Skip to main content
Cooking tips and recipes, plus food news and views.
The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Gochujang gives a spicy, smoky and sweet boost to these 6 recipes

(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post/Food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Gochuchang, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a dense, sticky and spicy-sweet fermented paste made from glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, salt and slightly smoky Korean chiles, and is a staple ingredient in Korean cuisine. Where does it belong? Just about wherever you’d like a flash of heat tempered with a delicious smoky-sweetness.

I like to mix it into bean burgers, mayonnaise, sauces or even add inside a grilled cheese for a spicy kick. Food writer Cathy Barrow adds a little bit into this recipe for Turkey Breakfast Sausages, you’ll see some mixed into this Pimento Fundido, and a whole half cup of it in this recipe for Korean al-Pastor tacos. It’s a versatile item to have around, and lasts a long time in the back of your fridge, just like miso does.

Below, you’ll find some recipes using gochujang. Not seeing the right one for you? Search for the ingredient in our Recipe Finder.

Sweet, Spicy and Crunchy Korean Tofu, pictured above. From blogger, cookbook author and YouTube culinary darling Maangchi comes this tofu recipe that I simply adore. Double-fried for extra crunch with a flavorful sauce of gochujang, rice syrup and a little ketchup, this dish is good on its own as well as a great dinner with rice and veggies.

Gochujang-Honey Skirt Steak. Gochujang’s inherent sweetness plays well against honey, and invites char to this simple, quick-cooking skirt steak.

Spicy Broiled Pork With Citrus Slaw. Gochujang “came to the rescue on a recent evening, giving a flavor boost to thin-cut, boneless chops” writes Ann Maloney in this recipe.

Air Fryer Korean-Style Chicken Wings. The super-thick and sticky texture of gochujang is a boon when making the sauce for these wings.

Korean Soft Tofu Stew. If you’re ever stumped on what to make with soft, silken tofu, try this spicy flavorful soup.

Korean Spicy Fish Stew (Mae Un Tang). This delicate but filling stew welcomes the twists and turns of your own fridge — got mushrooms? Watercress? Feel like throwing in some clams? Do it!

More from Voraciously:

This vinegary barbecue sauce is famed in Denver — and deserves to be everywhere else, too

This smoked lemon and herb chicken recipe gives you bronzed, tender meat

Eric Ripert gives Caesar salad a French twist: The gratin treatment