A unique hot sauce alternative…
Korean chili paste (gochujang) is becoming ever more popular, in spicy recipes, as a flavorful spread, and as a quick base for dips. And there’s a good reason why – it’s packed with flavor, earthy and pungent. Its thickness makes it an excellent hot sauce alternative for culinary use. A homemade gochujang recipe is not simple to make at home as the recipe calls for many unique ingredients, even when simplified (as it is here). But if you’re adventurous in the kitchen, it’s certainly a condiment that’ll open up a new world of spicy taste.
Note this recipe simplifies ingredients and tempers fermentation to make it more home-chef friendly. Authentic gochujang can ferment for months to reach its culinary peak. Simplifying ingredients and curbing the fermentation process creates a less complex flavor, but it makes this recipe quick(er) and still plenty flavorful.
- Add the water and brown sugar to sauce pan over medium heat. Stir the mix until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add the miso and continue stirring until the mix is smooth and slightly thickened.
- Add the Korean chili powder and continue to stir until the sauce has thickened. Use bubbling as your clue. You want to see a few bubbles burst on the surface.
- Turn off the heat and allow the mix to slowly cool while remaining on the burner. Let it cool to approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit or use "near room temperature" as a gauge.
- Add the rice vinegar, salt, and sake and stir to combine. Do not skip this step as it's critical to stopping the fermentation process.
- Remove the gochujang from the heat and allow it to cool completely to room temperature, then place it in sealable containers.
- Refrigerate the gochujang. The paste will keep for months, so use it as you need in recipes or as a spread.
*Experiment with the miso type used. Even combine different types of miso to add unique complexity to the overall flavor of the gochujang.