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The 5 Best Substitutes for Gochujang

Have you ever cooked with gochujang? If not, you’re missing out on a delicious and versatile ingredient.

Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that is often used in Korean cooking.

It has a lovely balance of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors.

You can use it to make stews, sauces, marinades, and much more.

Plus, it’s easy to use; simply add it to your dish according to taste.

So if you’re looking for a delicious way to spice up your cooking, read on.

And if you can’t find gochujang, don’t worry – there are plenty of substitutes that will work just as well.

In this article, we’ll share five of the best substitutes for gochujang.

What is Gochujang?

what is gochujang

Gochujang is a Korean fermented pepper paste commonly used in Korean cuisine.

It is made from chili peppers, glutinous rice, fermentation, and salt.

The peppers give the paste its characteristic red color and spicy flavor, while the rice provides a unique sweetness.

Fermentation helps to preserve the gochujang and gives it a complex flavor profile.

Salt is added to help balance the flavors.

Gochujang can be used in various dishes, including stews, soups, marinades, and stir-fries.

It is also often used as a dipping sauce for meats or vegetables.

Whether you are looking to add some spice to your cooking or simply want to try something new, gochujang is an excellent option.

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.


In conclusion, gochujang can be replaced with certain other sauces and seasonings while still providing a delicious, authentic Korean flavor.

Experiment with different flavors to find the perfect combination for your taste buds.

Sambal oelek, Thai chili paste, gochugaru, Sriracha sauce, and harissa are all viable substitutes used in various dishes.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Gochujang

The 5 Best Substitutes for Gochujang
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


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


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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