Gochujang is a thick, red, fermented Korean condiment that adds a wonderful balance of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors to dishes. This versatile Korean chili paste made from glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, salt, and chili peppers is a beloved staple ingredient in Korean cuisine.
When blended into a vinaigrette dressing, gochujang’s complex flavors really shine. The spiciness is tempered by the acidity of the vinegar and enhanced by nutty sesame oil and savory soy sauce. Garlic, ginger, green onions, and a touch of sugar round out the flavors.
This easy gochujang vinaigrette can transform vegetables, greens, grains, proteins - you name it! Drizzle it over roasted veggies or leafy salads, use it as a marinade for meat, spoon it over rice, or even use it as a dipping sauce. It takes just minutes to prepare, and the flavor payoff is huge.
How to Make Gochujang Vinaigrette
Making gochujang vinaigrette is simple. Here's a basic recipe to get you started:
- Combine 3 Tbsp gochujang, 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp grated ginger, 2 Tbsp chopped green onions, and 1 tsp sugar in a bowl.
- Whisk ingredients together until smooth and uniform. The sugar helps balance the spicy flavors.
- Slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup vegetable, grapeseed, or olive oil while whisking constantly to emulsify the vinaigrette.
- Taste and adjust ingredients as desired. Add more vinegar for tanginess, oil for richness, or gochujang for heat.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld before using. Whisk again before serving.
That's all it takes to make this versatile Korean chili dressing! Change up the ingredients to suit your tastes.
Part of the fun of making your own dressings is customizing the flavors. Try these gochujang vinaigrette variations:
- Add 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds or black sesame seeds for extra crunch and nuttiness
- Use rice wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, sherry vinegar, or apple cider vinegar for the acidity
- Swap in garlic chives, chives, or shallots for the green onions
- Stir in a bit of grated fresh ginger or a pinch of red pepper flakes for extra heat
- Whisk in a teaspoon of toasted nori flakes or furikake for a savory, umami flavor
- Replace some of the oil with an Asian oil like toasted sesame or peanut for a richer flavor
- Sweeten with a bit of honey, coconut sugar, or brown rice syrup instead of plain sugar
The possibilities are endless when crafting your own custom gochujang dressing!
Uses for Gochujang Vinaigrette
A jar of homemade gochujang vinaigrette in the fridge is like gold - endlessly useful! Here are some delicious ways to use it:
- Drizzle over any green salad for a flavor punch. It pairs especially well with sturdy greens like kale, cabbage, romaine, or spinach.
- Toss with roasted, grilled, or sautéed vegetables. The sweet-spicy dressing complements charred flavors.
- Use as a marinade or sauce for proteins. Let chicken, beef, fish, or tofu marinate for 30 mins to an hour before cooking.
- Stir a spoonful into grain bowls and compose a salad to add a flavor boost.
- Spoon over fresh or grilled summer produce like zucchini, green beans, and corn.
- Use as a dip for summer rolls, dumplings, or crudités.
- Drizzle over roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes.
The possibilities are endless! This versatile condiment can be used in endless ways.
Storing Gochujang Vinaigrette
This easy Korean dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Store it in a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. The oil may solidify when chilled - simply remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before using it to allow it to liquefy before serving.
To make ahead, prepare the vinaigrette up to 2 days in advance. Hold off adding the green onions until right before serving for the freshest flavor. Whisk well before using to redistribute the ingredients.
You can also store any extra dressing in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before using.
More Korean Salad Dressing Ideas
If you love gochujang, try out more Korean-inspired dressings and marinades! Here are a few easy ideas:
- Sesame soy vinaigrette: Whisk together toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, honey, and sesame seeds.
- Spicy sesame marinade: Mix gochujang, honey, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, garlic, and ginger to marinate meats.
- Orange gochujang dressing: Whisk orange juice, gochujang, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and honey for a citrusy kick.
- Gochugaru chile dressing: Combine gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, and a touch of honey for heat.
The combination of sweet, sour, spicy, and umami flavors makes Korean dressings so addictive!
- Gochujang's complex sweet-spicy-salty flavor makes a great salad dressing base when blended into a vinaigrette.
- Tailor the flavors by tweaking ingredients like vinegar, oils, aromatics, and heat levels.
- Drizzle the versatile dressing over salads, grains, proteins, or vegetables for a flavor punch.
- Make a batch to keep in the fridge for an instant condiment anytime.
What is the best oil to use for gochujang vinaigrette?
Using a neutral-flavored oil like grapeseed or vegetable oil allows the bold flavors of the gochujang to shine. Olive and sesame oil can overpower the other ingredients. However, you can incorporate small amounts of flavored oils to tweak the taste.
Can I adjust the heat level of the dressing?
Yes! The amount of heat comes from the gochujang itself. For a spicier vinaigrette, use an extra tablespoon or two. For milder, use less gochujang. You can also modulate heat by adding a pinch of red pepper flakes or leaving them out.
What's the best way to emulsify the vinaigrette?
Adding the oil slowly while whisking constantly helps create a smooth, emulsified texture. If the dressing separates later, simply whisk vigorously before serving to bring it back together.
How long does homemade gochujang vinaigrette last?
It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The flavors continue to meld and improve over time. For longer storage, pour into a jar and freeze for up to 3 months.
Whipping up a batch of gochujang vinaigrette is an easy way to have a bold, addictive condiment ready to jazz up weeknight dishes.
With customizable flavors and endless uses, this Korean-style dressing deserves a permanent spot in the refrigerator.
A spoonful can instantly punch up salads, roasted veggies, simply grilled meats, and more.
So give gochujang a try in your next vinaigrette.
- 3 Tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the gochujang, vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, green onions and brown sugar until smooth.
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking constantly to emulsify.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Whisk dressing before serving to re-emulsify.
- Drizzle over salads, grains, grilled meats, roasted vegetables, or wherever you need a flavor boost!