Gochujang (chilli paste).jpg
Alternative names Red chili paste
Place of origin Korea
Main ingredients Gochutgaru (red chili powder), glutinous rice, mejutgaru (fermented soybean powder)
Other information HS code: 2103.90.1030
Cookbook: Gochujang  Media: Gochujang
Korean name
Hangul ???
Hanja --?
Revised Romanization gochu-jang
McCune-Reischauer koch'u-chang
IPA [ko.t??u.d?a?]

Gochujang (,[1]from Korean: ???; gochu-jang [ko.t??u.d?a?]) or red chili paste[2] is a savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment made from gochutgaru (red chili powder), glutinous rice, mejutgaru (fermented soybean powder), yeotgireum (barley malt powder), and salt. The sweetness comes from the starch of cooked glutinous rice, cultured with saccharifying enzymes during the fermentation process.[3] Traditionally, it has been naturally fermented over years in jangdok (earthenware) on an elevated stone platform, called jangdokdae, in the backyard.

In Sunchang County, North Jeolla Province, there is a Gochujang Village where Sunchang Gochujang Festival is held annually.[4][5]


It has commonly been assumed that spicy jang (?; ?) varieties were made using black peppers and chopi, before the introduction of chili peppers in the early 16th century. Chili peppers originated in the Americas, introduced to East Asia by Portuguese traders.[6][7][8] The first mention of chili pepper in Korea is found in Jibong yuseol, an encyclopedia published in 1614.[9][10]Sallim gyeongje, a 17-18th century book on farm management, wrote on the cultivation methods of chili peppers.[11] In 18th century books, Somun saseol and Jeungbo sallim gyeongje, gochujang is written as gochojang, using hanja characters ??? and ???.[12][13] It is also mentioned that Sunchang was renowned for their gochujang production.[12]

Gochujang ingredients reported in Jeungbo sallim gyeongje was 18 litres (4.0 imp gal; 4.8 US gal) of powdered and sieved meju (fermented soybeans), 540 millilitres (19 imp fl oz; 18 US fl oz) of gochutgaru (red chili powder), and 1.8 litres (0.40 imp gal; 0.48 US gal) of glutinous rice flour, as well as soup soy sauce for adjusting the consistency.[13] Gochujang recipe in Gyuhap chongseo, a 1809 cookbook, says that gochujang is made by powdering meju made from 18 litres (4.0 imp gal; 4.8 US gal) of soybeans and 3.6 litres (0.79 imp gal; 0.95 US gal) of glutinous rice, then adding 900-1,260 millilitres (32-44 imp fl oz; 30-43 US fl oz) of gochutgaru and bap made from 3.6 litres (0.79 imp gal; 0.95 US gal) of glutinous rice.[14]


Traditional jars used for fermenting gochujang.

Gochujang's primary ingredients are red chili powder, glutinous rice powder, sugar or corn syrup, powdered fermented soybeans, and salt.

Other recipes use glutinous rice (chapssal, Korean: ??), normal short-grain rice (mepssal, Korean: ??), or barley, and, less frequently, whole wheat kernels, jujubes, pumpkin, and sweet potato; these ingredients are used to make special variations. The finished product is a dark, reddish paste with a rich, piquant flavor.

The making of gochujang at home began tapering off when commercial production came into the mass market in the early 1970s. Now, most Koreans purchase gochujang at grocery stores or markets. It is still used extensively in Korean cooking to flavor stews (jjigae), such as gochujang jjigae; marinate meat, such as gochujang bulgogi; and as a condiment for naengmyeon and bibimbap.

Gochujang is also used as a base for making other condiments, such as chogochujang (Korean: ????) and ssamjang (Korean: ??). Chogochujang is a variant of gochujang made from gochujang with added vinegar and other seasonings, such as sugar and sesame seeds. It is usually used as a sauce for hoe and hoedeopbap. Similarly, ssamjang is a mixture of mainly gochujang and doenjang, with chopped onions and other spicy seasonings, and is popular with sangchussam (Korean: ???).

Gochujang Hot taste Unit

Gochujang Hot taste Unit (GHU) is unit of measurement for the pungency (spicy heat) of gochujang, based on the gas chromatography (GC) and the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin concentration.[15][16]

Gochujang products are assigned to one of the five levels of spiciness: Mild Hot, Slight Hot, Medium Hot, Very Hot, and Extreme Hot.[16]

Extreme Hot 100 <
Very Hot 75-100
Medium Hot 45-75
Slight Hot 30-45
Mild Hot < 30


Gochujang is used in various dishes like bibimbap and tteokbokki, also in salads, stews, soups and marinated meat dishes.[17] Gochujang makes dishes spicier (contributed by the capsaicins from the chili), but also somewhat sweeter.

See also


  1. ^ "gochujang". OxfordDictionaries.com. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ National Institute of Korean Language (30 July 2014). "?? ???(200?) ??? ?? ? ??(?, ?, ?) ???" (PDF) (in Korean). Retrieved 2017. Lay summary - National Institute of Korean Language. 
  3. ^ "gochujang" ???. Doopedia (in Korean). Doosan Corporation. Retrieved 2017. 
  4. ^ "Sunchang Gochujang Village". Korea Tourism Organization. Retrieved 2017. 
  5. ^ "Sunchang Gochujang Festival". Korea Tourism Organization. Retrieved 2017. 
  6. ^ Guide to Korean Culture: Korea's cultural heritage (2015 ed.). Seoul: Korean Culture and Information Service, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. 2015 [1995]. pp. 131-133. ISBN 9788973755714. 
  7. ^ Park, Jae Bok (Spring 1999). "Red Pepper and Kimchi in Korea" (PDF). Chile Pepper Institute Newsletter. 8 (1). p. 3. Retrieved 2017. 
  8. ^ Marianski, Stanley; Marianski, Adam (2012). Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Pickles & Relishes. Seminole, FL: Bookmagic. p. 45. ISBN 9780983697329. 
  9. ^ Hui, Y. H.; Ghazala, Sue; Graham, Dee M.; Murrell, K. D.; Nip, Wai-Kit, eds. (2004). Handbook of Vegetable Preservation and Processing. New York: Marcel Dekker. pp. 190-191. ISBN 0824743016. 
  10. ^ Yi, Sugwang (in Literary Chinese). Jibong yuseol ????(????) [Topical Discourses of Jibong]. Joseon Korea: Wikisource. 
  11. ^ Hong, Manseon. Sallim gyeongje ????(????) [Farm Management] (in Literary Chinese). Joseon Korea - via DB of Korean classics by ITKC. 
  12. ^ a b Yi, Sipil; Yi, Pyo (1940) [1722]. Somun saseol ????(????) (in Literary Chinese). Joseon Korea. 
  13. ^ a b Yu, Jungrim; Hong, Manseon (1766). Jeungbo sallim gyeongje ??????(??????) [Revised and Augmented Farm Management] (in Literary Chinese). Joseon Korea. 
  14. ^ Yi, Bingheogak (1809). Gyuhap chongseo ????(????) [Women's Encyclopedia] (in Literary Chinese). Joseon Korea. 
  15. ^ "[Korea] Some like it Hot! Standardized 'Spiciness' rating system for Korea's famed Gochujang". Korea Tourism Organization. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 2017. 
  16. ^ a b National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service (September 2016). "Jeontong sikpum pyojun gyugyeok" ???? ???? (PDF). Korean Standards & Certifications (in Korean). Korean Agency for Technology and Standards. pp. 88-89. Retrieved 2017. Lay summary. 
  17. ^ "Gochujang (Hot Pepper Paste)". visitkorea.org. Archived from the original on 2014-11-12. Retrieved . 

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