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Korean Recipes are More Delicious with Gochujang, and Here’s Why

Korean Recipes are More Delicious with Gochujang, and Here’s Why
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Korean recipes often involve the following ingredients: rice, stews, pickles, ferments, an array of meat and seafood, and vegetables. The variety of ingredients used in Korean meals makes cooking them something to look forward to. And if you’re looking for a way to take Korean cuisine recipes to the next level, why don’t you try cooking with gochujang?

This Korean chili pepper paste is punchy, spicy, salty, and slightly sweet. It’s also funky-fermented for that extra umami flavor. It’s considered fundamental in Korean cooking and it’s present in plenty of Korean recipes like beef stews, roast chicken, and noodle dishes. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

What exactly is gochujang?

Gochujang is made of Korean chilies, chili flakes, or chili powder (gochugaru), soybean paste or powder (mejugaru), glutinous sweet rice, and salt. Traditionally, it is mixed and placed in a clay pot and left to ferment for up to months under the sun or outdoors. Over time, flavor develops into a rich umami with a touch of sweetness as the rice starch turns into sugars and the enzymes from the soybeans kickstart the fermentation process. The glutinous sweet rice also gives gochujang its thick, sticky texture. You can also add a touch of rice syrup for extra sweetness and to help with preservation.

How do I cook with gochujang?

This is where all the fun begins! Gochujang can add depth of flavor and complexity to noodle sauces and stir-fried meats and vegetables. You can also use it in a marinade for roast chicken, mix it into beef stews and seafood soups, or use it for deeply flavorful braises. Classic Korean dishes that use gochujang are bibimbap, rice cakes (tteokbokki), and beef and pork bulgogi. You can complement gochujang with other rich flavorings like Knorr Liquid Seasoning (there’s a chili version for that spicy kick!) and sesame oil. You can even add gochujang together with rice vinegar to give your dishes a sour touch.

Where can I find gochujang?

Gochujang often comes in a distinct red tub, and it’s common to find it in the seasoning aisle of your local grocery. You can also explore Asian or Korean specialty shops in your area. You can even buy it online, as gochujang also travels well.

Ready to try your hand at cooking Korean recipes? Grab a tub of gochujang along with other ingredients you can pair it with. Explore more home cooking tips and tricks and discover more recipes with Knorr here.

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