Spicy and Sweet Korean Chogochujang Dipping Sauce

Kochujang dipping sauce
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  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
129 Calories
1g Fat
29g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 129
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1119mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 4mg 20%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 32mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Few Korean households would be without some spicy dipping sauce at the ready, particularly chogochujang, which is sometimes shortened to chojang. This particular spicy-sweet chili pepper dipping sauce is made with gochujang, a traditional Korean chili red pepper paste. The sauce is primarily used for mixed rice dishes, such as bibimbap and hwe dup bap. It adds a significant spice factor to a dish but also gives off a hint of sweetness.

Gochujang generally contains red chili powder, fermented soybeans, ground-up glutinous rice, and salt. Some recipes substitute other grains or starches, including sweet potato, barley, or wheat, for the glutinous rice. Gochujang also can contain a small amount of honey, sugar, or another sweetener. The resulting paste is thick and looks something like brick red icing or toothpaste.

In simpler times, most Koreans made their own gochujang paste. But since the paste must ferment for a month or more and is time-consuming to create, many Koreans now purchase the paste at the supermarket. It's usually sold in tubs that look something like margarine containers, although you also can find them in squeeze bottles.

For chogochujang, the chili pepper paste is mixed with sugar, honey, vinegar, garlic, and sesame oil for a flavorful dipping sauce.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili pepper paste)

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until well-blended.

  3. If the sauce consistency is too thick, thin it out with some warm water, mixing in a little at a time.

  4. Use immediately in a recipe or as a dipping sauce, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks. Enjoy!

Tips

  • There are many ways to use this dipping sauce: stir it into mixed rice dishes, use it as a vegetable dipping sauce, or use it as a spicy salad dressing. You also can use it to season Korean stews and soups or marinate meat.
  • Look for a number or label that indicates the level of spice in your chosen gojuchang product. It comes in five levels of spiciness: mild hot, slightly hot, medium hot, very hot, and extremely hot.
  • There's no true substitute for Korean gochujang. If you can't find it in the store, make a paste of red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and sugar to mimic the flavor, or use harissa in its place (though the end result will have a smokier flavor than if you used gochujang).
  • If you don't have rice vinegar on hand, you can use white vinegar or white wine vinegar in its place.
  • If you prefer a thicker dipping sauce, decrease the amount of vinegar in the recipe. For a thinner sauce, increase the vinegar or thin it out with warm water.

Recipe Variations

  • Ssamjang spicy dipping sauce: Similar to chogochujang, Ssamjang dipping sauce also uses gochujang. Decrease the amount of gojuchang to 2 tablespoons and add 1/4 cup of soybean paste (doenjang). Eliminate the vinegar entirely.
  • Less spicy variation: If this dipping sauce is too spicy for your liking, decrease the amount of gochujang and increase the amount of honey.

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