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.

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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)

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yakgochujang (약고추장)

Directions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and 2 teaspoons toasted 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 toasted 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 toasted 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 toasted 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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22 Comments:

  1. robinsda Silver Spring, Maryland, USA joined 4/19 & has 1 comment

    I’m vegetarian — and I really appreciate the vegetarian options you give for many of your recipes — but for a vegetarian version of this dish I substitute veggie crumbles for the meat. Delicious!

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