Gochujang or gojuchang is a savory, pungent fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, glutinous rice, soybeans and salt. Like ketchup or Sriracha sauce to which it is frequently compared, Gochujang is incredibly versatile and can be utilized to add flavor and heat to limitless savory foods like Korea’s signature dish bimbimbap, as well as internationals, such as burgers, salads, tacos, sushi…think I may need to invite it into my next gluten free pizza night! That said, gochujang’s taste is distinctively more complex than ketchup or sriracha. It has a sweet yet spicy pepper flavor, but with a unique earthiness, that can only be described as UMAMI! 

Modern technology has permitted food manufacturers to speed up the process, which not surprisingly has resulted in a pretty unhealthy bastardized version of the original. The gochujang sold in groceries today is extremely processed, contains MSG, and an assload of both refined sugar and sodium. So yes, thoroughly unnatural and devoid of nutritional value.

I won’t lie, it still tastes awesome! But, an innate desire to innovate (and avoid being fat and cranky) prompted conjuring a lil recipe to give us the taste, texture and extensive utility of gochujang without aforementioned undesirables. Plus, we’ll even make it gluten free and organic!

Knowing neither you nor I have time or space to devote to the intense, time-consuming and very stinky fermentation process, we’ll use some rice vinegar and miso paste to provide the fermentation necessary to achieve desired uber-umami flavor!

*As always, please use organic ingredients for YOUR health!
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup paprika
1 14 oz tub Gluten/MSG/GMO Free red miso paste. I use Cold Mountain Red Miso – Japanese Style
2 Tbsp rice vinegar


Warm water in medium size saucepan over medium heat. Add honey and molasses and stir with wooden spoon until dissolved. Add miso and continue stirring until dissolved. Add cayenne and paprika and continue stirring. When large bubbles begin to appear, reduce heat to low and continue stirring until texture reaches a thick paste. Let chili paste cool on stove, then stir in rice vinegar.

Yields about 16oz. Jar and store in fridge. Lasts >2 months. Haven’t experimented any longer than that since we use it so frequently!


Try your delicious organic Gochujang in the following recipes!