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):



  1. cnaa_wawa malaysia joined 11/13
    Posted June 6th, 2017 at 5:47 pm | # |

    Hi.. Can i cant find chili powder to make gochujang.. Just have flakes.. Can i grind them n use to make gochujang..

  2. Inbornhappy Houston joined 1/17
    Posted January 9th, 2017 at 12:03 pm | # |

    Maangchi, I did not read this before I bought my gochugaru. ^^;; I bought this brand of gochgaru from this brand called foodcell. The peppers originate from China but the bag is in Korean. The bag has a picture of kimchi and it is coarse pepper flakes. It is not spicy really and it is coarse and flakey. Should I grind them a little bit to make it similar to the korean chili flakes? Thanks.

  3. loozenup3 california joined 12/16
    Posted December 6th, 2016 at 8:02 pm | # |

    Hello, I live very close to 99 cent store and Walmart, but driving to an Asian market is too far, so I really appreciate it if you could post good alternatives for the red pepper flakes used for making Kimchi. I am craving for some cilantro kimchi right now, and I really just want to use generic typical ingredients nearby to make it. Can you please help with this matter. Thanks.

  4. ivydalcurbi Meycauayan Bulacan joined 11/16
    Posted November 15th, 2016 at 9:31 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, I have a question regarding the chili flakes like this one on the picture. This is the one I mostly use as condiment when I want my food to be more spicy. If I were to process this into finer chili flakes, would it be the same as gochugaru?

    See full size image

  5. rami chan AMERICA joined 6/16
    Posted June 15th, 2016 at 2:06 am | # |

    Hey Maanchi I want to ask it’s ok to order on Amazon hot pepper flakes safe ?

    • rami chan AMERICA joined 6/16
      Posted June 15th, 2016 at 2:23 am | # |

      And I don’t want to buy on Amazon I want to buy on eBay because Amazon not shipped to Israel safe to buy hot pepper flakes on eBay ?

  6. AdamB usa joined 12/14
    Posted May 1st, 2016 at 11:33 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi.

    I am confused about this product, which is among many at my Korean market. Is this good for kimchi? It comes from China.

    See full size image

  7. Brandong1991 joined 12/15
    Posted December 5th, 2015 at 8:41 pm | # |

    hey maangchi, very big fan of yours, i have a question, i went to a korean supermarket near me and they did not have any hot pepper flakes all they had was hot pepper powder the real fine kind that you would use to make hot pepper paste with, and they had dried red peppers if i bought the dried red peppers if i grind them up would that be good to use in making kimchi, or can i use the hot pepper powder at all, thanks

  8. Sally Fern Malaysia 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 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.

  9. Cookin905 Pickering, On, Canada 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

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 7th, 2015 at 9:40 am | # |

      Yes, the hot pepper flakes look good to me. If you are worried about if the dish turning out too spicy, use less amount of flakes than the recipe calls for, and then add more as you need it. Good luck with making delicious spicy braised chicken (dakbokkeumtang)!

  10. Melina 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!

  11. Greg J. Michigan, USA joined 1/13
    Posted November 24th, 2013 at 3:05 pm | # |

    Hi! I looked at 2 local Korean grocery stores, but neither had “Deolmaewoon gochugaru.” I can pronounce Korean (without knowing the meaning), so I looked for it in Korean (덜매-anything 고추가구) as well as asked the Korean salespeople. Presumably that means I have to order it online. I couldn’t find any at Amazon or Do you know of a link to a small package from any online seller? Thanks!

  12. Crazy in kitchen Cambodia joined 8/13
    Posted August 9th, 2013 at 3:38 am | # |

    I’m a new fun ^^ i watched alot of you’re video. I really love it.
    Hmm…. I want to ask can i make my own hot pepper flakes? If can pls showe me how?

  13. Casey New Jersey joined 4/10
    Posted September 27th, 2012 at 8:49 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I was buying red pepper flakes today and noticed there is a HUGE difference in prices between brands. For the same size package, the price started at $3.99 and went all the way up to $64.99! Do you know why some brands are so much more expensive? I bought one for $8.99. 65 bucks is a bit out of my budget, lol.


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 9th, 2013 at 11:48 am | # |

      $64.99? It’s made of gold? : ) I usually buy taeyangcho (hot pepper flakes made from sun dried hot peppers).
      I don’t know which brand is good or not. I usually just pick some that are expensive. But I have never seen a package that costs $64.99! Choose flakes with a nice and bright red color.

  14. ephinyus United States joined 3/12
    Posted March 5th, 2012 at 2:36 pm | # |

    I wondered if this is the same type of hot pepper flakes? I found them on Amazon.

  15. eera94 kuala lumpur joined 12/11
    Posted December 16th, 2011 at 11:53 pm | # |

    hot pepper powder and chili powder….is it different????
    i already bought chili powder to make my kimchi…

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