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4 easy recipes to introduce you to Korean cuisine with gochujang chilli sauce

Trying new cuisines can be intimidating, but these 4 easy recipes will have you cooking up a Korean banquet in no time!

4w ago
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Have you ever tried to recreate your favourite authentic Asian dish at home, and it turned out a little... lacking? The flavours weren't punchy enough, your sauce was a bit watery, and it was so disappointing you just threw it away and ordered it from a restaurant instead?

Don't worry. I've been there more times than I care to admit (also, there's nothing better than a good takeaway, right?). It can be difficult to get your hands on authentic ingredients when you don't know the best local Asian store in your area, or maybe you don't even have one. Supermarkets' world food sections are getting a lot better and more diverse, boasting a good variety of authentic ingredients, but they never seem to have the one you're looking for, do they?

I am a huge lover of south-east Asian cuisine, and after a long process of learning the skills of Thai and Indonesian cooking (there were some disasters and injuries, but we move...), I made the jump to Korean and Japanese.

In terms of skill and flavours, similar processes and ingredients make appearances across a lot south-east Asian cuisines. Fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy and kecap manis (a thick and sweet soy based sauce), rice wines and vinegars are staple ingredients in south-east Asian cuisine, and are easy to get your hands on if you have a superstore close by: the difficult part is finding the staple ingredients for each cuisine, and making sure they're as authentic as possible.

A lot of the ingredients that give our favourite Asian dishes their unique flavour can be difficult to get your hands on, and it can be quite intimidating when you're not clued up on the ingredients and culture.

The dishes that we love, from our home countries and others that we enjoy and inspire us, mean a lot to the people from these cultures. Whether it's a recipe passed down through families, or adapted from generation to generation, these foods tell a story, and cluing ourselves up on this and respecting traditions makes the cooking process much more rewarding!

Cue my love for gochujang!

When I was doing my research surrounding Korean cuisine, gochujang (also written kochujang) and its ground chilli powder form, gochugaru (a key ingredient in kimchi) were two ingredients I quickly noticed are staple traditional Korean recipes.

Made from Korea's native red pepper, gochujang is a fermented red pepper sauce that has been a huge part of Korean cuisine for thousands of years, boasting a deep and sweet flavour alongside digestive benefits. A win win, then?!

Most popularly known for its use in stir-fry, bibimbap and as a marinade for meats and proteins, gochujang is used widely in Korean cuisine, and I had to get my hands on some.

Although I buy all my ingredients from Asian supermarkets to make sure they're as authentic as possible (these shops are often run by families who are more than happy to help you learn about the ingredients as well), you can actually get good quality gochujang from supermarkets, if you know what you're looking for.

A typical tub of gochujang will look like this, and this is a good quality authentic sauce:

I am very much still on my journey exploring Korean cuisine – and LOVING it – the flavours are punchy and there is a real skill to cooking these wonderful dishes. So, I have compiled 4 recipes using gochujang that can introduce you to this key flavour in Korean cuisine, and hopefully inspire you to go on your own Korean cooking journey!

Recipe 1 and 2 are my own concoctions, adding gochujang to well known recipes to introduce you to the flavour (a friend introduced me to the idea of recipe 1, and I created my own recipe inspired by it.)

Recipe 3 is a traditional udon noodle dish that was inspired by The Foodie Takes Flight. Recipe 4 is a Korean inspired pulled oyster mushroom dish that can be used however you like (I used mine in tacos and it was great), so you can get creative.

Enjoy!

1. Gochujang roast potatoes

1. Gochujang roast potatoes

Your simple roast potato, but tossed in a sweet and sticky gochujang sauce!

Prep time10min
Cook time50min
Total time1h
Serves2
CuisineKorean/British fusion
MealDinner

Ingredients

  • 3 large maris piper potatoes
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil (I use vegetable)
  • 1 tbsp gochujang
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2cm nob of ginger, minced
  • extra chilli powder to taste (optional)
  • 1 tsp of sesame seeds
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop your potatoes into quarters (or slightly smaller than standard roast potato size) and place in a saucepan
  2. Parboil your potatoes in salted water for 7-10 minutes. In the meantime, add your oil to a roasting dish, and place in the oven on 180C fan, Gas Mark 6.
  3. When your potatoes are boiled, drain them and give them a shake to fluff them up. Remember we don't want the potatoes to fall apart, so don't go nuts with the shaking! There's a time and a place, people.
  4. Take your hot oiled roasting dish out of the oven, and pour in the potatoes, tossing carefully to make sure they're all covered. Place back in the oven for 30 minutes on middle shelf.
  5. While your potatoes are cooking, you can make your gochujang sauce. Mix together the gochujang, honey, soy, ginger, garlic and sesame seeds (you can add extra chilli powder if you like it hotter) in a bowl.
  6. When the 30 minutes are up, take your potatoes out and toss them in the gochujang sauce, making sure they're completely covered. Put back in the oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Once they're done, plate up, sprinkle with spring onions and extra sesame seeds, and enjoy!

Recipe by

Anoushka Nawaz-Khan

Have you tried this recipe? Share your photos & thoughts in the comments below

2. Gochujang rosti

2. Gochujang rosti

A spicy Korean twist on the classic homemade rosti! Great with a poached or fried egg and some wok fried greens.

Prep time15min
Cook time20min
Total time35min
Serves2
CuisineKorean/ British fusion
MealAny!

Ingredients

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 heaped tbsp of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp of kimchi (optional, but it adds good depth and texture)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp of Sichuan pepper (normal black pepper will be fine if you can't get any)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of gochujang
  • 1 tbsp of neutral oil

Instructions

  1. Peel your potatoes and boil them whole for five minutes.
  2. In a bowl, add your flour, kimchi (see notes), salt, spring onions, pepper, garlic and gochujang.
  3. Once your potatoes are boiled, drain them and grate them using a standard grater. Add the grated potato to your bowl and mix together thoroughly to create a medium thick mixture. Don't worry if it seems a little wet.
  4. Heat your oil in a large frying pan, and split your mixture into two. When your oil is hot, spoon a portion of the mixture into the pan and flatten with the back of a slice to about 1cm thick. Repeat with second portion.
  5. Cook on medium high heat for about 7 minutes each side, or until golden and crisping at the edges.
  6. Serve with poached or fried eggs, wok fried greens and a drizzle of chilli oil and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you choose to add kimchi, 1tbsp of flour may not be enough to get the mixture thick enough to form shape. if you think your mixture is quite sloppy, add some more flour - but not loads otherwise the rosti will be stodgy. It's okay if the mixture is a little loose as you can shape it in the pan, and once it starts cooking it will hold.

Recipe by

Anoushka Nawaz-Khan

Have you tried this recipe? Share your photos & thoughts in the comments below

3. Gochujang and mushroom udon

3. Gochujang and mushroom udon

Spicy and sweet, earthy and umami, this garlicky number is a quick and easy weekday dinner.

Prep time10min
Cook time15min
Total time25min
Serves2
CuisineKorean
MealDinner

Ingredients

  • 400g ready to use udon noodle cakes
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp gochujang
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp of neutral oil
  • 100g dark cabbage, kale or cavolo nero
  • 100g mushrooms, sliced (see notes)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • Crispy chilli oil (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put your noodle cakes in a bowl and cover with boiling water to loosen and avoid breakage when they're fried. They don't need to be boiled.
  2. Mix your oyster sauce, gochujang, honey, soy sauce, sesame seeds and sesame oil together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Pour your neutral oil in a large frying pan and turn on high heat. Add your garlic, stir for 2 minutes to release the flavours and then add your mushrooms. Once your mushrooms have started to soften and brown slightly, add your cabbage and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Heat another pan with a tbsp of neutral oil for your fried eggs. While your oil is heating, drain your udon noodles and add to your pan of mushrooms and cabbage, then pour over the sauce and stir to coat everything.
  5. Turn your heat down to medium to allow the udon to soak up the sauce and stir gently to avoid breaking the noodles.
  6. When your oil is hot in your second pan, crack in your eggs and fry until crispy or however you like your fried eggs. see notes
  7. Dish up your noodles, top with a fried egg, a sprinkling of sesame seeds and spring onions and a drizzle of chilli oil if you like and eat up.

Recipe Notes

1.Any mushrooms will work well, but for the most authentic option, go for oyster or shiitake mushrooms. 2. I would advise keeping the yolk runny, as the best part about a fried egg this dish is cutting up the golden yolk and stirring it into the noodles. it gives a depth of richness that is just sooo good!

Recipe by

Anoushka Nawaz-Khan, inspired by The Foodie Takes Flight

Have you tried this recipe? Share your photos & thoughts in the comments below

4. Gochujang pulled oyster mushrooms

4. Gochujang pulled oyster mushrooms

A great non-meat substitute for you favourite taco recipe or a pulled burger with slaw and all the toppings!

Prep time15min
Cook time40min
Total time55min
Serves2
CuisineKorean
MealDinner

Ingredients

  • 400g of king oyster mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 large tbsp gochujang
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 60ml water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • a generous pinch of Sichuan pepper, (normal black pepper will be fine if not)
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Clean the mushrooms, and cut off and slice the caps. With a fork pull drag down on the mushrooms stalks to make incisions as if you're pulling meat. Pull the strands apart – this will give a shredded consistency which is the 'pulled' style.
  2. Heat your oil in a large frying pan and add your onion and garlic. cook for 10 minutes or until soft and starting to brown.
  3. Add your paprika, cumin, coriander and stir into the onions, coating everything for a minute or until the spices start to release their aroma.
  4. Mix in the gochujang and tomato paste, and then add in your pulled mushrooms, making sure everything is coated in the sauce and spices.
  5. Add in your soy sauce and water, allowing the mushrooms to absorb all the liquid.
  6. Season with maple syrup and pepper, and chilli powder if you're using it, and turn to a low heat, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
  7. Add some more water if you like your sauce a bit runnier, and add salt if needed.
  8. Dish up in your tacos/ burgers/ any other meal you're using it for and enjoy.

Recipe by

Anoushka Nawaz-Khan

Have you tried this recipe? Share your photos & thoughts in the comments below

Have you ever tried gochujang?

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Comments (4)

  • Thank you for sharing these recipes. I plan to try them, too! :) I live in a rural area, so gochujang may not be available at my local supermarket, but I suppose there's always Amazon.

      28 days ago
    • I’m glad you like them! They definitely sell the gochujang I reference in the article on Amazon, so you’ll deffo be able to get your hands on some. I hope you enjoy it!

        28 days ago
  • Ok so I need to make all these recipes. I feel like gochujang roast potatoes are going to change my life!

      28 days ago
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