Spicy and Sweet Korean Chogochujang Dipping Sauce

Spicy and Sweet Korean Chogochujang Dipping Sauce

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 5 servings
Yield: 2/3 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
103 Calories
1g Fat
23g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5
Amount per serving
Calories 103
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 895mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 9%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 25mg 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.

"This sauce is well-balanced, with spicy, sweet, and tangy flavors. Gochujang can be very spicy, so make sure to use carefully. The spicy sauce is excellent, but too much spiciness can be overpowering. It makes a delicious salad dressing!" —Diana Rattray

Spicy and Sweet Korean Chogochujang Dipping Sauce Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

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.

    Spicy and Sweet Korean Chogochujang Dipping Sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients—gochujang, sugar, honey, rice wine vinegar, minced garlic, sesame oil—together until well-blended.

    Spicy and Sweet Korean Chogochujang Dipping Sauce ingredients together in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    add water to thin out the sauce

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  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!

    Spicy and Sweet Korean Chogochujang Dipping Sauce in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tips


  • Look for a number or label that indicates the level of spice in your chosen gochujang 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 gochujang 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.

How to Use Chogochujang Sauce

How to Store

Refrigerate chogochujang in an airtight jar or container and use within 1 week.

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