Comparison of Gochugaru and Gochujang (with Table)

How complex, spicy tastes work in a meal is one of the most significant features of Korean cuisine. Gochugaru and gochujang are two components that add significantly to the amount of spice in your cuisine.

These components are connected, as the gochu prefix of each of these nouns suggests. While looking at these red elements, there are a few crucial distinctions to note.

Gochugaru vs Gochujang

The fundamental distinction between gochujang and gochugaru is the method of manufacture employed to generate the completed product.

  • Manufacturing Method: Gochugaru is made by crushing sundried Korean chili peppers (Gochu) into a coarse powder, while gochujang is made by combining gochugaru with other ingredients. After that, the mixture is fermented.
  • Ingredients: One thing to keep in mind about these two ingredients is that gochugaru is a component of gochujang. Other materials used to produce gochujang besides gochugaru include fermented soybean powder, glutinous rice, salt, and barley malt powder. Gochugaru is made entirely with crushed peppers.
  • Fermentation: One of the most significant distinctions between gochugaru and gochujang is that gochujang is fermented, but gochugaru is not. The fermenting process takes roughly three months to complete.
  • Gochujang has the appearance of a red paste, while gochugaru is a red powder.
  • Texture: Gochujang is a sticky paste with a variety of textures, while Gochugaru has a gritty powder texture.
  • Flavor: Both of these ingredients are hot since they are derived from the same pepper, although gochujang is often less spicy than gochugaru.

There are a few instances in which gochugaru and gochujang are quite similar.

  • Each of these components are derived from the same sundried chili peppers. Since gochugaru is a component of gochujang, the powdered spice is a component of the paste’s origin.
  • Although the tastes of these two items are extremely distinct, they both provide a lot of spiciness to popular Korean recipes. Yet, the meals in which these items are employed vary.

Comparison Table

The table below gives a quick summary and comparison of gochugaru and gochujang.

  Gochugaru Gochujang
Plant Taeyangcho (Sundried) Pepper Taeyangcho (Sundried) Pepper
Geographic Origin Korea Korea
Flavor Spicy, Smoky, Fruity Spicy, Sweet, Acidic
Flavor Intensity Medium to High Mild to High
Appearance Powdered Spice Paste
Use Sauces, Spice Rub, Marinade, Gochujang Sauces, Marinade, Stews, Tteokbokki

Can You Use Gochugaru in Place of Gochujang?

These two substances have such distinct flavors that they are not interchangeable. This distinction is partly due to the fermenting process that gochujang goes through, which gives the product a distinct and nuanced taste.

In all cases, gochugaru does not act as a substitute for gochujang. If you don’t have any other alternatives, consider using gochujang instead of gochugaru. Nonetheless, keep in mind that gochujang is saltier than gochugaru, and that textural variations must be considered. This swap works best when creating anything like a stew and without adding any more salt.

There are various alternatives for gochugaru substitutions. Cayenne powder, chipotle powder, and crushed red pepper may all be used as gochugaru substitutes, depending on your specific demands. Crushed red pepper is a wonderful alternative when you only want heat.

Certain meals, though, may need more intricacy. You could even combine some of these possibilities to produce a taste similar to gochugaru. For example, chipotle powder may be smokier than gochugaru, so combine some chipotle powder with crushed red pepper.

Finding gochujang substitutes is a little more difficult, but it is not impossible. To create the taste and texture of gochujang, you will most likely need to combine a few components.

Miso paste, gochugaru, sake, and sugar are combined to make a basic gochujang dupe. This choice provides part of the rich fermented taste for which gochujang is famous. You may also combine gochugaru and soy sauce. Thai chili paste or chili sauce may also be used as a substitute, depending on what you want to produce.

What is Gochugaru Made Of?

Gochugaru lives true to its name since gochu means chili pepper in Korean and garu means powder. When you go shopping, you may come across items branded Korean chili powder. These things may include gochugaru on occasion, but not always. Knowing what gochugaru looks like can help you avoid purchasing the incorrect product.

Sundried or taeyangcho peppers are often used to manufacture this spice. Rather of using peppers just for heat, peppers used for gochugaru are frequently fruity and smokey, resulting in a more nuanced taste.

Others believe that the peppers used to manufacture this spice have been in Korea for millions of years. A little more plausible explanation holds that the peppers originated in Central America and were introduced to Korea sometime after the Columbian trade.

How to Use Gochugaru

It’s crucial to understand that there are numerous distinct varieties of gochugaru with varying amounts of spice, and you may want to try them all. Experiment with different varieties of this spice to discover what flavors they bring out in your food.

The most prominent application of gochugaru is in various forms of kimchi, however it may be found in a variety of Korean foods. In Korean cuisine, it is often served with noodles, veggies, and meat dishes.

Gochugaru is used in a few Korean soups, including jjampong and yukgaejang. Chili is often used in these meals while the meat or seafood is being cooked. Because of the time, the powder develops a smokier, deeper taste.

In general, this spice may function similarly to any chili powder, even if no additional Korean ingredients are present. Add it to grilled meats and vegetables, or to tofu before braising.

What is Gochujang?

In addition to gochugaru, gochujang is a fermented chili paste that incorporates glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. This product is an essential component in Korean cuisine. It is used in a variety of meals and is also a popular culinary condiment in general. Nevertheless, because of its strong taste, this item should not be utilized in the same way as ketchup or sriracha.

This ingredient has a rich taste that includes umami, sweetness, spice, and acidity. The sauce’s multifaceted taste is the product of the ingredients utilized and the fermenting process. This procedure usually takes at least three months, but it might take much longer.

There are several brands of gochujang, each with its own distinct flavor. Some gochujang brands are significantly hotter than others, similar to the diversity seen in gochugaru brands. You may have to test a few before settling on your favourite.

How to Use Gochujang

This versatile crimson paste may add complexity and spice to any recipe. The heat level of this item may vary from moderate to hot depending on which brand you choose and how much of that brand you use. If you’re new to this item, start with a little quantity and gradually increase the amount as you get a feel for the tastes.

Gochujang may be found in a variety of Korean cuisines, including tteokbokki, bulgogi, and bibimbop. Gochujang is also well-known for its ability to provide a robust foundation for a stew. It is an excellent way to add depth to a meal by combining sweet, umami, and spicy elements.

Apart from these traditional Korean meals, gochujang is gaining popularity for its overall versatility as a component of marinades and sauces. This is because this product performs best when combined with something savory or mild to balance it out. Gochujang is used in a few contemporary sweets. It often combines chocolate and creamy components.

Because of the fermentation process that gochujang goes through, it is also recognized for its probiotic properties. It is supposed to boost your gut health and metabolism.


Even though they are connected, you now grasp the primary distinctions between them. Visit a grocery shop near you to try these things for yourself.

Now that you know what to anticipate from these components, experiment with them in your cuisine. You may try some Korean classics or use these items to tweak recipes you already love. Make some tteokbokki or kimchi, or just season your favorite marinade.


Are gochujang and gochugaru the same thing?

Gochugaru refers to ground Korean chili pepper, while gochujang refers to chili paste. Both are Korean cuisine classics and even stem from the same pepper; nonetheless, they are unique ingredients.

Can you use gochujang in place of gochugaru?

Can I swap gochujang for gochugaru? No, you cannot use gochugaru and gochujang paste interchangeably. Gochugaru is produced entirely with dried Korean chili peppers, while gochujang is a fermented red chili sauce prepared from gochugaru. The spiciness of gochugaru and gochujang may vary.

How is gochugaru different?

The texture, flavor, and consistency of gochugaru and gochujang vary. Many people believe they are the same, however this is not the case. Gochugaru is available in flake or powder form, whilst Gochujang is available in paste form. In terms of flavor, Gochujang contains soybeans, rice, and salt, therefore the taste will be distinct.

What is a substitution for gochugaru?

Gochugaru may be substituted with gochujang, paprika, or cayenne pepper. Each of these alternatives will offer a comparable amount of heat, while the taste may vary significantly.

What is the best substitute for gochujang?

Sweet, salty, smoky, and umami-packed, the greatest gochujang alternative is sweet, salty, smoky, and umami-packed. Doenjang, gochugaru (or spicy pepper powder), and a touch of sugar are an acceptable substitute. To make doenjang, use the same amount of chilli powder and thin it with water as required.

What is closest to gochujang?

… Ketchup + Hot Chilli Powder…. Chilli Bean Paste. Sriracha is the best Gochujang substitute. My first option would be Sriracha, which has a similar degree of sweetness and spice and is something I always have on hand.

Which is hotter gochujang or gochugaru?

Flavor: Both of these ingredients are hot since they are derived from the same pepper, although gochujang is often less spicy than gochugaru.

Can I use gochujang instead of gochugaru for kimchi stew?

Sure, you may add gochujang (Korean spicy pepper paste). Reduce the quantity of fish sauce you use since the paste is already salty compared to gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes .) You might also try using chopped or ground red chilies.

What spice level is gochugaru?

Gochugaru has a medium-hot index of 4,000 – 8,000 Scoville heat units, equivalent to the jalapeo’s 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units, according to the PepperScale website. According to Wikipedia, green, unripe Korean chili peppers have a Scoville heat unit rating of 1,500.

What does gochugaru taste like?

How Does Gochugaru Taste? Despite its bright red colour, gochugaru isn’t as hot as one would assume. It has a little heat, but the capsaicin sensation is balanced off by fruity and sweet aromas. Sun-dried gochugaru has a subtle smokiness to it, adding depth to the taste.

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