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Gochujang is a popular spice in Korean cuisine. It’s a convenient method to add interesting taste and texture to a variety of meals from the cuisine. Because of its wonderful taste and consistency, it is also being utilized in dishes outside of the area. Yet, gochujang may be difficult to locate, and if your recipe calls for it, you may feel compelled to use it.


So it’s a good thing we’re here to provide you with viable alternatives to gochujang. And these substitutions will bring a lot of flavor and spice to your recipes. You may also be able to utilize them in classic Korean and Asian dishes such as bulgogi. Yet, before you choose an alternative, it’s important to understand why gochujang is such a great sauce.

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a fermented chili paste made with a variety of spices and ingredients. The condiment is thick and mostly flavored with red peppers and salt. Malt powder may be used to certain gochujang recipes to increase the sweetness. And it’s generally conveyed in a thickening made of glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, or both in certain circumstances.

To achieve its intriguing taste combinations, the paste is typically aged in pots for years. This waiting time also adds to its pasty texture. Moreover, the longer the paste sits in the pots, the more effective it grows. That is why most recipes only call for a tiny quantity of gochujang in the cooking process.

Gochujang in Recipes

Gochujang is a great complement to foods because to its rich combination of sweet, savory, salty, and spicy characteristics. And its distinct flavor basis is associated with Korean cookery, as seen by famous dishes like as bibimbap. Gochujang is also often used in various cuisines, such as tomato-based dishes and meats. You may also use it to flavor side dishes, stir-fries, salmon, eggs, and carb-based foods.

Some meals that benefit from gochujang’s deep miso flavor include:

  • Bulgogi beef
  • Kimchi
  • Ttekbokki
  • Stews
  • Chicken with a spicy kick
  • Sauces
  • GochujangSewuGui
  • Marinades
  • Dak-Twigim
  • Rice fried
  • Bulk
  • Stir-fry with spicy chicken from Korea
  • Dips
  • Bulgogi with mushrooms
  • Chicken wings baked in the oven
  • Korean ribs of pork
  • Noodles
  • Salads
  • Glaze
  • Ribs with Gochujang sauce
  • Bnbeaalls
  • Sandwiches

Gochujang Substitutes

You may need to look for a Gochujang alternative for a variety of reasons. Since it is predominantly a Korean component, it may be difficult to locate near you. And the condiment may be expensive in regions where you buy it. Some individuals are allergic to soybeans. You may also dislike fermented foods and desire to avoid them, including gochujang. Furthermore, although the spiciness isn’t as strong as in certain condiments, it may be too spicy for some. So, what happens if you need to delete the spicy paste from your recipe list?

Although no substitute can entirely replicate the distinct taste character of gochujang, these alternatives come close. Moreover, they will provide an innovative but familiar touch to your food in numerous elements, such as gochujang.

Miso Paste + Cayenne

Gochujang contains fermented soy, which is also a prominent component in miso paste. So why not make that flavor basis for your gochujang substitute? Also, the paste is almost as thick, which aids in the consistency of the recipe. Of course, miso paste alone won’t be as hot, so you’ll need to supplement.

Now comes the cayenne pepper. Not only will this powder satisfy the desired hotness in the substitution, but it is also easily accessible. Also, you do not require a precise measurement for this option. Scoop out enough miso paste to equal the amount of Gochujang asked for, then stir in as much cayenne pepper as you prefer. Once completed, you may use this temporary substitute in any dish, including bibimbap and kimchi.

Soy Sauce + Red Pepper Flakes

You may also attempt to replicate the soy-based flavor of gochujang by making a paste using soy sauce. Nevertheless, since this alternative is sweeter, it should only be used in situations when such a taste is strong. Since soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, it has a similar flavor to gochujang’s miso. Red pepper flakes will come in handy for the heat.

To prepare this combination, combine a tablespoon of red pepper flakes with a couple tablespoons of soy sauce. Furthermore, make sure the paste is almost as thick as gochujang so that you may use it in equal parts. Remember how this choice is more on the sweet side? It is accomplished by adding a dash of sugar to the mix. Still, you’ll receive a nice dosage of flavor, sweetness, and spiciness that can be used in kimchi, marinades, miso, and most other recipes.

Sriracha Sauce

Gochujang is well-known for adding sweetness and spice to meals, which is where sriracha comes in. Of course, this substitution is hotter, but it might still serve as a respectable substitute for Korean paste. If you want to up the heat in your dish, Sriracha is the way to go. It’s also rather sweet, so both elements will be noticeable in the meal.

But, keep in mind that sriracha is a spicy sauce. As a result, it has a thinner consistency than gochujang. It’s also much hotter than the Korean sauce and will considerably increase the dish’s heat. As a result, you may wish to use less of it, although equivalent amounts can work if you want a hotter meal. When you do, attempt to decrease the amount of liquid asked for in the recipe by a teaspoon. You may also use this substitute in bibimbap, chicken, egg, kimchi, soups, and sauces.

Thai Chili Paste

Thai chili paste, which has a similar texture and intensity to gochujang, may also be used as a replacement. This condiment is prevalent in South Asian cuisine and is known for adding spice and flavor to foods. Thai chili paste is made using garlic, dry shrimp paste, shallots, fish sauce, sugar, and dried chili. It also adds a variety of nuanced sweet and savory tastes to your meals.

Yet, owing to the strong contributions of garlic and fish sauce, Thai chili paste may not be as flavorful as gochujang. Still, it will work in equal parts for dressings, marinades, soups, and stews. Thai chili paste may also be used in classic gochujang dishes such as kimchi, meat bulgogi, and bibimbap. And even if the final flavor differs from what was intended, it will still taste great, so there is no loss there.

Tomato Paste + Red Pepper Flakes

If you merely require the spiciness and thickness of gochujang and don’t like the characteristic taste, use this option instead. Tomato paste is exactly as thick as the Korean condiment and has about the same amount of sweetness and tang. When coupled with a calculated dash of red pepper flakes, this gochujang alternative will be fiery. But, keep in mind that this technique only works if you are unfamiliar with the condiment’s taste and want something completely new.

Sprinkle red pepper flakes over a calculated quantity of tomato paste to create it. Furthermore, make sure that the paste is sufficient to replace the amount of gochujang in the recipe. Tomato paste isn’t as thick as gochujang, but it’ll suffice. You may also add as much red pepper flakes as you wish to increase the spiciness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is chili paste the same as gochujang?

Gochujang is a kind of chili paste, however it does not relate to all types of chili paste. Gochujang is a specialty Korean chili paste also known as Korean red pepper paste or Korean chili paste in English.

Is hoisin the same as gochujang?

Since both condiments include fermented soybean paste, they have some taste similarities. Yet, hoisin is significantly sweeter than gochujang.

Can I use sambaloelek instead of gochujang?

You certainly can. Sambaloelek, like gochujang, will add intricacy to your recipe. But, you may thicken it by adding some rice flour or cornstarch. This will also lower the spiciness, making it more like gochujang.


Gochujang is a traditional Korean sauce that provides sweetness, umami, and spice to a variety of dishes. But, if you are out of it, it may be difficult to finish the recipe. That is why these alternatives are available to help you achieve a comparable result. And with these, you may never have to worry about running out of the delectable Asian staple again.


What can I use instead of gochujang?

… Ketchup + Hot Chilli Powder…. Chilli Bean Paste. Sriracha is the best Gochujang substitute. My first option would be Sriracha, which has a similar degree of sweetness and spice and is something I always have on hand.

Is gochujang the same as chili paste?

Gochugaru refers to ground Korean chili pepper, while gochujang refers to chili paste. Both are Korean cuisine classics and even stem from the same pepper; nonetheless, they are unique ingredients.

Can you replace sriracha with gochujang?

The faint taste is part of what makes gochujang so appealing as a replacement for Sriracha.

Can I use red pepper flakes instead of gochujang?

Although developing a miso-based gochujang replacement is excellent, using hot red pepper flakes is a much simpler option. They are inexpensive and commonly accessible in supermarkets and on the internet. It’s also possible that you already have some in your spice cabinet.

Is gochujang the same thing as sriracha?

Meet gochujang, a delicious Korean sauce created from fermented red peppers, similar to sriracha, but with a more savory, salty, deep taste. “It’s like spicy sauce meets umami taste,” chef Edward Lee of Louisville, Kentucky’s 610 Magnolia & Milkwood, told ABC News.

Is sriracha the same as gochujang?

Both gochujang and sriracha contain an umami taste component in addition to their heat; the main distinction is the strength of that feature. Gochujang derives its umami punch from fermented soybean paste, but sriracha gets its savory flavor from garlic, which is considerably milder.

What does gochujang taste like?

How does gochujang taste? It’s a little spicy, a little stinky, salty, and very savory. Gochujang receives its delicate sweetness from the fermenting process, which takes many years and converts the starches in the rice to sugars.

Is gochujang similar to miso paste?

Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that is a must-have in every Korean kitchen. This sweet and spicy condiment is to Korean cooking what Miso is to Japanese cooking – a popular fermented soybean paste that provides a unique umami flavor to the dish. Unlike Miso, it also has a hearty dose of heat.

What is Gochujang sauce made of?

What exactly is it? Gochujang is a thick and spicy-sweet crimson paste created from red chili pepper flakes, glutinous rice (also known as sticky rice), fermented soybeans, and salt that is a staple in Korean cookery.

Is gochujang similar to tomato paste?

It made perfect sense as a tomato paste alternative because, in addition to being composed of concentrated red peppers rather than tomatoes, gochujang is fermented, giving dishes even more umami taste and depth.

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