spicy, Earthy
Food complements: Grilled meats, Kimchi, Bibimbap, Stews
Wine complements: Reisling, Gewurtztraminer
Beverage complements: Korean beer, Soju
Substitutes: Sriracha, Miso

Selecting and Buying

Buying: Gochujang is widely available in Korean and Asian grocery stores.

Preparation and Use

Gochujang is made with doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste, similar to miso) mixed with salt and hot red pepper powder.
Gochujang is used in many different Korean dishes including bibimbap (rice bowl mixed with vegetables), dakkalbi (spicy grilled chicken), gochujang jjigae (gochujang stew). It is also used as a base for making other condiments like chogochujang (초고추장) and ssamjang (hangul: 쌈장).

Conserving and Storing

The average expiration date of gochujang ranges from 12 to 18 months. It needs to be stored in a cool, dry place and must be refrigerated after opening.


Gochujang is the quinessential Korean condiment, even though chili peppers have only been in Korea for a few centuries. It is one of the three indispensable household condiments in Korean cooking (the other two are doenjang, which is a Korean miso and ganjang, which is a Korean soysauce).

History: Gochujang first came into existence in the late 16th century, when chili peppers were first introduced to Korea during the late Chosun Dynasty period.

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