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.
19 thoughts on “Korean Cuisine: Home-Made Gochujang”
Can I use less sugar or will this create an imbalance in the final product? Thanks.
Dear Heidelle, this is the minimum amount!
I’m so excited to try this with chickpea miso to make it soy-free (I’m allergic). I recently discovered MommyTang on YouTube and gochujang seems to be a vital ingredient in many dishes. I will report back with results!
Is it possible to find Halal ‘Miso’?
Look forward for your reply. THanks!
Miso being only made of vegetable matters is halal by definition!
My son got recently diagnosed with celiac disease and as he loves Korean food I desperately searched for gf options. I just tried out your 고추장 recipe. It is so easy to follow and the result is fantastic! Thank you so much. He’ll be as happy as his mom is now.
Always glad to help!
For a muslim family we can’t use alcohol, and i don’t have any rice vinegar … what can i use to remplace those two things?
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Use lemon, but in small quantity!
What about leaving out the soju? I have a family member severely allergic to alcohol, so even a tsp is too much. But this is the only recipe I can find that is gluten free…
Please help! Thank you:D
That should be ok, but I can’t garantee about the tatse, although I’m pretty sure it should be OK!
I will try it. I was just curious the purpose of the alcohol in this recipe. Anyway, thanks for the reply!
You are most welcome, dear Beka!
Can I leave out the rice vinegar?
If you don’t have any use a very mild white wine vinegar, sweetish if possible, but the taste won’t be the same!