Green chili pepper pickles

Gochu-jangajji 고추장아찌

This is one of my most favorite kinds of jangajji (Korean pickles). It’s made with green chili peppers and tastes salty, sour, spicy, and a little sweet. It’s very crispy and crunchy. Biting into a pickled pepper with a spoonful of warm rice and having the salty brine splash out with a snappy crunch is just irresistible for me. In general, chili peppers hold a special place in Korean cuisine and are loved by pretty much everybody. We use them in many many dishes.

These days, between summer and autumn, green chili peppers are in season. Peppers are cheap, plentiful, and at their peak, so I buy lots of them and make lots of pickles. I eat them with almost every meal!


I remember watching my grandmother make green chili pepper pickles when I was a kid. She made a few kinds: chili peppers pickled in a soy sauce brine, chili peppers pickled in a fish sauce brine, and also chili peppers pickled by pushing them deep into her crock full of homemade doenjang. I can still remember the taste of rice with my grandmother’s pickles.

This version I’m showing you today is one of the least salty varieties of gochu-jangajji that I know. I plan on posting more chili pepper pickle recipes over time, because they are so delicious and a good thing to have in the fridge when you want to put together a quick, tasty meal or even just a spicy snack.

Korean green-chili-peppers



Also get some pebbles, clean and dry them, and put them into a plastic bag.


  1. Cut the stems the peppers, leaving a ½ inch on the topGreen chili-pepper-pickles-(gochujangajji) :고추장아찌
  2. Make a hole with a toothpick or fork on each pepper, just under the stem. These holes will allow the brine to seep into the pepper.Green chili-pepper-pickles-(gochujangajji) :고추장아찌
  3. Put the peppers into a glass jar that can hold at least 8 cups.Green chili-pepper-pickles-(gochujangajji) :고추장아찌
  4. Combine the water, soy sauce, vinegar, and the sugar in a pot. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. When the brine boils and bubbles vigorously on the surface, pour it into the jar of green chili peppers.Green chili-pepper-pickles-(gochujangajji) :고추장아찌chili-pepper-pickles-(gochujangajji)_brine1
  5. Keep the peppers submerged in the brine by weighing them down with your bag of pebbles (or anything else handy).Green chili-pepper-pickles-(gochujangajji) :고추장아찌
  6. Cover and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
  7. 24 hours later open the jar, take out the pebbles, and pour the brine out of the jar into a pot.Green chili-pepper-pickles-(gochujangajji) :고추장아찌
  8. Boil the brine vigorously for about 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from the heat and let cool thoroughly. If you want it to cool faster, place the pot into a bath of ice water but be sure not to splash cold water into the brine.
  10. Pour the cool brine back into the jar. Cover and refrigerate for 1 week or more before eating.

Green chili-pepper-pickles-(gochujangajji) :고추장아찌

Three different ways to eat gochu-jangajji:

1. As a simple side dish with rice.

This is the easiest way to enjoy them. Simply put some peppers and brine in a shallow bowl, sprinkle some sesame seeds over top, and serve with rice. You can add more side dishes if you want.

2. Mixed with seasonings.

  • 1 pound  pickled green chili peppers
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup hot pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Combine garlic, hot pepper flakes, soy sauce, rice syrup, olive oil, and sesame oil in a bowl. Mix well with a spoon. Add the pickled peppers to the seasoning mixture. Mix well by hand. Sprinkle sesame seeds over top and serve it right away as a side dish for rice, or refrigerate it for up to 3 months in an airtight container.

Green chili-pepper-pickles-(gochujangajji) :고추장아찌Green chili-pepper-pickles-(gochujangajji) :고추장아찌

3. Make bibimbap (aka mixed rice).

Chop 2 pickled peppers into small pieces and put them into a bowl. Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon rice syrup, 1 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds. Mix well.

Roast a sheet of gim (seaweed paper) both sides very crispy.

Put a serving of warm rice into a large wide-mouth bowl. Add some or all of the chopped and seasoned mixture, crush the roasted gim and add it too. Mix well with a spoon and eat. You can add extra sesame oil, too.



  1. Jkim18 New York joined 8/16
    Posted September 13th, 2016 at 1:14 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi can’t wait to make this recipe!!! i love my spicy and i love my peppers. Going to make a big batch so I can share with my family. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes. I never would’ve been able to cook Korean food if it wasn’t for you!

    • Jkim18 New York joined 8/16
      Posted September 13th, 2016 at 10:38 pm | # |

      By the way, is it fine to just double the recipe to make more? I will probably need a huge jar

      • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
        Posted September 20th, 2016 at 12:46 pm | # |

        Yes, you can double, tripe, or quadruple the recipe. Good luck!

        • helenvalent Bali, Indonesia joined 9/16
          Posted September 28th, 2016 at 10:18 am | # |

          Hi maangachi, i want try making this recipe. But, i see a little different when get some gochu-jangajji from korean aunty, there is onion, garlic, green chillies in one jar. My question is, that brine recipe same with this recipe? And will be a problem if add garlic or onion ? Thank you for your answer~~

  2. Inches Chicago joined 6/16
    Posted September 12th, 2016 at 9:24 pm | # |

    Hello my Korean mom! I made these yesterday, and today was my day to boil the liquid and return to the jars. I have a problem though. After I boiled vigorously for 15m, I have only about half my liquid left. I forgot to cover it!

    What do I do now that I only have half the liquid?

    • hardbap Boston joined 9/16
      Posted September 22nd, 2016 at 11:11 am | # |

      I have this same problem. After boiling the liquid for a second time I don’t have enough to cover the peppers. What do I do?

      • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
        Posted September 22nd, 2016 at 11:30 am | # |

        Hi Inches and hardbap!
        You can make more salty brine and add it.

  3. sanne Munich joined 8/14
    Posted July 17th, 2016 at 6:58 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    We were at an annual gathering yesterday evening (well, a BBQ ;-)), and I brought some Korean stuff (as usual).
    Your gochu-jangajji was a big hit and I recommended your website.

    Bye, Sanne.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 19th, 2016 at 4:03 pm | # |

      Hi Sanne,
      I’m happy to hear that your gochu-jangajji was a big hit! You are such a great cook!

      • sanne Munich joined 8/14
        Posted November 29th, 2016 at 7:09 am | # |

        A few days ago, at a house-cooling ;-) party – the same.
        The gochu-jangajji keeps very well, one year old (I made a giant batch) and still perfect!
        And thank you very much for the compliment!

        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
          Posted December 2nd, 2016 at 5:04 am | # |

          Great! I’m very happy to hear that you got some compliment from your friends!

  4. mencha fresno,ca. joined 8/14
    Posted January 28th, 2016 at 4:26 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi, I was wondering if you could reuse the brine to make more jangajji?

  5. stonefly Olympia WA joined 11/11
    Posted May 9th, 2015 at 2:51 pm | # |

    Thank you for this recipe, Maangchi! I love these as ban chan. And the “squirt” in the video is so precious! Squirt! I love it!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 10th, 2015 at 10:52 am | # |

      I ran out of my gochu-jangajji now. I miss the “squirt”, too! : )

      • stonefly Olympia WA joined 11/11
        Posted May 15th, 2015 at 10:33 pm | # |

        I have tried for ages to make this. A local Korean grocery store, Arirang Oriental Market, makes it and sells it, but so expensive ($16/pound). Now with this recipe it is perfect! I have some in the fridge, but it won’t last! Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I LOVE KOREAN FOOD india joined 1/15
    Posted March 4th, 2015 at 4:36 am | # |

    hi maangchi-shi can I use apple cider viniger instead of white viniger?
    and how long can I keep it……………I mean will it go bad quickly?
    plz I need ur reply quickly!!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 4th, 2015 at 6:06 am | # |

      Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar, too.

      • I LOVE KOREAN FOOD india joined 1/15
        Posted March 4th, 2015 at 9:15 am | # |

        HOW long can I keep it?
        does it have to be keept in the refrigerator ?
        I don’t have fridge. so without it how long can I keep it?

        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
          Posted March 4th, 2015 at 10:58 am | # |

          I’m sorry to say that you need to keep this in the fridge. If not, the pickles will go soggy easily.

  7. Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13
    Posted January 7th, 2015 at 12:38 pm | # |

    Maangchi ssi what do you do with brine when it’s done its job?


    • sanne Munich joined 8/14
      Posted January 7th, 2015 at 4:46 pm | # |

      Hi Cutemom,

      I have successfully used it to make Mul-Kimchi.

      Bye, Sanne.

  8. sanne Munich joined 8/14
    Posted December 7th, 2014 at 12:17 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    One week ago, we entertained a young Korean couple who were on their trip through Europe. Since they’d been in Europe for two weeks then without kimchi(!!!), they were so happy to get different kinds with samgyeopsal, ssam and bap – and gochu-jangajji ….

    It went that way: The young husband took a gochu, one bite, went “OMG, it’s sO HOT! SO HOT!!!” – and the next bite. And several gochu. ;-)))

    Of course, I recommended your site to them!

    Bye, Sanne.

  9. Orion joined 8/09
    Posted October 19th, 2014 at 9:43 pm | # |

    this is my favorite kind of “kimchi”… i asked you to make this like sooooo long ago! lol i can’t tell you how excited i am that you did! thank you so much, maangchi! :D

    in the korean stores, the peppers come coated in the pepper sauce & they have shredded carrot and green onions.. and on one of the packages it said it used honey & ginger.. can you use honey instead of rice syrup if you don’t have the rice syrup?.. :) and is adding carrot, ginger & green onions okay? :)

    when i bought this huge case of this stuff, it costed me like $50.. and at first the peppers didn’t taste very good (to me). they were very salty & briney… but after about 6 months in the fridge, they were absolutely phenomenal. oh my goodness, lol,, i can’t wait to make this!!!! it’s my favorite!!!

  10. sanne Munich joined 8/14
    Posted September 25th, 2014 at 8:50 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I’ve got more gochu now!
    How did your Halmoni prepare the gochu (besides washing and trimming ;-)) before putting them in her doenjang? Just putting a hole in them? Was it “fresh” doenjang or nicely aged?
    I don’t need a video right now, just a general description.
    We had that kind in Andong at “P’aldo”, a small traditional (not a tourist-fancy one) restaurant near Andong-yeok.

    Bye, Sanne.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 25th, 2014 at 11:37 am | # |

      She soaked the peppers in salty water for a week and then squeeze out the brine before she put them into her fermented soy bean paste. But her bean paste was stored in her huge earthenware crock.

      • sanne Munich joined 8/14
        Posted September 25th, 2014 at 1:05 pm | # |

        Hi Maangchi,
        thank you for your quick reply!

        5% salt, I guess? The crock is no problem; I’ve got two for “Sauerkraut” and kimchi. Different to the Korean ones, but useable. :-)
        How long until ready? 1 month? 2?
        I can wait; made tongchimi several times … and manul changachi – the older, the better!

        Bye, Sanne.

      • sanne Munich joined 8/14
        Posted October 16th, 2014 at 9:33 am | # |

        Hi Maangchi!

        I prepared 2 pounds of gochu (salt-water, 5%; 1 week – they kept their color nicely!), mixed them thoroughly with 200 g of doenjang and put them in a small earthenware pot that held traditionally manufactured doenjang/gochujang before. Of course, I pressed each handful down to remove any excess air!

        I “recycle” the now *hot* salt-water for making kat mul kimchi. The radishes are cleaned, cut and soaking; the kat is washed and drained – a lot to do today!
        And I will prepare buchu-kimchi, too! Again; that, we do eat a lot.

        Bye, Sanne.

  11. Jaye_SC Myrtle Beach joined 8/14
    Posted September 24th, 2014 at 7:49 pm | # |

    Annyong-hasseyo Maangchi,

    Thanks for your answer to my Woo-guh-ji tang question! Can I ask another? What green or greens are traditionally used in the woo-guh-ji tang recipe? Not many people on the Internet have this recipe, I found only two. Both people used different greens. My mom is Korean, from Inchon but she cannot remember for certain what they used because she rarely cooked when she was a young lady, they had servants. She only started cooking when she moved to the USA. Kamsahamnida Maangchi! Annyonghi-kjeseyo

    • jjaaddaajj United States joined 11/14
      Posted November 2nd, 2014 at 6:06 pm | # |

      woo-guh-ji is made of napa cabbage.

  12. Jaye_SC Myrtle Beach joined 8/14
    Posted September 21st, 2014 at 8:43 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I grew some Korean hot peppers this year and they are so, so hot! I love it! The skins are thick and this is all that I don’t like but they are so hot and spicy and I like this. Thanks for your recipe because I needed something to do with all of these peppers because I cannot give them away. :) No one eats as spicy as me! Anyhow, thanks for your recipe, now I have a way to save them! Can you post a wooguhji tang recipe? It is my favorite! I am sure many people would love this soup, it is the best! What kind of greens do you use in your woo-guh-ji Galbi-tang? Do you use napa cabbage and something else?

    Thanks, Jaye_sc

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 22nd, 2014 at 11:15 am | # |

      “What kind of greens do you use in your woo-guh-ji Galbi-tang? Do you use napa cabbage and something else” yes, you could use napa cabbage or radish tops. And also you could use chard, too.

  13. sanne Munich joined 8/14
    Posted September 21st, 2014 at 10:29 am | # |

    The amount of brine was exactly right for the empty twist-off jar of pickled gherkins (1.7 quarts) that I’m using. No need to press anything down at the moment. No space left for pebbles. :-)

  14. sanne Munich joined 8/14
    Posted September 20th, 2014 at 8:39 am | # |

    Hi maangchi!


    I have a bag (500 g) of spotless, fresh and *hot* put-gochu right here and will prepare 고추장아찌 tomorrow. One of my husband’s favourites!

    Bye, sanne.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 22nd, 2014 at 11:13 am | # |

      Hi Sanne,
      Hope your jangajji is being soaked in the brine nicely in the fridge! : )

      • sanne Munich joined 8/14
        Posted September 22nd, 2014 at 11:51 am | # |

        Hi Maangchi,

        “Hope your jangajji is being soaked in the brine nicely in the fridge! : )”
        Not yet – the brine is “vigorously boiling” right now.
        It smells nice – but I just fled the kitchen nonetheless! ;-)
        The gochu in their jar are in the fridge to give them a cool start.
        When in the cooled-down brine, I will cover them with disposable Korean bowl-covers – I bought lots of them 8 years ago.

        Bye, Sanne.

      • sanne Munich joined 8/14
        Posted October 21st, 2014 at 3:39 pm | # |

        Hi Maangchi,

        OMG – four weeks already!
        Today, I made version number two. Big success! Our Korean guests were really impressed. Spicy, crunchy – delicious!
        Btw: I used sugar instead of rice syrup and neutral vegetable oil, not olive-~.

        Bye, Sanne.

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