It is a staple in many Korean households, and on the spiciness scale it ranks somewhere between the heat level of sriracha and Tabasco sauce. So why the sudden uptick in gochujang? We have seen a rise in pickling, fermenting, and fire-roasting in the culinary world, thanks in part to newfound Western interest in ancient cooking techniques. Gochujang hits on all three pillars, and its exotic flavor is appealing to adventurous eaters.
The paste is made with fermented soybeans, red chiles, rice, and salt. Traditionally, the mixture is ripened in the sun in special earthenware to bring out a truly one-of-a-kind flavor profile.
You can usually find the chile paste at a Japanese or Korean grocery store, where it is most commonly packaged in a colorful red tub. If you can't find a local market, you can also pick up a tub on Amazon for around $10.95, which will get you just over a pound of spicy delight.
The culinary possibilities are limitless. Use gochujang as a dip for fresh vegetables or noodles, pour it over chicken wings, and add it to taco meat and Bloody Marys. It’s a great way to refresh some of your tried and tested recipes and impress your friends with minimal effort. Want to really blow them away? Throw some gochujang in one of these grilled cheese sandwiches. (You’re welcome)
Natalie Lobel is a Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal who enjoys navigating the food space with a compass and a wooden spoon. You can follow her food adventures and diet experiments on her Instagram @natlobel.
In this video, our team shows you how to make shakshuka which goes perfectly with a dollop of: Gochujang.