Gochujang Green Beans Recipe

Gochujang, a Korean fermented chili paste, adds delicious complexity and heat to these easily sautéed green beans. The sweet, tangy, and spicy sauce clings to each bean for amazing flavor in every bite.

Gochujang Green Beans Recipe

This recipe comes together in just 15 minutes but tastes like you spent hours crafting each component. The gochujang sauce hits all the right notes - a perfect blend of sweetness and heat. These addictively delicious beans make a fantastic side to serve alongside grilled meats or tofu.

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a thick, deep red condiment that is a staple in Korean cooking. It's made from fermented soybeans, sticky rice, and Korean red pepper flakes. The ingredients are left to ferment in clay pots for months, allowing complex flavors to develop.

The name gochujang literally translates to “chili paste.” It lives up to its name, bringing spicy heat along with sweet, salty, and umami notes from the fermentation process. This complex sauce adds instant flavor to everything it touches.

You'll find gochujang sold in plastic tubs at most well-stocked grocery stores, especially those with an Asian foods section. It keeps for months refrigerated.

How to Make Gochujang Green Beans

Making these addictive green beans takes just 15 minutes from start to finish. Here's the simple process:

Steam the Beans

First, wash and trim 1 pound of green beans. Bring a skillet with 1/4 cup water to a boil.

Add the green beans, cover, and steam for 5-8 minutes until they're bright green and just slightly tender. Drain any remaining water.

Steaming first helps the beans cook evenly when sautéed.

Make the Gochujang Sauce

While the beans steam, whisk together the sauce ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang - Add more if you like extra heat
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons water to thin to a saucy consistency

Sauté the Beans

In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the steamed green beans.

Sauté for 2-3 minutes, tossing frequently, until the beans are lightly browned in spots.

Bring it All Together

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the prepared gochujang sauce and toss to coat evenly.

Finish with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds for extra flavor and crunch.

That's it! In just a few minutes, you have a restaurant-worthy Korean side.

Flavor Variations

The basic gochujang sauce packs a flavorful punch on its own. But you can also customize it to suit your tastes:

  • For less heat, use less gochujang and add a splash more rice vinegar and brown sugar.
  • Switch out the rice vinegar for lime juice or apple cider vinegar.
  • Instead of brown sugar, use honey, agave, or maple syrup.
  • Stir in a minced garlic clove, grated ginger, or sesame oil.
  • For smoky flavors, add a dash of paprika or smoked sea salt.
  • For extra richness, swirl in a teaspoon of butter at the end.

Bean and Vegetable Options

Wax beans

While green beans are classic, this recipe works well with other vegetables too. Try it with:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli florets or broccolini
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Carrots cut into matchsticks
  • Zucchini or yellow squash, halved lengthwise then sliced

You can also mix up the bean varieties:

No matter what you choose, the gochujang sauce pulls everything together into a cohesive, crave-worthy side.

Cooking Methods

While sautéing is quick and easy, you can also cook the beans using other methods:

Grill: Toss the raw, rinsed beans with oil and spread on a grill basket. Grill over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until browned and tender.

Roast: Toss raw beans with oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, tossing midway.

Cook on Stovetop: Steam or boil the beans until crisp-tender before sautéing.

No matter which cooking method you use, toss the finished beans with the gochujang sauce to bring that sweet, spicy Korean flavor.

Serving Suggestions

These addictive beans make the perfect accompaniment to all kinds of meals:

  • Serve alongside grilled meats like chicken, steak, pork chops, or lamb.
  • Pair with Asian-inspired dishes like teriyaki salmon or garlic ginger shrimp.
  • To make it a vegetarian meal, serve over rice with sautéed or baked tofu.
  • For a vegan option, mix in crispy baked chickpeas.
  • Enjoy as part of a Korean-inspired dinner with bulgogi beef and kimchi.

However you serve them, the complex gochujang sauce takes these green beans from bland to bold.

Storing Leftovers

Have extra green beans? Here are tips for storing:

  • Let the beans cool completely before storing.
  • Transfer to an airtight container.
  • They'll keep 3-4 days.
  • Reheat gently before serving. Add a splash of water if the beans seem dry.
  • For longer storage, freeze sauced beans for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before use.

The gochujang sauce also freezes well for future use. Freeze extra sauce in ice cube trays, then store cubes in a freezer bag.

More Ways to Use Gochujang

A tub of gochujang is a valuable addition to your condiment arsenal. Try using it in these recipes:

  • Gochujang mayonnaise - Whisk gochujang into mayo with a splash of rice vinegar for a spicy spread or dip.
  • Gochujang chicken - Use as a baste or marinade for roasted, baked, or grilled chicken.
  • Gochujang burgers - Mix into burger patties or brush onto the bun for heat.
  • Gochujang roast vegetables - Toss carrots, squash, cauliflower, etc with oil and gochujang before roasting.
  • Gochujang salmon - Brush onto salmon fillets before broiling or baking.
  • Gochujang noodles - Swirl into noodle bowls and stir-fries for instant flavor.
  • Gochujang eggs - Stir into scrambled eggs or top-fried eggs with a drizzle.

The flavor combinations are endless! This versatile Korean condiment brings addictive flavor to everything it touches.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of green beans work best?

Look for slender, tender green beans without bulges. Thick, mature beans won't cook evenly. Haricot verts are a great choice.

Can I use frozen green beans?

Yes, frozen beans work well too. Thaw them first and pat dry before sautéing.

What if I can't find gochujang?

In a pinch, substitute sriracha or another Asian chili sauce thinned with a bit of rice vinegar and brown sugar.

Can I make it gluten-free?

Yes! Use tamari instead of soy sauce and a gluten-free brown sugar substitute.

Can I use regular sugar instead of brown sugar?

You can, but the caramelized flavor from brown sugar is ideal. If substituting regular sugar, add a pinch of molasses for flavor.

Do I have to steam the beans first?

Steaming isn't mandatory but helps them cook evenly. You can sauté raw beans for a few extra minutes instead.

Can I prepare the dish ahead?

Absolutely! Steam and sauté the beans up to 3 days ahead. Cool, sauce, and refrigerate. Reheat before serving.


With just a few basic ingredients, you can make these restaurant-worthy Gochujang Green Beans at home.

The savory, sweet, and spicy Korean-style sauce clings to each tender bean for a finger-licking flavor.

Enjoy this easy 15-minute recipe as a simple side or a flavor-packed component of a more elaborate Korean meal.

Gochujang Green Beans Recipe

Gochujang Green Beans

These quick and easy sautéed green beans are coated in a sweet, savory, and spicy Korean-inspired gochujang sauce. The complex flavors of the fermented chili paste cling to each tender green bean.


  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons water
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds


  • Steam the green beans: In a skillet, bring 1/4 cup water to a boil. Add green beans, cover, and steam for 5-8 minutes until bright green and crisp-tender. Drain any remaining water.
  • Make the gochujang sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the gochujang, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and water.
  • Sauté the beans: In the same skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the steamed green beans and sauté for 2-3 minutes until spotted brown.
  • Finish the beans: Remove skillet from heat. Add the gochujang sauce and toss to coat. Season with salt.
  • Garnish and serve: Transfer beans to a platter. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!
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