Q: What is Gochujang?
A: Fermented red chili paste used for everything from Bibimbap to Meuntang or Pizza…(as well as dips, marinades, stocks…) It primarily consists of Gochugaru (red chili powder), glutinous rice/powder, a bit of cultured soybeans, salt, and sometimes sweetener.
Q: Where can I purchase it?
A: Everywhere from Asian markets to Amazon.
Q: Is it very spicy?
A: Different brands produce a range of flavors. I find that most of my tubs produce a milder level of heat. Its distinctive deep ruby color should not be associated with the likes of Sriracha but, if you find the kick to be too much, you can always try incorporating it into mayo/yogurt/ketchup/bbq sauce, or even sweetening it up with your favorite natural sweetener (i.e., coconut nectar, agave, honey). I would say it’s a nice blend of savory, spicy, and sweet.
Q: Why is it so important?
A: Dare I say it’s our mother-condiment? It’s literally the trinity of sauce bases in my home, along with Daenjang (soybean paste), and Soy Sauce. It’s been around since the 1700′s and goes into everything (it seems)…even noodles. I love it on burgers, too.
Q: How is it produced?
A: It’s blended and stored in a traditional clay (earthenware) pot to age for at least a month in lots of sunlight.
Q: What should I be looking for when purchasing store bought Gochujang?
A: A deep, dark color, a smooth (almost creamy texture)…a great Gochujang isn’t only about the spice, it’s pungent and complex, with just a note of sweetness and should never contain MSG or high fructose corn syrup–those are just fillers and will muddy the purposeful delicate balance of great Gochujang.
- 1 ripe diced mango
- ¼ c chopped red onion
- 1 chopped jalapeño
- ⅓ c chopped cilantro
- Juice of ½ lime
- S & P
- 1 dozen large shrimp
- ½ tb sesame oil
- 2 tb gochujang (Korean pepper paste)
- 1-2 tb brown sugar (depending on how sweet your paste is)
- 2 ts minced garlic
- 2 ts toasted sesame seeds
- 2 chopped green onions
- S & P
- In your first bowl, toss everything together for your salsa and set aside.
- In your second bowl, massage everything together into your shrimp and allow it to steep in the sauce for 30 minutes-1 hour.
- Grill your shrimp and after it’s cooked, layer your salsa and shrimp together on your tortillas.
Love & great gochujang!
Your Squishy Monster ^.~