Hot pepper flakes

Gochugaru 고추가루

The spice level of these hot pepper flakes varies from mild to hot. I use less spicy flakes in many recipes, which allows me to use more and make the dish redder!

When buying these flakes, “maewoon gochugaru” means very hot spicy hot pepper flakes and “deolmaewoon gochugaru” means milder.

Try to buy the ones that are made with sun-dried peppers, which will be labeled as 태양초 on the package.

After opening a bag flakes, keep it in the freezer to maintain its freshness.

Deolmaewoon gochugaru

Buying hot pepper flakes can be difficult if you don’t read Korean because many Korean manufacturers will mislabel the product in English so it’s hard to know if you’re getting hot pepper flakes at all.

Take a look at the product in the package if at all possible. Hot pepper flakes are always coarse and chunky.

Korean hot pepper flakes

This one is tricky because in English it says “Red Pepper Powder,”and underneath that it says “Piment” which is French for “red pepper” or “spice,” and then there’s another label that reads “Coarse.” But this is really a bag of hot pepper flakes. You can tell by looking at the big flakes through the transparent part of package.

Red pepper powder is actually something very different. They’re a lot finer and mainly used for making gochujang, so you need to be careful of what you’re buying.

Assi brand hot pepper flakes

Recipes that use hot pepper flakes (gochugaru):


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  1. Sally Fern Malaysia My profile page joined 3/15
    Posted October 12th, 2015 at 12:38 pm | # |

    Hi, Maangchi. Will hot pepper flakes get expire? I’m worry I can’t finish it before it expires as many of the hot pepper flakes packaging stated the expiry date. Hot pepper flakes available at my place has short shelf life.

    • sanne Munich My profile page joined 8/14
      Posted October 15th, 2015 at 9:51 am | # |

      Hi Sally,

      they will be less spicy with time. But stored dry and dark, they won’t spoil easily.
      Best way to keep them fresh: freeze them.

      Bye, Sanne.

  2. Cookin905 Pickering, On, Canada My profile page joined 1/15
    Posted October 7th, 2015 at 9:32 am | # |

    Hi, Maangchi,
    I have enjoyed every recipe of yours that I have made. Tonight I would like to make Spicy Braised Chicken, but have been having trouble finding the correct Hot Pepper Flakes (I would prefer the milder version you mention). I shop at a local Asian Supermarket that only sells two brands. One of the brands lists salt as an ingredient and the other does not.

    This is the one I purchased yesterday. Can you tell me if it is correct, please?

    See full size image

  3. Melina My profile page joined 9/15
    Posted September 14th, 2015 at 7:07 am | # |

    Hello, can you please tell me if I could substitute other dried pepper flakes? I have so many different ones at home and I don’t want to buy them if not 100% necessary.

    Thank you!

  4. Ananta Germany My profile page joined 3/14
    Posted March 23rd, 2014 at 1:37 pm | # |

    Hi :)
    I want to ask if I can use this for making kimchi. I am not sure since it says powder
    Thank you

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