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, kosher salt, 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 toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Combine garlic, hot pepper flakes, soy sauce, rice syrup, olive oil, and toasted 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 toasted 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.

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  1. RedRosylee United States joined 4/23 & has 5 comments

    If we don’t have pebbles (and can’t think of anything else that’s sanitary to use) as a fermentation weight, how long would I have to wait if I just put the peppers straight in the fridge in the brine?

  2. WorldEater US joined 3/22 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi. I might have totally messed up and poured the pickling liquid onto the chiles while it was still hot after the second boil. Do you think it will turn out okay or should I discard and start over? Thank you for your recipes.

  3. Hi, I’d like to know how to make the version where the chilies are put in doenjang! Is the process the same? When do you add the chilies to the doenjang? Thanks … love your recipes.

  4. AnnaMarie Abilene, TX, USA joined 7/20 & has 6 comments

    I have a question I made these and today I was on step 8-10. After boiling the brine there is not enough left to even cover half of the peppers……….do I just add more soy sauce and vinegar? Surely we are not supposed to refrigerate for a week when the brine doesn’t even reach up half of the peppers? anyone help?

  5. rifftiff AZ joined 4/14 & has 3 comments

    Dear Maangchi!
    I made these yesterday but missed adding the salt because it’s not included in any step in the recipe directions and I didn’t watch the video. :(

    Can I add the salt in today when I take out the brine to reheat it?

    I also see this many times with onions, so I included onions together in the jar.

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      Yes, at step 8, add 1/4 cup salt to the brine, stir, and boil.
      When you watch my video, you will see me adding salt. All these years later I found the mistake thanks to you! I just fixed it. By the way, your pepper and onion pickles look good!

  6. TxSioux Texas joined 9/18 & has 1 comment

    We have a variety of peppers in the garden. I’m going to try this recipe with different types and see what happens.

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      OMG I will share this in my November newsletter! Beautiful different types of peppers! Gorgeous colors with different shapes, and you organized them so well to take this photo. Everything makes me happy, I’m sure a lot of people will feel the same way!

  7. Cornelius B. Ecuador joined 12/17 & has 42 comments

    Annyeong Maangchi,

    After 6 days my Gochu-Jangajji was ready! First I tried some as a snack, and they turned out even tastier than I had expected! Of course, the red chilies from Ecuador were quite spicy, but the bellpepper was very mild, had absorbed some spiciness from the chilies, though. I guess, people that prefer a totally nonspicy version could make Gochu-Jangajji from green (or other color) bellpeppers only. I´ll try this out next time and let you know.

    As mentioned in my former comment, I made Samgyeopsal-gui, and added the Gochu-Jangajji in stead of Ssamjang: it combined perfectly, and the result was mouthwatering! Today I had made a fresh batch of Yangnyeom-Tongdak-sauce, and used the rest stuck in the wok to season the Gochu-Jangajji: yummie!

    See full size image

  8. Cornelius B. Ecuador joined 12/17 & has 42 comments

    Annyeong Maangchi,

    Made Gochu-Jangajji yesterday, just finished the brine cooking process today, and got the jar in the fridge. Can hardly wait till next week, to try it. Planning to make Samgyeopsal-gui next week, and have the plain and the seasoned Gochu-Jangajji with it, in stead of Ssamjang.

    I didn´t have green Korean gochu available, so I used red chilies (from Ecuador), and also green sliced bell pepper (for the color and not so spicy). Next time I´m in Quito, I´ll see if they have the Korean gochu in Seoul Market. Then I´ll save the seeds, and try to grow my own.

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