6 Recipes Using Gochujang to Spice Up Your Meals

Sriracha is so two years ago. Spice-lovers have found a new favorite condiment: gochujang. The Korean hot pepper paste is made from a mix of chile peppers, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. As far as flavor, it’s both spicy and sweet, with some umami for good measure.

Gochujang has “funkiness, spice (sometimes a CRAZY amount of spice), and sweetness on the backend,” Matt Rodbard, the author of Koreatown: A Cookbook told Bon Appétit. And while it’s not quite as ubiquitous as those bottles of rooster sauce, you can find tubes or jars of gochujang in Korean or Asian groceries, online, and in some supermarkets. Brands marketed to Americans might be labeled “Korean chili sauce” or something similar.

Once you get your hands on some gochujang, don’t make the mistake of treating it like Tabasco or sriracha. Unlike those hot sauces, which can be sprinkled on after cooking, you need to add gochujang earlier in the process. Stir a little into stews and soups, dipping sauces, and marinades and you’ll quickly add depth and flavor to your dish. And don’t feel like you need to stick to Korean cuisine when using this ingredient. While gochujang is an essential element in dishes like bibimbap, it’s versatile enough to be used in many other ways. Whether you’re already a gochujang enthusiast or have never cooked with it before, here are six recipes to try using this unique hot pepper sauce.

1. Asian Sliders with Gochujang Mayo

sliders on a wooden tray

Sliders on a wooden tray | Source: iStock

Traditional sliders get some extra flavor with the addition of a homemade, two-ingredient Gochujang mayonnaise. Serve these at your next barbecue and watch them disappear. This recipe from The Daily Meal serves four.

Ingredients:

  • 4 mini buns
  • 7 ounces ground beef
  • 2 ounces ground pork
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Leaf lettuce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Directions: Thinly slice tomato and onion. Mince onion and garlic with salt and pepper. Mix with beef and pork and form 2-inch patties.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan and cook patties, 4 to 6 minutes on each side. Mix Gochujang sauce and mayonnaise and set aside. Toast buns (if desired). Serve on the buns with mustard green/lettuce, tomato, patties, onion, and Gochujang mayo sauce.

2. Gochujang Gazpacho

gochujang gazpacho in a white bowl

Gochujang gazpacho | Source: iStock

Perfect for hot summer days, this gazpacho recipe from chef Edward Lee gets some umani flavor from gochujang paste. You’ll want to wait until you have some delicious garden-fresh tomatoes to use in this cold soup recipe — bland and mealy tomatoes will yield an uninspiring soup that even the spiciest condiments won’t be able to save. Recipe from Epicurious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced ripe tomato, divided
  • ½ cup chopped peeled seedless cucumber, divided
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint

Directions: Pulse 1½ cups tomato, ¼ cup cucumber, orange zest and juice, garlic, onion, bell pepper, gochujang, dill, parsley, lemon juice, vinegar, ginger, and salt in a blender until coarsely chopped. Drizzle in oil while pulsing until mixture is combined but not totally smooth.

Divide gazpacho between 2 bowls and garnish with remaining tomato and cucumber. Top with mint. Can be made up to two days in advance.

3. Korean Mac and Cheese

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Korean mac and cheese | Source: iStock

A comfort food staple gets a spicy, Korean-influenced upgrade with the help of some gochujang, dried kimchi, and shiitake mushrooms. Make sure you use a very sharp cheddar in this dish, recipe developer Marnely Murray of Cooking with Books advises. She suggests Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar, which “plays off the spiced gochujang and brings this dish together.”

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound elbow macaroni pasta, cooked al dente
  • ½ large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 6 to 8 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (or substitute sriracha)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon (or more to taste) salt
  • 1 cup panko
  • ½ cup dried kimchi (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a large casserole dish.

Sauté the onions, garlic, and mushrooms in a large pot over medium-high heat, until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have released some of their water.

Add the butter and the flour to the pan. Stir to coat the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk (make sure there are no lumps). Add the gochujang, as well as some salt to taste. Once the sauce has thickened slightly, add the cheese. Stir until smooth, then add the cooked macaroni to the dish. Stir until the pasta is fully coated.

Transfer pasta to prepared casserole dish. Top with panko breadcrumbs and dried kimchi. Bake in oven for 15 to 25 minutes, until top is slightly browned and cheese is warm and bubbly.

4. Gochujang Stir Fry Sauce

stir fry with gochujang sauce

Stir fry with gochujang sauce | Source: iStock

Banish boring stir fry dinners with this quick and easy gochujang sauce. You can prepare a batch of this versatile recipe on Sunday and use it throughout the week to add flavor to quickly cooked vegetable dishes, spice up dull noodles, or as a marinade for meats or fish. This recipe from Eating Well. makes a ½ cup of sauce.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup gochujang
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Directions: Combine gochujang, lemon juice, ginger, soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil, and sugar in a small bowl. Use immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

5. Kimchi Deviled Eggs

Gochujang in white bowl with red chillies

Bowl of gochujang to be added to deviled eggs | Source: iStock

Give a predictable party food a flavor-packed upgrade by using gochujang and kimchi to make deviled eggs. If you’re making this recipe, try to get your hands on Kewpie mayonnaise. This Japanese condiment is available in most Asian grocery stores and is thicker and creamier than the mayo most often used in the U.S. This recipe from I Will Not Eat Oysters serves 10.

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Kewpie mayo
  • 1 teaspoon white miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon gochujang
  • 2 pinches fine salt
  • 2 cracks fresh pepper

For the garnish:

  • Kimchi
  • Maldon sea salt flakes
  • Scallion, sliced thinly
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Crunchy cluster-type cereal, such as Honey Bunches of Oats

Directions: Fill a medium or large pot with water and set to boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.

Once the water has reached a rolling boil, carefully add the eggs (one at a time) to the pan using a slotted spoon. Boil for 9½ minutes. Quickly remove the eggs from the pan and transfer to the ice water bath. Let the eggs sit in the water for about 5 minutes.

Once eggs are cool, carefully remove the shells. Slice in half and remove the yolks. Reserve the cooked egg whites. Press the yolks through a mesh sieve into a medium bowl.

Add the Kewpie mayo, white miso paste, gochujang, salt, and pepper to the egg yolks. Mix until just combined.

Fill a piping bag with a star tip with the yolk mixture. Pipe the filling into the egg white halves.

Pile some kimchi in the middle of a serving platter. Arrange the filled eggs around the kimchi and garnish with some cereal, scallions, salt, and black sesame seeds.

6. Grilled Ribeye with Gochujang Butter

Ribeye steak on a grill

Grilling a ribeye steak | Source: iStock

Just in time for summer grilling season comes this recipe for ribeye steak with spicy gochujang butter from chef Ming Tsai. To make this a complete meal, serve with blanched and grilled broccoli rabe or another vegetable on the side.

Ingredients:

For the gochujang butter:

  • 8 tablespoons butter softened to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon organic honey
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper

For the steak:

  • 2 (8-ounce) ribeye steaks
  • Plenty of salt and pepper
  • Oil for grill
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • Furikake spice mix

Directions: Make the gochujang butter ahead of time. Leave butter at room temperature for a few hours until it is completely soft but not melting. Add the butter and all the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse just until combined and smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.

Heat grill until hot. Season the steaks generously with salt and pepper about 30 minutes before ready to grill.

Grill your steak on high for about 2 minutes, until grill marks form. Flip and add a dollop of gochujang butter over the top of each steak. As the butter melts, baste the tops of the steak with the melted gochujang butter with a brush. Keep flipping and brushing until nicely glazed. Cook steaks to your liking, about another 3 minutes for medium rare.

Remove steaks from grill and let rest before slicing. In the meantime, take your cut lemon halves and grill them with the cut side touching the grill. Grill until blackened. Remove from grill and reserve.

Slice the rib-eye steaks and transfer to a platter. Add a small amount of gochujang butter to each slice of steak. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the steak slices. Top with nori powder and flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.

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