Gochujang is a savory and pungent fermented Korean condiment. Traditionally, it has been naturally fermented over years in large earthen pots outdoors, more often on an elevated stone platform, called jangdokdae (장독대) in the backyard.
It has been made at home in Korea since the 16th century, after chili peppers were first introduced. The making of gochujang at home began tapering off when commercial production started in the early 1970s and came into the mass market. Now, homemade gochujang can hardly be found.
Not only the Koreans, but the Japanese use it a lot when they make their own-style Korean food!
Here is a simple home-made recipe that should help everyone control the ingredients.
And it has the merit to be vegan/vegetarian!
-Water: 270 ml/cc
-Brown sugar/cane sugar: 250 g
-Miso: 300 g (try use more than 1 kind!)
-Korean Chili pepper powder: 100 g
-Salt: 1 tablespoon
-Japanese sake or Korean soju: 1 teaspoon
-Rice vinegar: 1 teaspoon
-Pour water in a large enough pan. Add sugar. Heat until all brown sugar is dissolved.
-Add miso. try and use a combination of a few miso pastes. It will add to the taste. Keep heating, stirring with a wooden spatula all the time until mixture is smooth.
-Once most of the water has disappeared, add Korean Chili pepper powder. Mix well. Keep heating and slowly stirring untl water has disappeared and big bubbles start bursting at the surface.
-Switch off fire. Let cool until about 25~30 degrees Celsius temperature (your own skin temperature!). Add salt, sake/soju and rice vinegar. Stir well. This last step at this temperature will insure that all yeasts are killed and will prevent further fermentation.
-Secure inside a vessel and leave inside the fridge. Can be kept for a whole year inside the fridge.
Korean-Style Fish Carpaccio
Mix some gochujang with red miso, rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, Japanese sake or Korean soju and sesame oil. Stir the lot well and pour over a plate of sliced fish such as pike mackerel/saurel!