Trader Joe’s GOCHUJANG (Korean Red Pepper Paste)

“Spicy, savory, fermented red pepper paste with a slightly sweet fiery profile”

If you are at all interested in Korean or Asian cuisine there are two things at Trader Joe’s, besides KIMCHI of couse, you should have in your fridge: TOASTED SESAME OIL and GOCHUJANG. Both are essential for Korean / Asian cuisines and add great flavor to many dishes. For example both will really improve TJ’s BEEFLESS BULGOGI.

Before TJ’s started carrying Gochujang I would have to got to a Korean market like H-Mart to get this, so I was glad when Trader Joe’s came out with this. TJ’s version is $1.99 for a 200 gram container, a small “entry level” box so you can get to know it easily and fairly cheaply. In contrast, Korean markets sell this in 1 lb,2, and even 4 pound containers, it’s such an essential ingredient. TJ’s Gochujang is not super spicy and it’s sweet which balances the heat as well, so you don’t have to fear this if you don’t like super spicy. It’s just mildly spicy. Aaron of Aaron and Claire suggests just mixing some water into Gochujang to make an easy sauce (bonus, add sesame oil) This sauce will be good on many things, for instance drizzled over some Fried Eggs, and especially those on top of some KIMCHI FRIED RICE.

Trader Joe’s says:

“With origins dating to at least the 1600s, and possibly earlier, gochujang isn’t so much an ingredient as it is an institution of Korean cuisine unto itself. Traditionally made from a mix of fermented soybeans, rice, barley, salt, and, of course, spicy red peppers, gochujang has a thick consistency and a delightfully complex flavor that’s a rare mix of savory, sweet, and spicy, all at once. In the case of Trader Joe’s Gochujang, we reached out to a supplier in South Korea who uses traditional fermentation techniques to achieve this uniquely delicious flavor profile, resulting in a highly versatile pepper paste that works just as well as a condiment as it does a soup base, a marinade, a dipping sauce, and so much more.

Our Gochujang’s beautifully balanced elements of sweet and heat make it an excellent choice for flavoring proteins of all kinds, from barbecued beef to pan-seared porkloin, crispy fried chicken wings to hearty tofu stew. It can spice up burgers when used as a spread, can be enjoyed with french fries either on its own or mixed with mayo, and adds a whole new dimension of flavor when added to noodle soups. And for a fun, fiery appetizer, it’s great for making kimchi-inspired quick pickles with salted smashed cucumbers.”

Aaron and Claire have some great How to Use Gochujang 101. I”ve learned so much about how to whip up Korean dishes from watching his videos.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Trader Joe’s KIMCHI | Trader Joe’s Rants & Raves (mostly raves, a few rants)
  2. Trackback: Trader Joe’s “THAI WHEAT NOODLES” | Trader Joe’s Rants & Raves (mostly raves, a few rants)

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