hot bean paste vs. gochujang

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  GraySocks 7 years, 7 months ago.

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    Hi, greetings from Chicago. I’m a new guy to this blog but old in years. I am addicted to Korean food and have decided that I am way past due in learning how to cook it.

    I have a question….. I often stir a little bit of hot bean paste into my soups and stews, and I like the hot kick it gives. Can hot bean paste be used instead of gochujang in most Korean recipes (like kimchi jiggae)?

    Thanks, everyone.




    Where do you get this other paste? Is it Korean, Chinese? What’s the name of it?

    The Chinese pastes are not the same as the Korean ones and therefore are not interchangeable with them. Also, the saltiness of one paste may be much different than another, so be careful. Chinese pastes and sauces tend to be more salty.

    But if you want to fusion-ize your recipes and it turns out tasty, go for it! (Then let us know.)



    The hot bean paste I have used in the past is Korean (I buy it at Super H-Mart which happily is only a mile from my house). Since I posted my original message I saw a vid by a Korean lady that made Kimchi Jiggae using the hot bean paste instead of hot pepper paste)

    I’ll post the results…

    Thanks for replying so quickly!




    What is hot bean paste? I am Korean and this does not sounds like Korean. Well, Korean grocery store carries many other Asian groceries as well.

    oh, are you talking about ssamjang? sold right next to gochujang in a same looking container?

    I’d say cook with whatever it taste good to you. Whatever the video you saw was not typical of how Kimchi Jigae is made because we don’t put either of the pastes you mentioned. Kimchi jigae is typically made with just kimchi and some meat or canned fish ( tuna etc…) and some people may put some Korean hot pepper powder to make it even more spicier.

    She maybe making something else, but what ever it is if she’s using whatever the bean paste i think she’s using, it also sounds delicious! Do you have Korean name for this hot bean paste you have? I am curious now!



    Hello! and thanks for writing…

    The recipe I was refering to sounded good to me, too. You can see the videos at:

    And yes, the hot bean paste I am talking about is sold right next to the hot pepper paste, in a red plastic container that is almost identical, except, of course, for the Korean writing.

    At the moment I am out of this hot bean paste but I will go to Super H-Mart in a couple of days and buy some more, and then write to you with the name, or send a .jpg of the label.

    I have been using this for a long time just to stir into soup of all kinds, especially any of the ramen soups. It adds not only heat but also a definite richness.

    If you try this un-authentic kimchi recipe, let me know what you think of it!

    Best regards,





    So I watched the video, I didn’t watch full length because it’s soooooo long but watched it enough to get the idea of what she’s doing.

    The question of hot pepper paste- She’s just using hot pepper paste (gochujang). She says something about it containing bean paste, but she’s holding hot pepper paste and used it. What she means is that soybean product (maejoo) is used as part of ingredient making hot pepper paste. Hot pepper paste itself does not contain actual fermented bean paste which is very different thing.

    Anyway, you can ignore all that. She’s using hot pepper paste (gochujang).

    You are right, she’s making very un-athentic kimchi jiggae. No Korean would make kimchi jiggae this way with extra vegetables and hot pepper paste and all. Beef broth! that’s just gross to me! :) The most people put is sliced onions- that’s pretty common, some times extra garlic, but kimchi is already so garlicky it’s really not necessary. That’s not to say it can’t be done. That’s what home cooking is all about- you can put whatever pleases you.

    Kimchi jiggae is just about the easiest, simplest to make. Here’s authentic way to make it if you are interested. You put the kimchi and kimchi juice and sliced onion in the pot, fill it up with the water or you can make korean broth using kelp and dried anchovies if you feel like , either way is fine, Most people uses just plain water because making broth is just extra work most people don’t want to do. The water should be under or just about the kimchi level. Heat it up, when it boils you can add little bit of diced pork with some fat ( more traditional way- korean people value pork fat in the meat ) or canned tuna (more recent creation but it’s very common) or tofu (if you are vegetarian) . And you basically simmer till it’s done. Another 15-20 min. I don’t know- no Koreans ever time these things. You can put the chopped scallion at the end or not. So does hot pepper powder – all unnecessary but some people do it. No gochujang – this will turn it into something else. At the end, season to taste, Kimchi is already seasoned so you may just need to just check for the salt level. There you go- real kimchi stew that’s been done to death in Korea! There’s nothing fancy about it. It’s ultimate “citizen’s” food as they say it in Korea these days.



    Thanks, again, for the personal help and valuable information. I will make authentic Korean kimchi jiggae… it is much easier and I like the taste of kimchi so much that your suggestions will preserve the original flavor.

    I will put a little bit of pork belly meat in the soup.

    Very best regards.




    Maangchi has an excellent recipe for kimchi stew. Click on the link for the recipe. She uses hot pepper paste/gochujang in her recipe. I too use it in my stew.

    Here is my recipe for kimchi stew.

    Kimchi Chigae (Stew) Georgia’s Recipe

    2 to 4 slices pork belly

    1 small cooking onion

    1 tablespoon chopped garlic

    1 tablespoon kochukaru (Korean pepper flakes)

    1 teaspoon kochujang (Korean chili paste)

    1 tablespoon rice vinegar

    2 cups kimchi

    2 tablespoon raw cane sugar

    1 teaspoon soy sauce

    4 to 5 cups water

    1/2 packet tofu

    2 green onion, chopped

    2 tablespoon sesame oil

    Fry pork in korean crock until fat is rendered, drain excess fat.

    Add onion and garlic and stir fry for a minute.

    Add kochukaru and kochujang and stir fry for a minute. Add vinegar and stir.

    Add kimchi and stir fry for a few minutes.

    Add water, soy sauce, sugar and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer for 15 to20 minutes.

    Add tofu and green onion and simmer for 5 to10 minutes more.

    Add sesame oil and serve with a bowl of rice.



    Wow…. I’ve eaten thousands of Kimchi Jiggae in my life and watch people make it but I’ve never seen people using hot pepper paste or sasame oil. I am also checking my Korean cook book, currently very popular in Korea that I got last year. The cook contains couple of different kind of kimchi jigae recipe – no hot pepper paste in any of them. This is intriguing. I am gonna call and ask my mom in Korea and see if she’s ever seen it just because I am interested in food and I am curious. It maybe the regional thing. Korean regional food can be fantastic! I’m not saying it can’t be done. You can put whatever you wanna put in there, whatever taste good to you. I am Korean and doesn’t live in Korean anymore so I just prefer Korean food the way it’s most commonly done, the way I always had it.

    One thing I do wanna add is that be careful with the amount of sugar. The reason people sometimes put sugar is to balance out the sourness of really ripen kimchi which is what people use for Kimchi jigae. It can be a good thing if you put just a tad, but it’s very easy to make the whole dish too sweet which is gross because kimchi jigae is savory dish.

    Vinegar is not necessary if your kimchi is well ripen. Only time you use vinegar is if your kimchi if not ripen enough. It mimicks the sourness but I’d personally wait till kimchi is ripen.

    Fun fact- Another meat you can put in Kimchi jigae that is common is SPAM! especially if you are camping. Koreans have soft spot for SPAM, no one would consider it as gross unlike most Americans. Isn’t that funny?



    Below is a description of kimchi stew from the Official Seoul City Tourism web site. As you can clearly see, there is nothing weird or unusual about my or maangchi’s recipe’s. I use ripe kimchi but I still like it more sour so I add a bit or rice vinegar to it. It took me a long time of tweaking the recipe to get it to the way I like it to taste. I also add an egg and mix it just before eating which makes the stew so much more delicious and velvety. There are no right or wrong ways to cook. As long as it tastes good to the person who is cooking it. I would never use spam for anything and think it is disgusting and I don’t think that is weird either.

    Gimchi-jjigae (Gimchi Stew) – Gimchi-jjigae is a stew made by boiling gimchi, water, vegetables, soy bean paste and meat, usually tuna fish or pork. This dish is one of the most common in Korea and is a staple of many Korean meals. Preparation methods are diverse, but when using pork most of them generally start by browning the meat separately. Other ingredients, including onions, ginger, kimchi and garlic are then added and cooked for a short time. Water is then added to the pot so that it covers all of the ingredients. The mixture should then be boiled. This will make a deep red broth. Often times then salt, sugar or pepper are added to taste. Though the kimchi should make the stew sour enough, vinegar may be added to increase sourness. Tofu is often cut into cubes and inserted towards the end as well. Sometimes alcohol, generally soju, is added in small amounts to cut the grease from the meat. Eat the stew while it’s hot, boiling if possible.



    I actually put a spoonful of hot pepper paste (gochujang) in my soy bean paste soup (dwenjang jjigae). It changes the flavor and color a little, but it doesn’t add a “kick”. If you want to enjoy it spicy, I suggest you slice in korean green peppers instead (the long curly/pointy looking ones). Their seeds will be like… POW!

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