Recipes

Fried Gochujang

yak-gochujang 약고추장

If you’re a fan of Korean gochujang, the spicy, sweet, savory, pungent paste that’s used so often in Korean cooking, you’re going to love yak-gochujang. It’s gochujang fried with beef, honey, sesame oil and pine nuts, and will totally knock your socks off!

Yak-gochujang looks simple, but it’s a very special dish. “Yak” means medicine in Korean, as the honey gives it medicinal powers that makes it good for your body. Because of its precious ingredients, and rich, refined flavors, it was historically considered a side dish for the upper classes.

Of course these days it’s enjoyed by a wider range of people. Personally I love pine nuts, so I use them generously in my recipe, but if you can’t find or don’t like pine nuts, then you can substitute peanuts, walnuts, or skip them. Also, you can use rice syrup or corn syrup instead of honey.

Once you make it, you can keep it in the fridge for a month. It’s great to have around because when you need a quick, delicious meal you can mix it with rice, put it in your lunchbox as a side dish, use it in lettuce wraps (ssam) or make quick little gimbap rolls like I do in this video. It’s very rich and strong and needs to be balanced with something a little more bland like cooked rice or noodles.

I also think it would make a nice gift for someone who loves spicy things!

I hope you enjoy the recipe, and if you try it out or give it as a gift, let me know how it goes in the comments!

fried-gochujang_jar

yakgochujang (약고추장 김밥)

Yakgochujang gimbap (약고추장 김밥)

Ingredients (makes 2 cups of yak-gochujang):

yakgochujang (약고추장)

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Stir with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds. Add the beef and ground black pepper. Keep stirring for about 2 minutes.yakgochujang

    yakgochujang (약고추장)

  2. Lower the heat and add gochujang, honey, and pine nuts. Continue cooking, stirring with the wooden spoon for about 5 minutes until the paste turns a little thick, and shiny.yakgochujang (약고추장)

    yakgochujang (약고추장)

  3. Remove from the heat and mix with 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Let it cool and transfer to a glass jar or an airtight container. Serve it as a side dish for rice or use as dipping sauce for lettuce wrap. You can keep it in the fridge up to 1 month.

yakgochujang (약고추장)

yakgochujang (약고추장)

Vegetarian yak-gochujang

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Drain the mushrooms and squeeze out excess water.  Cut them into ½ inch bite sized pieces, and include the stems.vegetarian-yakgochujang_shitake
  2. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Stir with a wooden spoon for 10 seconds. Add the mushrooms and stir for about 3 to 4 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and cooked. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons water if it gets too dry.Beoseot Yakgochujang (표고버섯 약고추장)
  3. Lower the heat and add gochujang, honey, and pine nuts. Continue cooking, stirring with the wooden spoon for about 5 minutes until the paste turns a little thick, and shiny.Beoseot Yakgochujang (표고버섯 약고추장)

    vegetarian-Yakgochujang

  4. Remove from the heat and mix with 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Let it cool and transfer to a glass jar or an airtight container. Serve it as a side dish for rice or use as dipping sauce for lettuce wrap. You can keep it in the fridge up to 1 month.

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13 Comments:

  1. Tequila Malaysia My profile page joined 7/10
    Posted July 7th, 2014 at 2:09 am | # |

    I just made this with beef minus honey, pine nuts since I don’t have any at hand. Ate it with rice and chilled cucumbers. Verdict: Awesome!!!! I can imagine it an excellent dish with wraps like layers of kaenip, lettuce, fresh seaweed… with rice and shredded chilled cucumbers. Very nice lunch box/picnic food. Next time I’m gonna try it with pork instead.

    Thanks for sharing this fuss free and yet tasty recipe with us. :D

  2. GoodFoodFox Netherlands My profile page joined 2/14
    Posted February 28th, 2014 at 2:23 am | # |

    Thank you for your wonderful recipes. I posted a link to this one in a Korean cookbook giveaway on a Dutch cooking blog, and guess what, I won!! ( http://koken.blog.nl/winnen/2014/02/13/winnaar-1-2-3-koreaans ) So I must thank you for getting me the book! :-)

  3. Charmaine Singapore My profile page joined 6/11
    Posted January 11th, 2014 at 10:56 am | # |

    Wow this look delicious ! Would make the vegetarian version with oyster mushrooms soon :D

  4. zipurlip2 USofA My profile page joined 7/11
    Posted January 9th, 2014 at 2:26 pm | # |

    This looks so yummy! My daughter, who loves Korean dishes, just moved far away. I wondered, will this keep well w/out refrigeration for about 3 days? If I pack it hot, won’t it be like vacuum sealed? I know she would enjoy this, especially after a long hard day, a quick kimpab snack – delicious!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted January 9th, 2014 at 2:54 pm | # |

      Yes, it’ll be ok up to 4 to 5 days at room temperature. “If I pack it hot, won’t it be like vacuum sealed?” no, I would cool it down first before putting it into a jar to avoid any excess moisture. Happy cooking!

  5. Cutemom Indonesia My profile page joined 3/13
    Posted January 7th, 2014 at 4:06 pm | # |

    Maangchi ssi!

    This recipe makes me impatiently wait for your upcoming book. It is super delicious. I happen to be offered to buy some fresh pine nuts and I bought some to use for this recipe. It’s my kids’ favorite. Even my daughter who doesn’t normally eat spicy food love it

  6. korea4me South Korea My profile page I'm a fan! joined 10/09
    Posted January 7th, 2014 at 7:19 am | # |

    Fascinating, Mangchi! I’ve never tried this before. I’d love to make it one day for my family. xxx

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted January 8th, 2014 at 10:18 am | # |

      Are you still in Korea? If so, make this for your Korean friends. They will love it. But the ingredients are expensive in Korea. Happy cooking! : )

  7. Jacob United States My profile page joined 7/13
    Posted January 6th, 2014 at 10:06 pm | # |

    안녕하세요, 망치! I love your website and I love your food! I was wondering: Do you have any tips on making a Korean meal? Like how to make everything at once?

  8. Milkypaws Cyprus My profile page joined 6/13
    Posted January 6th, 2014 at 5:00 pm | # |

    This looks absolutely delicious Maangchi! I have been following your recipes for almost a year now and you have no idea how much you’ve helped me learn about Korean food!! I might make this for my Korean BBQ dinner party on Wednesday, and serve it as an alternative to ssamjang! I think I’m going to probably make the ssamjang a bit more on the mild side and also serve this as a spicier alternative!! :)


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