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Homemade Gochujang for Bibimbap

Homemade Gochujang for Bibimbap

This chilli paste is an essential ingredient in Korean cuisine. If you can make it at home, it will be useful. I use miso to make this paste at home easily.

Ingredients: An easy-to-make amount

Barley miso
150 g
Koji miso
50 g
Light brown sugar (or white sugar)
3-5 tablespoons
Mirin
3 tablespoons
Sake
2 tablespoons
Soy sauce
2 tablespoons
Mizuame (Japanese)
150 g
Coarse powdered chili (Korean)
3-5 tablespoons
Fine powdered chili powder (Korean)
3-5 tablespoons
Paprika powder (Korean)
3 tablespoons

Steps

1. [For the miso:] The ideal ratio should be 3 parts barley miso to 1 part koji miso. You can use your usual miso. Make sure that the miso does not have added dashi!
2. [For the sugar:] You can use your usual sugar. I don't recommend any specific type. A small amount of muscovado or cane sugar will give a rich flavour.
3. [For the mizuame:] If you use Korean mizuame, it is very runny, so omit the mirin in the ingredients and substitute that amount with sugar.
4. [For the powdered chili:] Make sure that the powdered chili is Korean. If you use Japanese chili powder, it will be too hot and not suitable for gochujang.
5. [For the Korean powdered chili:] Grinding chili in different ways produces varying degrees of spiciness and flavours. Coarsely powdered chili is ground with seeds, so it is very hot.
6. By grinding only the flesh of the chili, fine chili powder is obtained. It has a beautiful orange colour and a mild flavour. Blend different kinds of chili powder...
7. You will have a deep and complex flavour in the resultant gochujang. If you want to make this chili paste, this is a good occasion to buy different kinds of chili powder.
8. [For the paprika powder:] This is optional, but it gives a vivid red colour and good flavour to gochujang. I recommend it.
9. After you prepare all the ingredients, mix them together! Make sure that your bowl and spatula are very dry.
10. Mix until very smooth. If you find the mixture too stiff and difficult to combine, place the bowl on a bain-marie. If you place the mixture over direct heat, you will lose the miso flavour.
11. Just continue to mix. Adjust the consistency with sake or mirin. If it is too stiff, it may be difficult to handle when used. It shouldn't be too runny, either.
12. Once the mixture is smooth, transfer into a clean bottle or any container with a lid. Keep in the fridge. The gochujang should become more translucent and vivid in colour after several days.
13. [Related recipe] This is a staple sauce for Korean sashimi and boiled pig's trotters, called 'Chogochujang' (Recipe ID: 2316169).
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15. [Related recipe] Stir-fried aubergine and green pepper with gochujang (Recipe ID: 2319097).
16. [Related recipe] Staple! 8-ingredient Bibimbap with plenty of vegetables (Recipe ID: 2344003).

Story Behind this Recipe

Gochujang is originally a fermented miso using koji and chilli, similar to Japanese miso. If you try to make it from scratch, it will take a lot of time and labour. When she used to run a shop, my late grandmother asked a Korean BBQ restaurant owner to give her their recipe for gochujang. I changed it to suit my taste.