Korean cuisine as we know uses fermentation techniques in most of its dishes. Likewise the condiments and Korean pastes are also fiery and fermented in different ways to give it a distinctive taste and flavour.
One such condiment is the Korean Gochujang, a multi-purpose paste used in most of the Korean dishes. In fact it is known as the mother condiment in Korea.
The Korean staple Gochujang is a savory and pungent fermented Korean condiment and is traditionally made by naturally fermenting the ingredients over years in large earthen pots.
Gochujang’s primary ingredients include red chili powder, glutinous rice powder mixed with powdered fermented soybeans, and salt with a small amount of sugar or honey is also sometimes added. It is a dark, reddish paste with a rich, piquant flavour.
Sometimes normal short-grain rice is used as a substitute for glutinous rice and barley, whole wheat kernels, jujubes, pumpkin, and sweet potato are also used to make variations.
Gochujang is known to have several health benefits which enhance the gut health. It is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B2 and Capsaicin found in the red peppers which increase metabolism and fat burning process.
It is believed to calm the stomach and speed up the excretion of waste, which in turn is believed to help fight obesity and is a contributing factor to why South Korea has one of the world’s lowest obesity rates.
It is found to contain anti-bacterial properties a green pigment of green pepper, which helps in losing weight. It is known to contain beta-carotene which has anti-cancerous and anti-aging properties. It also cleanses the body.
You could use Gochujang to make kimchi and various other dishes like Bibimbap, Beef Bulgogi and Tteokbokki. It is also in salads, stews, soups and marinated meat dishes.
It can be mixed with doenjang (Korean red miso) to form ssamjang, which is great for lettuce wraps and dipping vegetables. But perhaps the best kick-around variation is chogochujang, which goes excellently with fish, sauteed and blanched greens, and can pretty much be used as Korean ketchup.
Gochujang is available in most of the Asian Stores around the world.
Here are Top 5 Dishes Using Gochujang.
Find your nearest Asian Store