K-popped! Kitchen: What to do with Gochujang

Ah, it has been too long since I did a cooking post. Well, I just haven’t been cooking much lately with the holiday season in the air. But now that’s over, it’s back to the stove.

Gochujang – the sweet and spicy bean paste that flavour many of our favourite Korean dishes. Unless we’re Korean, not many of us will use it everyday. I find myself reluctantly having to throw out that tub of moldy bean paste I had cast to the recesses of my refrigerator because I just did not know what else to do with it. And then, I stopped buying it altogether.

But cheeky little Gochujang always winks at me when I pass the sauce section at the supermarket, and I’m compelled to take it home with me once again. Darn you, Gochujang!

So what can I do with Gochujang? Here are a few things I’ve tried.

Firstly, let’s store this sweet and spicy goodness so that it doesn’t turn moldy and alive in the back of your fridge. Fill ice cube trays with gochujang and freeze it until your next use. Just pop a cube of gochujang the next time you have a taste for something Korean!

Gochujang out of the freezer with frost crystals on it, not mold.

Gochujang Dressing
Give your salad that Asian zing with gochujang!

In a mortar and pestle or food processor combine:

  • 1tsp soy sauce
  • 2 1/2tbsp sesame oil (or any other oil like olive or grape seed oil)
  • 1tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 1tbsp gochujang

*Always taste your dressing and adjust amounts as you go. What I like to put in it may not necessarily be what you like. 😉

Toss the gochujang dressing in your favourite mix of greens and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds or nuts to finish. I think avocados go well with this dressing because of its rich texture. Mangos would probably do nicely too.

Gochujang in your everyday dishes
Malaysians love to put sambal in their cooking to spice things up. Next time why not try gochujang instead of sambal or chili sauce.

Braised tofu and eggplant in gochujang, soy and oyster sauce.

Noodle Salad with gochujang
I do this when I’m really lazy. Which is… very often. ;p

Chop up your favourite greens and condiments (eg. cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, salad greens, leftover roast chicken, etc.), add a dollop of ghochujang in the middle and…

… toss piping hot pasta or noodles of any kind (penne, spaghetti, soba, egg noodles) with ingredients for an instant meal!

Everyday Bibimbap
Or you can do what Orchid does and have her gochujang everyday with her everyday bibimbap.

Share with us your tips on what to do with gochujang in your everyday meals! We’d love to know.

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