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Spice Up Dishes: 5 Best Gochujang Substitutes

Gochujang’s fiery depth transforms meals into unforgettable experiences.

Finding a stand-in for this Korean chili paste might seem tricky at first glance.

Yet, we’ve got the inside scoop on five killer swaps that’ll keep your dishes lively.

Ever hit a recipe roadblock due to missing gochujang?

No sweat. We’ve all been there, scrounging through the pantry for something—anything—that might work.

These alternatives we’re about to dish out are more than mere placeholders; they’re flavor-packed powerhouses in their own right.

Our secret lineup includes ingredients likely chilling in your kitchen right now.

They promise to deliver that spicy, umami-packed punch gochujang is famed for.

And honestly, experimenting with these could lead to your next kitchen breakthrough.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Gochujang

If you’re looking for a gochujang substitute, you have several options.

Here are the five best substitutes for gochujang:

1 – DIY Miso-Based Sauce

diy misobased sauce

Miso paste is a delicious, salty ingredient commonly used in Japanese cooking.

It’s made by fermenting soybeans and has a rich, umami flavor that can enhance a dish.

You can find miso-paste at most Asian grocery stores or order it online.

One great way to use miso paste is to make a simple sauce.

Mix equal parts miso paste and water, and then add some rice vinegar, mirin, honey, and sesame oil to taste.

This sauce is excellent on grilled meats or fish, or you can use it as a dipping sauce for veggies.

It’s also delicious on noodles or rice.

If you make this sauce ahead of time, it will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

2 – Sriracha


Sriracha, a popular hot sauce, has been around since the 1980s.

The sauce is made from chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt.

It is often used as a condiment or an ingredient in Asian cuisine.

Sriracha has a strong flavor that can be quite spicy.

However, it is also relatively sweet and tangy.

Many people enjoy the unique flavor of Sriracha and find that it enhances the flavor of their food.

In recent years, Sriracha has become increasingly popular in the United States.

It can now be found in many grocery stores and restaurants.

Whether you like it on your eggs or in your soup, Sriracha will surely add some spice to your life.

3 – Sambal Oelek

sambal oelek

Sambal Oelek is a type of chili pepper paste that originates from Indonesia.

It is made from ground chili peppers and includes vinegar, salt, and sugar.

The paste can range in heat from mild to extremely hot, depending on the chili peppers used.

Sambal Oelek can be used as a condiment or ingredient in many different dishes, such as stir-fries, curries, soups, and marinades.

It is also a popular dipping sauce for spring rolls and other appetizers.

For those who enjoy spicy food, Sambal Oelek is an essential ingredient that can add depth of flavor and a kick of heat to any dish.

4 – Thai Chili Paste

thai chili paste

Thai chili paste is a staple ingredient in many Thai dishes, imparting a unique flavor and heat that is beloved by both locals and foreigners alike.

The paste is made by crushing or grinding dried chili peppers into a fine powder, which is then mixed with salt, garlic, and other spices.

This mixture is then used to flavor various dishes, from stir-fries to curries.

Thai chili paste can be purchased at most Asian markets or made home using a mortar and pestle.

Regardless of how it is obtained, this versatile ingredient will surely add a touch of spice to any meal.

5 – Harissa Paste

harissa paste

Harissa paste is a North African chili pepper paste that is commonly used as a condiment or seasoning.

The paste is made from various chili peppers, including serrano, jalapeño, and habanero peppers, as well as garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.

The peppers are roasted and then ground into a fine paste.

Harissa paste can be used in a variety of ways.

It is often added to stews or soups to add flavor and heat or can be used as a condiment for grilled meats or vegetables.

The paste can also be added to marinades or dipping sauce.

While it is most commonly associated with North African cuisine, harissa paste is also popular in the Middle East and South Asia.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Gochujang

Looking to enhance your recipes without gochujang? Look no further! Here's a precise list of the 5 best substitutes for gochujang to elevate your dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • DIY Miso-Based Sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Sambal Oelek
  • Thai Chili Paste
  • Harissa Paste


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for gochujang
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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