Hot pepper paste

Gochujang 고추장

This fermented staple ingredient adds spiciness, color, and sweetness to many Korean dishes. It’s sometimes labeled as “red pepper paste” in English on the package. Most people buy it in a Korean grocery store, but in Korea it was traditionally homemade (my recipe is here). Homemade gochujang has a rich complex flavor that’s much deeper than store-bought.

Keep in the fridge after opening and use within 3 months. The top of the paste may become darker or dry out, but it’s still edible.





hot pepper paste

Recipes that use hot pepper paste (gochujang):


  1. trisha singapore joined 8/11 & has 1 comment

    the one i bought taste like ketchup. is it suppose to be be that way?! i was a little disappointed =(

  2. fairygothmom Glen Cove, NY joined 1/11 & has 8 comments

    I bought the one in the first picture but it tasted like ketchup and wasn’t spicy at all for me. So how do the others rate in terms of heat and flavor? Yes, I could buy each to try until I find one I like, but my family’s finances are a bit tight for that.

  3. asiancut13 joined 6/10 & has 1 comment

    Does the pepper paste, black bean paste, and soy paste ever expire in the fridge?

  4. shaoen01 joined 6/10 & has 11 comments

    Is it possible to just use the Korean chilli powder instead of Chilli paste in some of your dishes? Would it still taste as good?

  5. kawaii_3star joined 5/10 & has 1 comment

    Hi! Is it possible for you to post up the translated list of ingredients in the Gochujang? I found it & wanted to buy it at the local korean grocery mart but the ingredient list was in korean. Was wondering if gochujang contains alchohol or any ingredients of animal origin?

    • Epicurean Adventure Minneapolis, MN joined 8/10 & has 30 comments

      Gochujang is vegan (No animal products) and alcohol free.
      The grocery store I go to has English ingredient labels stuck onto all the packages, so I can tell you what’s in it:

      Wheat flour
      Corn Syrup
      Red Pepper Powder
      Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
      Glutinous (sweet) rice
      Rice Flour

      If you’re worried about MSG, you can probably try to look online for gochujang that doesn’t have it and order it, but it’s hard to find in stores.

      • mina denmark joined 7/09 & has 16 comments

        unfortunately, i found out today that not all gochujang brands are vegan. my mother gave me one specially packaged for korean air and i noticed the ingredients were in english and included dried pollack extract and mixed seafood extract powder. so if you are a strict vegan, ask someone to be sure.

  6. Mochilatte joined 5/10 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    I just found a tub of gochujang which I bought a few months ago, but it has expired (dec 2009). My question is, is it still ok to use it especially since it hasn’t been opened yet? Thanks!

  7. Lynn4949 Singapore joined 4/10 & has 8 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    I wanted to make the kimchi soup, so I went to the supermarket to buy the Red Pepper Paste. However. I found there are two types of paste, one is with the vinegar and one is without. Which type shall I buy? What can I make if I buy the vinegar red pepper paste? In the end I didn’y buy any cause I have some doubts about it. Kindly advise me. Thank you.

  8. Hi :) im just wondering how to make the spicy pork that i see in many of the triange kimbap. Do you use hot pepper paste with it? I couldnt find any websites on how to make it.. hehe thanks

  9. Hi Maangchi,
    Do you have to keep gochujang in the fridge once you open it? and for doenjang? and jjajang?

  10. Hi Maangchi,

    I’m Nunoo from Malaysia. I would like to know how do you make Chilli Paste. At my place its very hard to buy korean Chilli paste.

    Anyway, keep on posting a great korean recipes!



  11. Maangchi,

    I wanted to see if you know how to make gochujang from scratch? I would like to make it myself rather than having to buy it. My Imo always made her own and it was even better than store bought gochujang. She actually made a lot of her ingredients from scratch. She came from old country and grew up on a farm with no power. I have learned something things from her but since she is gone I am learning more from you. :-)I need to actually buy your books too.

    Thank you very much,
    진심으로 감사합니다

  12. Hi, I live i Singapore, I can’t find a place which sells the hot pepper paste. I really love your recies and I tried doing the kimbap and it’s so successful! Thanks!

    • Jasmine& has 4 comments

      Hi Jean! im from Singapore too! and i just bought my first hot pepper paste today! you can get them at SOL korean grocery mart..they have branches at cathay cineleisure B1, tampines 1 mall and novena square.

      They are sold in boxes similar to those shown in the pics. S$9 for a box of 500g. They also have korean rice cakes and red pepper powder and kimchi!

      Go get it soon!

  13. Nathalie& has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi.
    I really love your blog.
    Korean food is one of my favorite,
    could you please tell me a good brand for gochujang and jiganjang.
    Also,do you guys usually use jiganjang on stir fried?

    Many thanks.
    best wishes,


  14. Michelle& has 1 comment

    do you refrigerate the paster after you open it or can it stay outside? Thank you (^_^)

  15. Arrhythmia& has 1 comment

    I live in The Netherlands and it’s very hard to find hot pepper paste. Is there a substitute for it? I want to make dduk bok gee, but can I use a different kind of paste? For example, is it okay if I use cayenne pepper paste instead of gochujang?

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