Gochujang is a savory, spicy, and sweet Korean condiment that can be used for everything from cooking rice to making kimchi. This recipe will teach you how to make gochujang at home by following my step-by-step instructions.
Today we’re going to attempt something that no Korean dish is truly complete without: Gochujang. This condiment is what really sets off dishes like bibimbap, ddukbokki, and bulgogi.
With a two-month fermentation period, it is a time-consuming process, but if you have patience you will have an incredible batch of red chili paste.
What is Gochujang?
Gochujang is a traditional Korean red chili paste, also containing rice and soybeans, that is made through a fermentation process.
In Korea, gochujang is the most popular sauce to have on hand in your pantry. It’s a spicy and savory fermented soybean paste that can be used as a dipping sauce for dumplings, noodles, or rice dishes. It can also be mixed with water and sugar to make an amazing sweet chili sauce for wings and fries!
Gochujang is a spicy fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, glutinous rice, soybeans and salt. It’s the main ingredient in many popular dishes such as kimchi and bibimbap.
The process of making it at home can be surprisingly simple! The ingredients are easy to come by if you live in an urban area with access to Asian markets- but even those who don’t have that kind of accessibility can still give homemade gochujang a try using easily available ingredients like dried chilies or crushed tomatoes for instance, which replace the more exotic soybeans and glutinous rice found in authentic recipes.
How to Use Gochujang
It is easy to add flavor when cooking food. A teaspoon of gochujang can make a huge difference, but so does adding some tomato paste or crushed tomatoes into soup and stews.
For example, if you’re making a simple stir fry and want to spice it up with something new, try using 1 tsp of gochujang because the same thing applies to soups too! Why not take advantage of all these delicious sauces that already come in convenient squeeze bottles?
The most common ingredients in making gochujang are soybean powder, glutinous rice powder, salt, malt syrup or honey (to add more sugar), garlic, ginger root or hot pepper flakes (for spiciness)
It’s easy to find all of these ingredients at your local Asian supermarket. Some recipes also include fermented shrimp sauce as an ingredient which adds a layer of flavor that cannot be replicated with other ingredients alone.
How to Make Gochujang
Gochujang is a Korean pepper paste made from fermented soybeans, glutinous rice, and salt. The recipe for gochujang is pretty simple to make but it requires patience. It can take up to four months before the fermentation process is complete and the paste becomes edible.
To add a bit of authenticity to this recipe, we’re going to make it just like many Koreans do – By making A LOT of it in one go. So, excuse the fairly large quantities here.
Homemade Korean Gochujang
- 2 lbs barley malt powder
- 4 cups fermented soybean powder
- 10 cups glutinous rice
- 4 cups kosher salt
- 8 cups rice syrup
- 16 cups red pepper powder
- 1 ½ gallons water
- In a large container, mix together all of the barley malt powder with 1 ½ gallons of water. Once thoroughly mixed, strain the mixture through a sieve into a large pot. Heat the mixture on a medium heat for around 20 minutes until it’s warm (not hot).
- Once the mixture is warm, remove it from the stove and add the glutinous rice and mix with a wooden spoon and then let sit for 2 hours.
- Over medium-to-high heat, bring the mixture to the boil for two hours (and stir occasionally) until the whole thing reduces in sizes by about a quarter. Mix in the rice syrup and then remove from the stove until the whole mix has cooled down. Then add and mix in the soybean powder, salt and hot pepper powder.
- Transfer the whole mix to a large pot or jar and, before closing the lid, cover the top with mesh.
- Leave to ferment for two months before enjoying