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[Updated 21 January 2021]
Gochujang is a fermented chilli paste that's a staple in Korean cooking. A combination of spice and sweet, it's at the heart of many Korean dishes that we know and love. Traditionally, gochujang contains alcohol as a result of the fermentation process but nowadays, it's quite easy to find halal gochujang paste in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia! And so if you have that tub of halal gochujang in your fridge and wondering what to cook with it, we have a roundup of easy and halal recipes using gochujang that you can make! From Korean favourites like halal kimchi jjigae and tteokbokki recipes to more creative uses like gochujang grilled chicken and gochujang pasta, let's dive in!
P.S. Wondering where to get halal gochujang? For Singapore, we covered where you can get halal gochujang and other Korean food products in our detailed list here. For Malaysians, you can now find halal gochujang brands like O'Food or Haepyo in select supermarkets or also e-tailers on Lazada and Shopee. Alternatively, you can also buy locally made halal gochujang (like this one!) or support home-based businesses selling it too (like this one!).
Traditional Korean recipes
1. Kimchi Jjigae
Spicy, soothing and superbly delicious. That’s what you’re in for if you decide to make kimchi jjigae otherwise known as kimchi stew or kimchi soup. As a well-loved dish among Koreans, this traditional recipe is your saving grace for when you’re stuck with dinner ideas but still want to enjoy an amazing meal! Using less than 10 ingredients, it’s time to throw on your apron and create a warm bowl of stew for your next meal 😉
Check out this recipe from Cooking With Charmaine that's easy and delicious, using chicken and tofu.
You may be used to having bibimbap served in a piping hot stone bowl at restaurants, but it's actually super easy to recreate this dish at home! You can use whatever meat and veggies you have on hand. Add some rice, the crucial gochujang paste, mix together, and you have an awesome meal!
Check out this video tutorial from Future Neighbour which breaks down the dish with simple instructions and fun commentary. As he explains, you could just add the gochujang paste as is and call it a day, but you can also dress it up with some extra ingredients to make an even more delicious sauce for your bibimbap bowl.
3.Tteokbokki (Stir-fried rice cakes with gochujang sauce)
Tteokbokki (sometimes spelled topokki) are Korean rice cakes served in a sauce made with gochujang. Something about that combination of chewy texture with the spicy-sweet sauce and add-on ingredients like fish cakes makes it a yummy treat - it's easy to see why it's one of South Korea's most popular street foods! And best of all, it's easy to make at home (like these other Korean street food recipes too!).
Wondering where to get Korean rice cakes? You can often find them in major supermarkets now, but you can also get them online! We've listed some places for you below:
Malaysia: Shopee (you can buy Jongga rice cakes which are halal-certified), Mari MogoSingapore: We list out where you can find tteokbokki and other Korean food products in a detailed article here
Follow this quick and easy recipe from Mong's Kitchen that shows just how easy it is to whip up at home. For some extra flair, add some cheese slices on top!
4. Korean fried chicken
We can't mention gochujang without mentioning one of it's most delicious applications - Korean fried chicken! Gochujang is used to make the sauce that coats the crispy twice-fried chicken wings. And if you're looking to make them at home, click here for an easy recipe you can make!
5. Soondubu jjigae (soft tofu stew)
Want to widen your repertoire of Korean dishes? Try making soondubu jjigae! This soft tofu stew uses anchovy stock and silken tofu plus slice meat or seafood if you like. An egg is usually cracked in right before serving, but you can omit this if you like!
Check out this recipe from kimchibudu on Youtube for halal sundubu-jigae!
Other cool ideas
6. Gochujang stir-fried noodles
Gochujang is a super versatile paste, and it's actually perfect for using in stir-fries like fried rice and noodles! Use your noodles of choice (be it wheat noodles, rice noodles, udon, or anything else), whatever protein and veggies you have lying in the fridge. Add gochujang, give everything a quick fry and call it a day!
This easy recipe from the Meggie Chen Cooking Channel shows you how it's done, but the recipe is super flexible and forgiving - feel free to add things like soy sauce or other aromatics to your preference!
7. Gochujang grilled or roast chicken
Did you know that gochujang makes a great marinade for grilling or roasting meats? The next time you're looking a quick and fuss-free way to cook your chicken, try marinading it in a sauce made with gochujang for a yummy Korean-inspired dish. Marion from Marion's Kitchen has a great straightforward recipe using chicken thighs that would be perfect for whipping up weekday dinners - you can also opt for air-frying your chicken too.
You can also roast a whole chicken with a gochujang marinade! This recipe from Bon Appetit has been making the rounds on social media - made with potatoes and lime and honey to balance out the flavours of the gochujang, it'll make for a spectacular meal.
8. Gochujang pasta
Another stellar combination to try is gochujang and pasta! If you're looking for a spicy zing for your pasta sauce, try adding some gochujang. You can add it to both tomato and cream-based sauces. For a tomato-based sauce, try this easy recipe from Chopsticks and Flour.
This recipe from 콩새댁Kongsedek Kfood on Youtube shows a cream pasta version using milk and cheddar cheese. Use beef or chicken bacon for the recipe and make this creamy pasta dish 😍
9. Gochujang mayo
Looking for that secret sauce to spice up your hamburgers, or dip your fries or nuggets in? It's time to make to gochujang mayo! It really is as simple as combining mayonnaise with, though you can jazz it up with things like crushed garlic, scallion, sesame seeds, and more. Check out this recipe from Glebe Kitchen (it uses Kewpie mayonnaise too!) or this one from Two Sleevers for inspiration.
Gochujang is undoubtedly super versatile and a great staple to have in your kitchen. Beyond cooking your favourite Korean dishes, you can use them for other things too, all of which are delicious! So if you haven't gotten that tub or bottle of halal gochujang yet, it's time to do so!