[10] Best Korean Red Chilli Paste Gochujang Substitutes

Being a Korean food lover, we always hunt for authentic Korean taste; at the same time, it’s not possible to reach out to the ingredients while you live in a foreign country.

Then should you quit or misplace the taste! NO. Some gochujang substitute out there can stand by your dish while you can’t find gochujang.

Maybe these are not given the exact authentic Korean taste, but No chance the Korean flavor will be left out from the taste.

What is a Gochujang?

Gochujang is a traditional Korean red pepper paste used for making Authentic Korean food. Gochujang is a thick paste condiment; it helps to bring the Korean taste.

The taste of Gochujang is neither too spicy nor too sweet. A perfect balance of spicy- sweet and saltiness.

You can find Gochujang in almost every dish in Koren, from savory soup to spicy tteokbokki, bibimbap.

The main ingredient of Gochujang is- Gochugaru (Korean hot pepper), Fermented Soybean, and glutinous rice. Research study shows that excessive gochujang can lead to obesity so that you can choose the limited intake.

10 Best Korean Chilli Paste Gochujang Substitutes

1. Don’t Go anywhere Make your own Gochujang in just a few simple steps.

Homemade Gochujang is easy to make. Furthermore, you can add any flavor for new experiments as well as get a distinct Gochujang flavor.

Korean hot pepper paste makes dwenjang-guk (soybean stew with gochujang) and bibimbap possible. 

What I’m writing here is not an exact recipe for gochujang, but it’s a substitute that will get you close.

The ingredients are simple: red pepper flakes, garlic, salt, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. 

The amounts you’ll need depend on how hot you want your gochujang to be. I enjoy using a ratio of 1:1:1:1 for the red pepper flakes, garlic, salt, and soy sauce. 

I add rice vinegar until the mixture tastes right to me.


For example, if you use 

1/4 cup (17 g) of red pepper flakes, 1 clove of garlic, and 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) of salt and add enough rice vinegar to make it taste like gochujang to you, then you’ll have a recipe for gochujang that is equivalent to 1/2 cup (80 ml) of store-bought gochujang.


1. Combine the red pepper flakes, garlic, soy sauce, and rice vinegar in a bowl and mix well.

2. Taste and add more rice vinegar as needed until the mixture tastes like gochujang to you.

3. Refrigerate in a tightly sealed container.

One word of caution: gochujang can be very spicy, so start with a small amount and add more as needed. 

You can add your gochujang to any Korean recipe like bibimbap, tteokbokki, kimchi, etc. Enjoy!

2. SRIRACHA -A Thai Chili Paste Good to Go instead of Gochujang

In Korean cuisine, gochujang is one of the most essential and popular ingredients, used as a spice, condiment, and cooking paste. 

spiracha a thai chili paste good to go instead of gochujang.

It gives a depth of flavor to many dishes and can be used in different ways. 

However, if you’re searching for an alternative to gochujang or simply do not have gochujang in hand, you can always use Sriracha. 

Sriracha is a Thai chili paste that goes well with many different dishes and tastes similar to gochujang paste. 

However, if you cannot find sriracha, don’t worry as there are still other alternatives!

On the other hand, Sriracha sauce is pretty hot and pungent that could be used to stir fry/marinate meats (Thai style). “Sriracha” is a Thai hot sauce or a dipping sauce, which is very popular in the USA. 

3. Let Spice Up with Homemade Sauce can Use as Gochujang Substitute for Tteokbokki

Since Tteokbokki is one of the most popular Korean street food, you will find many recipes out there. 

Let Spice Up with Homemade Sauce can Use as Gochujang Substitute for Tteokbokki

I made a couple of them that turned out pretty good … but still, I was in search of the best-tasting sauce. And then, I found it. The sauce that I have been looking for is gochujang-based. But, if you cannot find gochujang or simply do not want to use it, here is a substitute:


· 1/2 cup soy sauce

· 1/4 cup rice vinegar

· 2 teaspoons sugar

· 1 teaspoon sesame oil

· 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

· 1 tablespoon gochujang (optional)


1. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.

2. If using gochujang, add it to the bowl and mix well.

3. Use as directed in the recipe.

Note: If you use gochujang in this recipe, use it in moderation since gochujang already has a very distinct taste.

This sauce goes great over Tteokbokki, Japchae, and even Bibimbap! Give it a shot, and let me know how you like it!

4. Spice up Your dish with Some Indonesian Kick- SAMBAL OELEK 

Sambal oelek chili pepper paste comes from Indonesia and contains chilies, vinegar, salt, and garlic. It definitely has a spicy kick and is an excellent substitute for gochujang paste.

SAMBAL OELEK IS Best Korean Red Chilli Paste Gochujang Substitutes

To use Sambal Oelek as a gochujang alternate, simply follow these steps:

1. In a smallish bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of Sambal Oelek with 1 tablespoon of water.

2. In a larger bowl, mix your desired amount of gochujang with the same amount of water.

3. Add the Sambal Oelek mixture into the gochujang mixture slowly while stirring continuously. This is to make sure that your gochujang will not be too spicy or sour because of the additional Sambal Oelek.

Read More 7 Green curry Paste Alternatives can make a dish beyond thinking

5. Use CHILI GARLIC SAUCE to Gochujang Substitute

Chili garlic sauce is made with chili peppers, garlic, salt, and vinegar. It has a similar flavor to gochujang but isn’t as spicy. Initiate with a slight amount and add more if needed.

Chili garlic sauce is made with chili peppers, garlic, salt, and vinegar. It has a similar flavor to gochujang but isn't as spicy.

To your dish, add a tablespoon or two of the sauce. The flavor and spiciness of the chili garlic sauce will add depth and heat to your dish, similar to what you would get from gochujang.

Keep in mind that chili garlic sauce is much spicier than gochujang, so you may want to adjust the amount you use accordingly. Additionally, chili garlic sauce typically contains more sodium than gochujang, so you may want to watch your salt intake if using this substitution.

If you’re looking for a store-bought, there are a few different brands of chili garlic sauce available, so be sure to read the labels to find one that fits your dietary needs.

Additionally, you can make your own chili garlic sauce by combining garlic, red pepper flakes, and soy sauce. This will give you a homemade chili garlic sauce that you can use in your cooking.

6. ANY RED PEPPER PASTE can compete the Gochujang 

If you have a favorite red pepper paste, it can be substituted for gochujang in most recipes. Just make sure the flavor and heat level are similar.

Red chili paste, or gochujang, is a popular Korean condiment made from red chili peppers, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt.

It has a spicy, smoky flavor and a slightly sweet taste. Although gochujang is not readily available in the United States, red chili paste can be used as a substitute.

Red chili paste is widely available in Asian markets. It is usually sold in jars or cans. Choose a chili paste that is made from red chilies, not green chilies. The flavor and heat of red chili paste will be closer to gochujang than green chili paste.

When substituting red chili paste for gochujang, keep in mind that the dish’s flavor will be slightly different. The salt content may also vary depending on which brand or variety of red chili paste is used. 

Try experimenting with several brands to find one you like best.

To make a simple dipping sauce, red chili paste can be mixed with soy sauce and sesame oil. It’s also great in soups, stews, and marinades.

7. TOMATO PASTE for Those Need Spicy with Sweet Smack

Tomato paste isn’t as spicy as the other substitutes but will add a touch of sweetness to your dish. It’s a suitable choice if you want a milder flavor in your Korean food.

TOMATO PASTE is a good  Korean Red Chilli Paste Gochujang Substitutes

Simply follow these steps:

1. Mix together 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 tablespoon water, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl.

2. Heat the combination in a microwave-safe bowl for about 20 seconds or until it’s warm.

3. Taste the blend and modify the sweetness or spiciness as needed. If the mixture is overly sweet, add more tomato paste. If it’s not spicy enough, add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or cayenne powder.

4. Add the mixture to kimchi, soups, braised fish dishes, and other recipes in place of gochujang.

8. MISO- A Similar Consistency to Gochujang

Miso paste is a thick, salty, and slightly sweet fermented soybean paste. It is used in many Japanese dishes and can also be used as a marinade. 

Although it is not a direct substitute for gochujang, it can be used as a substitution in some recipes.

One way to use miso as a substitute for gochujang the Korean chili paste is to make a sauce. 

In a small bowl, mix half a cup of miso with about 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil. 

If you enjoy the sauce being spicier, add more gochugaru. Add sugar if desired and whisk well. 

The proportion of miso, vinegar, and sugar should be such that the sauce is slightly salty, sour, and sweet. This sauce can be used in stir-fry, vegetable side, or salads.

Miso paste can also be added to a soup stock to give it a gochujang-like flavor. 

To a pot of boiling water or chicken stock, add two tablespoons of miso paste and stir well. 

You can add a small quantity of sugar to sweeten the broth, but it is optional. Boil for 5 minutes, or until the miso has completely dissolved in the soup stock.

Add vegetables like kabocha squash, potatoes, green onions, and carrots to this pot of soup and let them cook for a few minutes. 

You can also add shrimp, cooked chicken, or beef to the soup. This miso soup makes a hearty meal on its own or can be served as a side dish.

9. HARISSAA way Hot Chili Paste can Beat Korean Red Pepper Paste

Harissa is a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste, typically made from roasted red peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spices that easily go as a gochujang paste substitute.

Harissa is most commonly used as a condiment in North African cuisine but has also found its way into European and American dishes.

Harissa can be used as a marinade, a dip, or a condiment. It is a common ingredient in Tunisian, Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan, and Egyptian cuisine.

The flavor of harissa varies from region to region. It is spicy enough to be used as a hot sauce in some areas. 

Elsewhere, it is used as more of a table condiment. Some people even use it as a sandwich spread in place of mayonnaise.

10.GOCHUHARU as an Alternative To Gochujang

Gochugaru is a type of chili pepper powder made from dried red chili peppers. 

Gochugaru is a popular ingredient in Korean cuisine and adds spice and flavor to dishes. Gochugaru can be purchased at most Korean grocery stores or online.

There are many different ways to use gochugaru in cooking. It can be added to stews, soups, sauces, marinades, and dressings.

Gochugaru can also be used as a rub on meat or fish before cooking. Gochugaru is a great way to add flavor and spice to your meals without adding a lot of calories or fat.

If you like to add some additional spice to your food, give gochugaru a try. It is a delicious and nutritive ingredient used in various dishes.

Wrap Up On – Substitute for Gochujang

To the final word, I want to say, you can make your own gochujang sauce at home. At the same time, some of the Korean grocery stores do sell this authentic sauce which is always preferable.

I would like to add one reminder here, don’t get confused with red pepper paste(Gochujang) and gochujang sauce mix, which you can find in some Korean grocery stores.

These are not the same product at all. Especially while you want to make gochujang bibimbap or Korean hot pepper paste stew(Kimchi jjigae) you need the authentic gochujang, not sauce mix.

One more thing- never use rice flour as a substitute for sweet rice flour for any Korean recipe, it will completely change the taste, and no one will recognize what you made is a Korean dish.

Enjoy your cooking.

FAQs Related to Gochujang & Its Alternatives

Q1. Can I substitute chili powder for gochujang?

Gochujang is a Korean fermented red pepper paste- that offers heat, saltiness, and sourness to dishes. It’s used together with soy sauce or can be one of the ingredients in a soup or stew.

It can even mix with rice. When gochujang is not available, chili powder (which contains ground dried chilies and usually has salt as an additive) can be substituted for half of the gochujang called for in a recipe.

This exchange will provide heat and some sour notes, but not the same flavor depth that gochujang provides. 

It is not a 1:1 substitution; you will need to experiment with the amount of chili powder used in your recipe.

Q2. Is gochujang the same as chili paste?

Gochujang is a savory, spicy, and slightly sweet fermented red pepper paste used in Korean cuisine. 

Gochujang is made from red chili peppers, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. 

There are two types of gochujang: mul gochujang, which has more moisture and a milder flavor, and chonggak or baek gochujang (aka donkatsugochujang), which is much thicker and dryer. 

Mul gochujang is mainly used as a condiment for meats such as pork belly (Samgyeopsal) and bulgogi. In contrast, chonggak gochujang is used in stews such as doenjang jjigae and kimchi jjigae.

Chili paste is a type of gochujang that is made with a higher proportion of chili peppers and less rice. It is thicker, sourer, and smokier than gochujang.

Q3. What can I use if I don’t have gochugaru?

If you don’t have gochugaru, you can use some other substitutes. 

These substitutes include red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and paprika. 

However, none of these substitutes will have the same flavor or intensity as gochugaru. 

If you’re looking for a slightly milder version of kimchi or simply can’t find gochugaru, try using red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.

The kimchi will still taste great if you don’t have any of these ingredients on hand!

It might not be as spicy, but it’ll most likely still taste good. Give it a shot either way! Just don’t wish it to taste like the real deal.

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