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Recipes Using Gochujang Paste

by Karl
spicy noodle duck broth

Ok I understand that some of you may have never heard of gochujang paste and no idea what it actually is. It is a spicy fermented Korean chilli paste.

What is gochujang? What is it made of?

Gochujang is a deep red, smooth and spicy paste popular in Korean cuisine. A staple condiment, it’s made from Korean chilli powder (gochugaru),  fermented soybean powder (mejugaru), glutinous rice powder (sssalgaru) and salt. The traditional method to make gochujang can take anywhere from three to six month. The paste is stored in a clay pot and aged in full sun. 

What does gochujang taste like?

We think gochujang has a deep, rich tomato-like flavour – sweet, sour and spicy all in one! But it might surprise you how complex the flavour actually is. Fermentation gives it a deliciously salty umami kick, while Korean chilli powder gives a hint of sweetness to round it all out. 

So What Can You Cook With gochujang

I have to admit that when I first bought it I had no idea at all. It was on offer and I thought why not, let’s give it a go. The very first thing I cooked with gochujang paste was my Korean sticky pork tacos. They are so easy to make and have loads of flavour because of the Korean chilli paste.

Crispy Korean Pulled Pork
Sticky Pork Tacos

Spiced Korean Vegetables With Gochujang

This was a side dish to accompany a pan roasted breast of chicken. I love chicken when it has crispy skin, and when its finished n the oven it keeps it super moist after resting. I also wanted lots of flavour to go with it

gochujang spicy vegetables
crispy chicken skin breasts with gochujang vegetables

I just used what vegetables I had to hand at the time. Then always having a jar of roasted red peppers in the fridge, part of my recommended list of ingredients for one. I then used spring onions, courgette and carrots, all cut to a similar size.

First of all I cook the gochujang paste in hot oil until it begins to split , then add the vegetables. Once the vegetables are nearly cooked I add about 20ml of coconut milk. Then reduce until it becomes a little sticky.

Cheats Laska A Spicy Broth For Noodles

Yes a complete cheat as your using a Korean chilli paste and then adding classic Thai, Malaysian flavours too the mix. It tastes real good butt I ma not sure how it compares to an authentic Laska because I haven’t had the chance to try one yet. It was inspired from all the lovely people on foodie Twitter.

For the base of the spicy broth I start with frying off the gochujang paste. At this point you can add more aromatics such as garlic, ginger, more chilli, lemon grass and curry leaves. I use what ever vegetables I have to hand so its never quite exactly the same. Once the veg is part cooked I add coconut milk then the classic flavours. Thai fish sauce, white vinegar, sugar and lime juice, it’s just a matter of balancing all the flavours to suit your palate.

gochujang paste spicy asian broth with prawns
Prawns in a spicy Laska broth

You could miss the Thai ingredients and just add some miso paste to go down a more Japanese flavour profile.

Proteins For The Spicy Broth

Again this always depends for me because I usually get something that’s on offer from the supermarket. It could be beef, chicken, duck breast or prawns, use what you have to make the best cheap dinner idea. Of course its nice to add the rice noodles to the laska broth as well. All you need to do is soak them in boiling water for about 5 minutes.

Thai spicy broth with chicken made with gochujang paste
Chicken breast in aa spicy broth

Toppings For The Spicy Laska Broth

This is also a very personal choice as to how you top your spicy Asian broth. I do like to have a nice soft boiled egg on there because when the yolk runs over the veg and mixes with the broth it becomes divine. It is also nice to have some thinly sliced spring onions and carrots, maybe chillies as well to give more texture. Coriander is great herb to add at the of the dish as it brings a fresh vibrant taste, occasionally I will add crispy fried onions and chillies. Always finish with a squirt of fresh lime on your laska as it lifts all the flavours.

Guchujang For Fish

For grilling or barbecue fish, shellfish a great recipe is gochujang butter. Melt butter in a small pan and once melted stir in the Korean chilli paste, a splash of soya sauce and lime juice to taste. Use it to baste your shellfish during cooking.

guchuujang infused prawns

Guchujang For Meat

In a bowl add a couple teaspoons of sunflower oil and then add 2 large tablespoon of the gochujang paste. Mix so the paste becomes a little thinner, at this point you could add chopped garlic and ginger with a splash of soya sauce. You can now marinade your beef in this paste for 24 hours to create some amazing flavours. In fact its good on chicken and pork as well. The flavour is great on spare ribs

Where can you Buy Gochujang Paste

I usually get mine from Sainsbury’s and I believe that Asda also stock the paste. Of course if you don’t have any of those supermarkets near you, you can always get it at Amazon or any good Asian supermarket.

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