Best Korean Chili Paste (Gochujang)

Gochujang is a popular Korean condiment made from chili peppers, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. Often described as a spicy, sweet, and savory flavor bomb, gochujang has become a beloved ingredient around the world. It's frequently used in Korean cooking to add a rich, complex heat to stews, soups, marinades, dipping sauces, and more.

Best Korean Chili Paste (Gochujang)

With its growing popularity outside of Korea, gochujang can now be found at many mainstream grocery stores. However, with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which brand to buy. High-quality gochujang has a smooth texture and a balance of sweet and savory flavors with a slow, building heat. Lower quality options may taste too salty, bitter, overly sweet, or lack the signature gochujang punch.

Roland Foods Gochujang Fermented Hot Chili Paste

Roland Foods Gochujang, Korean Fermented Hot Chili Paste, 17.6 Oz

    Gochujang is a staple condiment in Korean cuisine that adds a tangy blast of heat to dishes. This chili paste from Roland Foods is made with high-quality ingredients and has an authentic Korean taste.

    The red chili peppers used in this Gochujang deliver a pleasant spiciness that enhances but doesn't overwhelm the food's flavors. The paste's natural sweetness balances the heat perfectly. In addition to chili peppers, this paste contains fermented soybeans that give it a subtle earthiness and unique depth of flavor.

    Unlike lower quality alternatives, Roland Foods' paste doesn't contain any artificial preservatives or MSG. The ingredients are non-GMO and produced in Korea for top-notch quality. The paste comes in a convenient squeeze bottle for mess-free usage.

    Key features:

    • Authentic Korean recipe and ingredients
    • Tangy, mildly spicy flavor
    • Natural sweetness balances the heat
    • Contains fermented soybeans
    • No artificial ingredients

    Pros:

    • Great authentic flavor
    • Easy to use packaging
    • Clean, high-quality ingredients
    • Adds the perfect amount of heat

    Cons:

    • Can be too spicy for some

    Sempio Vegan Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste

    Sempio Vegan Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste (Korean Chili Paste) 6.1lbs (2.8KG) All Purpose

      The Sempio Vegan Gochujang is a must-try for anyone searching for an authentic Korean hot sauce that is also vegan and gluten-free. Made by a leading Korean food brand, this Gochujang has the perfect blend of sweet and spicy flavors without being overpowering.

      It is made with Korean chilies that provide just the right amount of heat along with subtle umami depth from the fermented soybeans. The paste's natural sweetness comes from brown rice syrup instead of artificial sweeteners.

      An excellent alternative to non-vegan pastes, Sempio uses high-quality Korean-grown ingredients like non-GMO soybeans. The paste contains no fillers, thickeners or preservatives. It comes in a convenient squeeze bottle that makes it easy to use in recipes or as a condiment.

      Key features:

      • Vegan and gluten-free
      • Sweet and mildly spicy
      • High-quality ingredients
      • Korean-made
      • Squeeze bottle packaging

      Pros:

      • Perfect spice and sweetness balance
      • Authentic Korean taste
      • Clean ingredients list
      • Easy to use

      Cons:

      • Only available in large size

      Maeil Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste

      Maeil Spicy Korean Gochujang Paste [ Hot Pepper Paste ] Traditional Fermented Chili Pepper Paste, Perfect Jang Sauce for Dips and Marinades [ Korean Chili Paste] 500g

        For an authentic Korean gochujang made with traditional methods, Maeil Gochujang is an excellent choice. This chili paste has the perfect blend of spiciness, sweetness, and umami flavors.

        It gets its tangy heat from Korean chili peppers and its natural sweetness from rice syrup. The addition of fermented soybeans gives it an earthy depth and savory edge.

        Unlike mass-produced pastes, Maeil uses a traditional fermentation process that results in superior flavor. The ingredients list is simple and clean with no artificial additives. The chili peppers even come from an artisan village renowned for Korean seasonings.

        Maeil Gochujang comes in a compact tub that keeps the paste fresh. It's an ideal way to add punch and depth to marinades, stews, soups and other Korean dishes.

        Key features:

        • Traditional preparation
        • Chili pepper heat
        • Natural sweetness
        • Umami from soybeans
        • No artificial ingredients

        Pros:

        • Great authentic flavor
        • Simple ingredients
        • Easy to store tub
        • Adds kick to dishes

        Cons:

        • Only one size option

        Chung Jung One Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste

        Chung Jung One Gochujang Paste, Premium Korean Red Chili Paste with 100% Korean Ingredients, 500g (1.1lb) (1 Pack)

          Made with 100% Korean-grown ingredients, Chung Jung One Gochujang is a premium paste with exceptional flavor. It has the perfect balance of tangy chili heat and natural sweetness.

          This gochujang gets its spice from Korean chili peppers specially cultivated in an artisan village. It has a cleaner spiciness without being overwhelming.

          The paste's umami depth comes from fermented soybeans. Unlike cheaper alternatives, it contains no fillers, thickeners or preservatives—just authentic Korean ingredients.

          Chung Jung One Gochujang has a smooth, rich texture. The recipe maximizes the chili and rice content for superior flavor. It's ideal for kicking up the spice in marinades, dipping sauces, stews and other Korean staples.

          Key features:

          • 100% Korean ingredients
          • Premium chili peppers
          • Balanced spiciness
          • Natural sweetness
          • No artificial additives

          Pros:

          • Great authentic taste
          • Smooth, rich texture
          • High chili and rice content
          • Enhances dishes beautifully

          Cons:

          • Only available in one size

          Lucky Foods Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste

          Sale
          Lucky Foods Seoul Gochujang, 4 OZ

            A quick and convenient way to add Korean flavor to dishes, Lucky Foods Gochujang comes in a portable squeeze tube. This gochujang has a pleasant chili pepper heat along with natural sweetness and savory umami.

            The paste gets its moderate spiciness from sun-dried Korean chili peppers. Sweetness comes from rice syrup rather than artificial sweeteners. Fermented soybeans provide subtle earthy flavors and complexity.

            With no fillers, thickeners or preservatives, the short ingredients list highlights the chili peppers and natural sweetener. The squeeze tube format makes this paste super easy to use while cooking or as a condiment.

            While not as complex as traditional pastes, Lucky Foods Gochujang provides an accessible pop of spicy sweetness wherever you need it. It's great for adding Korean flavor to meats, soups, stews and more.

            Key features:

            • Squeeze tube for portability
            • Mildly spicy
            • Natural sweetness
            • Umami from fermented soybeans
            • No artificial ingredients

            Pros:

            • Easy to use packaging
            • Good balance of flavors
            • Simple ingredients
            • Adds kick to any dish

            Cons:

            • Lacks depth of traditional pastes

            O'Food Gochujang Korean Red Chili Pepper Paste

            Chung Jung One O'Food Mild Gochujang 1.1lb, Korean Red Chili Pepper Paste, Spicy, Sweet and Savory Sauce, Traditional Fermented Condiment, 100% Brown Rice

              O'Food Gochujang is a traditional Korean chili pepper paste that adds a unique depth of spicy, sweet, and savory flavor to any dish. This gluten-free condiment is made through a natural fermentation process using quality ingredients like brown rice, red chili powder, garlic, and rice syrup.

              When used in marinades or sauces, O'Food Gochujang imparts a pleasant warming heat along with a touch of sweetness and rich umami taste. It's an extremely versatile ingredient that works well in Korean barbecue marinades, stir fries, stews, soups, dipping sauces, and more. The mild spiciness makes it appropriate for those new to Korean cuisine while still satisfying spice enthusiasts.

              A little bit of Gochujang goes a long way in transforming the flavor of any recipe. The 1.1lb tub provides a good value and will last a long time when refrigerated. Fans of Korean food will find this condiment to be an indispensable addition to their pantry.

              Key features:

              • Authentic Korean fermented chili paste
              • Adds spicy, sweet and savory flavor
              • Gluten-free and made with quality ingredients
              • Extremely versatile in recipes and sauces
              • Mild spiciness appropriate for most palates

              Pros:

              • Delivers complex flavors beyond just heat
              • A little goes a long way
              • Good value for a large 1.1lb tub
              • Versatile ingredient for many cuisines
              • No MSG or additives

              Cons:

              • Spiciness level may be too hot for some
              • Refrigeration required after opening

              bibigo - Gochujang Sauce, Hot and Sweet, 11.5-oz

              bibigo - Gochujang Sauce, Hot and Sweet Flavor, Perfectly Blended Flavors, Pantry and Party Must-Have, 11.5-oz

                Bibigo's Gochujang sauce captures the quintessential Korean flavors of savory, sweet and spicy in one bottle. This versatile condiment adds a quick pop of flavor and heat to everything from wings and ribs to tacos and mac and cheese.

                The combination of fermented soybean and sticky rice give Gochujang its characteristic deep umami backbone, while Korean red pepper powder brings on the heat. There's also a subtle sweetness that rounds it all out. This complexity is what makes Gochujang shine in sauces and marinades rather than being just a one-note spicy paste.

                Gochujang is traditionally found in classics like bibimbap and bulgogi, but Bibigo makes enjoying authentic Korean cuisine easily accessible. The squeeze bottle design lets you control just how much spice you want. A little goes a long way in transforming boring dishes into vibrant flavor bombs.

                This 11.5 oz bottle delivers great value and will last a long time refrigerated. For both Korean food fans and daring home cooks, Bibigo's Gochujang Sauce is a must-have pantry staple.

                Key features:

                • Authentic Korean Gochujang flavor
                • Perfect balance of savory, sweet and spice
                • Umami depth from fermented soy and rice
                • Versatile condiment for marinades and sauces
                • Convenient squeeze bottle

                Pros:

                • Brings complex flavor beyond just heat
                • A little goes a long way
                • Makes Korean flavor easily accessible
                • Great value for 11.5 oz bottle
                • No MSG or preservatives

                Cons:

                • Spice level may be too hot for some
                • Refrigeration required after opening

                CJ Haechandle Gochujang - Hot Pepper Paste, 1.1 Lb

                CJ Haechandle Gochujang - Hot Pepper Paste, Korean Traditional Fermented Jang, Made with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sweet & Spicy Flavor, 1.1 Lb (Pack of 1)

                  CJ Haechandle's Gochujang is a quintessential Korean fermented chili paste that brings an irresistible spicy kick and savory depth to any dish. Made through traditional methods, this versatile condiment shines in everything from marinades to dipping sauces.

                  The unique starter culture and controlled fermentation process give this Gochujang its signature complex flavor with just the right amount of heat. There are also nutty, sweet notes from the fermented soybeans and rice flour. The result is a paste that's smooth, rich and nuanced.

                  True to its Korean roots, Haechandle Gochujang makes an instant flavor boost to classics like bibimbap, bulgogi and stew. It's also an easy way for home cooks to add excitement to weeknight staples. A little dollop mixes into ground meat for spicy burgers or meatballs. You can also whisk it into barbecue sauce or salad dressing for an instant upgrade.

                  The 1.1 lb tub provides great value for this pantry powerhouse ingredient. For cooks looking to experiment with new, bold flavors, Haechandle Gochujang is a must-try.

                  Key features:

                  • Authentic Korean fermented chili paste
                  • Adds spicy kick and savory depth
                  • Made through traditional methods
                  • Versatile in marinades, dipping sauces, etc.
                  • Large 1.1 lb tub provides great value

                  Pros:

                  • Delivers complex, signature Korean flavor
                  • A little goes a long way
                  • Easy way to add excitement to dishes
                  • Smooth, rich consistency
                  • No MSG or preservatives

                  Cons:

                  • Spiciness may be too hot for some
                  • Refrigeration required after opening

                  Sempio Gochujang, Hot Pepper Paste, 1.1lbs

                  Sempio Vegan Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste (Korean Chili Paste) 1.1lbs (500g) All Purpose

                    Sempio's Gochujang is the real deal when it comes to authentic Korean fermented chili paste. Made by one of Korea's leading food companies, this condiment packs the characteristic flavor profile of mild sweetness backed by a slow burning heat.

                    The fermented soybean and glutinous rice base give it an incredible rich, savory umami taste. There's also a slightly sticky texture and vibrant red color that's signature to Gochujang. This complexity is what sets it apart from being just a spicy chili paste.

                    In traditional Korean cooking, Sempio Gochujang is essential for classics like bibimbap, tteokbokki and marinated meats. It's also an easy way for home cooks to add a flavor punch to sauces, soups, stews, and more. The versatility makes this a must-have pantry staple for cooks wanting to recreate Korean flavors.

                    The 1.1 lb tub is nicely priced for the quantity and will last a long time refrigerated after opening. For authentic Gochujang flavor without additives, Sempio is the choice of Korean food aficionados.

                    Key features:

                    • Authentic Korean fermented chili paste
                    • Balanced flavor profile - savory, sweet, spicy
                    • Made by leading Korean food company
                    • Essential for Korean recipes and sauces
                    • Large 1.1 lb quantity for value

                    Pros:

                    • Gives incredible umami depth to dishes
                    • Versatile in many cuisines
                    • No MSG or preservatives
                    • Nice price for 1.1 lb
                    • Vibrant color from natural ingredients

                    Cons:

                    • Spiciness may be too hot for some
                    • Refrigeration required after opening

                    Chung Jung One O'Food Gochujang Sauce

                    Chung Jung One O'Food Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce, Medium Hot Sauce, 7.50 oz. (Pack of 2)

                      O'Food Gochujang sauce by Chung Jung One brings the authentic Korean flavors of savory, sweet and spicy heat into a convenient squeeze bottle. This versatile condiment adds excitement to everything from dumplings and wings to noodle bowls and rice dishes.

                      The blend of Korean red chili powder, fermented rice and garlic gives Gochujang its signature complex taste and pleasant warmth. There's a natural sweetness from rice syrup that balances against the slow creeping heat. The umami backbone ties it all together.

                      This is not just a one-note spicy sauce. O'Food Gochujang has a nuanced flavor that transforms boring ingredients into vibrant dishes. The squeeze bottle lets you control the amount of spice. A little dollop goes a long way in sauces, dipping sauces and more.

                      At 7.5 oz, this pack of two bottles provide great value. For cooks wanting an easy way to add authentic Korean flavor to everyday meals, O'Food Gochujang sauce is a must-try pantry item.

                      Key features:

                      • Authentic Gochujang flavor in sauce form
                      • Adds savory, sweet and spicy tastes
                      • Convenient squeeze bottle
                      • Nuanced and complex flavor
                      • 7.5 oz bottle great for small households

                      Pros:

                      • Easy way to add Korean flavor to dishes
                      • Lets you control spice level
                      • No MSG or preservatives
                      • Good value for two 7.5 oz bottles
                      • Versatile in dips, sauces, etc.

                      Cons:

                      • Spiciness may be too hot for some
                      • Smaller size not ideal for bulk use
                      • Refrigeration required after opening

                      Buying Guide for Korean Chili Paste (Gochujang)

                      When purchasing gochujang, here are some key factors to consider:

                      Ingredients

                      As mentioned above, look for gochujang made with a simple, traditional ingredient list:

                      • Chili pepper powder - This provides the signature heat and red color. Korean chili flakes or powder made from ripened red peppers are ideal.
                      • Glutinous rice - Also called sweet rice, this lends sweetness and texture. Fermented glutinous rice contributes depth of flavor.
                      • Fermented soybean powder - This adds an important savory, umami boost. Along with the rice, it aids the fermentation process.
                      • Salt - A small amount of salt is used for flavor. Avoid products with added MSG.
                      • Water - Traditional gochujang contains just these core ingredients and water.

                      Avoid gochujang with unnecessary additives like thickeners, stabilizers, artificial flavors, coloring agents, or preservatives. Check the order of ingredients, as those are listed by quantity. Quality gochujang often lists chili pepper powder first.

                      Appearance

                      When shopping, observe the gochujang's appearance. It should have:

                      • A rich, deep red color from the chili peppers. Avoid very light or orange looking pastes.
                      • A smooth, thick texture somewhat similar to tomato paste. It should be spreadable but not watery.
                      • No signs of separation, where oil or liquid pools at the top. High-quality gochujang has a homogeneous consistency.
                      • No chunks, grains, or visible particles. The rice and soybean powder should be fully ground and incorporated.

                      Taste

                      Obviously taste is the most important factor when purchasing gochujang! When sampling, look for:

                      • Initial sweetness from the rice, followed by a rich, savory umami flavor.
                      • Slow building heat that starts mild and intensifies. The spiciness should linger but not overwhelm.
                      • Good balance between the sweet, savory, and spicy elements, with no one flavor dominating.
                      • A complexity of flavors, not just pure heat. The fermentation process develops depth.
                      • Clean, pleasant aftertaste without bitterness or off-flavors.

                      Origin

                      For authentic gochujang, look for products imported from Korea. Some popular regions known for quality chili production include:

                      • Gyeongsang - Famous for the sun-dried red peppers used in their gochujang.
                      • Gwangju - Known for an especially spicy paste using high amounts of chili powder.
                      • Chungcheong - Their gochujang has a balance of sweetness and heat.

                      There are also some craft breweries making small batch gochujang in the US using high-quality ingredients. These artisanal versions allow freshly fermented flavors to shine through.

                      Labels

                      Here are a few things to look for on the label when evaluating a gochujang product:

                      • Manufacturing location - This indicates where the product was made. Opt for gochujang actually fermented and packaged in Korea for authenticity.
                      • Ingredient list - As discussed above, seek shorter lists with whole food ingredients.
                      • Alcohol content - Gochujang typically contains around 1-3% alcohol from the natural fermentation process. Higher alcohol indicates longer fermentation for deeper flavor.
                      • Scoville rating - This scale measures chili heat. Gochujang often ranges from 1,000-8,000 Scoville units. Choose your desired spiciness level.
                      • Certifications - Look for labels like "Organic" and "Non-GMO" if seeking those production methods.

                      Packaging

                      Gochujang is traditionally served and stored in earthenware vessels, but most commercial versions today use plastic tubs or squeeze bottles. Seek packaging that:

                      • Is opaque, not clear, to protect from light exposure.
                      • Has a sealable lid to limit air exposure after opening.
                      • Is BPA-free and food-grade if plastic.
                      • Doesn't contain added preservatives. Refrigerate after opening.

                      FAQs

                      How should I store gochujang?

                      Once opened, gochujang should be refrigerated. Keep it tightly sealed in its original container. It will maintain peak quality for about 1 year refrigerated. Discard if you see any mold. The chili peppers and salt content allow it to last without added preservatives.

                      Can I freeze gochujang?

                      Yes, gochujang freezes well for long-term storage. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container, leaving about 1⁄2 inch of headspace for expansion. Thaw in the refrigerator before using again. Freezing can extend its shelf life to up to 3 years.

                      How do I use gochujang in cooking?

                      Popular uses for gochujang include:

                      • Adding to soups, stews, braises for heat and rich flavor
                      • Mixing with soy sauce as a marinade for meat or tofu
                      • Adding to stir fries and noodle dishes in place of chili sauce
                      • Spreading on sandwiches in place of ketchup or hot sauce
                      • Serving as a condiment for rice, eggs, potatoes, and vegetables
                      • Mixing with vinegar and sugar as a spicy dipping sauce

                      Start with about 1 Tablespoon gochujang per 1 serving of food and adjust the amount to your taste preferences.

                      What's a quick gochujang sauce recipe?

                      An easy gochujang sauce can be whipped up by mixing together:

                      • 2-3 Tablespoons gochujang
                      • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
                      • 1 Teaspoon sesame oil
                      • 1 Teaspoon honey or maple syrup
                      • 1-2 Teaspoons water to thin

                      Whisk together until smooth. Use as a sauce for meat, fish, tofu, noodles, or vegetables.

                      What are good gochujang substitutes?

                      If you don't have gochujang, some possible flavor stand-ins include:

                      • Sriracha - Adds garlicky heat but lacks sweetness and depth
                      • Harissa - Brings more heat than complexity
                      • Chili garlic paste - Imparts chili flavor without the sweet rice notes
                      • Miso paste - Contributes umami but not the red pepper flavor
                      • Tomato paste - Provides texture and acid but no spice

                      A combination of the above with honey or maple syrup to add sweetness can approximate gochujang in a pinch. But for the real deal, seek out quality gochujang!

                      Conclusion

                      With its savory umami flavor, sweet rice notes, and addictive slow burn, gochujang has earned its place as a beloved Korean staple.

                      When purchasing this powerfully flavored chili paste, read ingredient lists and opt for authentic versions made in Korea for a taste of tradition.

                      Seek smooth texture, vivid red color, and a balanced depth of flavor.

                      Resources:

                      1. My Korean Kitchen - This website describes what Gochujang is, how it's made, and how to use it in cooking. It also includes a list of recommended brands to buy.
                      2. Oppa Cooks Here - This website offers a review of different Gochujang brands, including their taste, texture, and spiciness level. It also provides tips on how to choose the best Gochujang for your needs.
                      3. Food Bloggers of Canada - This blog post describes Gochujang, including its history, ingredients, and uses. It also includes a recipe for a Gochujang marinade.
                      4. Just One Cookbook - This website offers a simple recipe for making Gochujang at home, as well as tips on how to store and use it in cooking.
                      5. Hungry Gopher - This website provides information on where to purchase food additive-free Gochujang, as well as a recipe for making your own Gochujang paste at home. It also includes a video tutorial on how to make Gochujang.
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