Heralded as “the next sriracha,” Gochujang (pronounced “go-chew- jong”) is a Korean condiment comprised of red chilies, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt; some recipes call for honey or sugar as well. Korean tradition calls for aging in earthenware pots for a year or more. This combination produces an intensely flavorful pantry staple that hits on some of today’s hottest trends: sweet, spicy and fermented.
Read along as we spice things up a notch!
Think of it as Korea’s ketchup. It can be traced back to the late 16th century after the introduction of chilis. The primary ingredients of chile peppers and fermented soy paste were ingeniously combined to ferment over time to create the unique, indispensable condiment called gochujang. A common ingredient in Korean soups, sauces, marinades, and braises, it is also served on its own and could be your new best friend. Gochujang’s complexity provides a background note that delivers an earthy depth and umami; making it a perfect kitchen companion, right next to your tomato paste.
This pungent, hot pepper paste is used in soups, stews, stir-fry dishes, marinades, sauces, dressings and commonly as an add-in to dishes looking for some heat. Fine Cooking magazines shares insight for using gochujang seven different ways:
Gochujang can be purchased commercially in Asian grocery stores and increasingly in the Asian sections of mainstream supermarkets. Take a look at a few products below:
Annie Chun’s Korean Sweet & Spicy Hochujang Sauce
A common staple in traditional Korean cooking, gochujang is a frequent ingredient in noodle and stir-fry dishes, soups and stews, and as a marinade for meat. We’re starting to see gochujang making an appearance outside of traditional ethnic Korean restaurants in those harbingers of foods trends: on fine dining menus and food trucks.
• Mingle – Veggie Tacos featuring Corn Tortillas filled with Tofu and Soybean Sprouts tossed in Gochujang and stuffed with Appleradish Kimchi, Napa Cabbage, Scallions and Chef’s Spicy Yogurt Sauce.
• MARS Mobile Kitchen – MARS Melt featuring grilled Angus Patty topped with American Cheese, Grilled Onions, Bacon and Gochujang Ranch Sauce; Served on Texas Toast.
• Blue Ginger Restaurant – Fried Chicken and Gochujang Glaze.
• Abacus Restaurant – Allen Brother’s Pork “Bulgogi” Duo made with Toasted Cashew, Gochujang, Brussel Sprouts, and Apple-pear Kimchee.
On Pinterest, gochujang is paired with the usual suspects of chicken, beef and pork, along with noodles and close-in targets like wings and meatballs. Also prevalent are familiar formats of tacos and sliders, a frequent way to deliver new or ethnic tastes to culinary-curious consumers.
Let FONA’s market insight and research experts translate these trends into product category ideas for your brand. They can help you with concept and flavor pipeline development, ideation, consumer studies and white space analysis to pinpoint opportunities in the market. Our flavor and product development experts are also at your service to help meet the labeling and flavor profile needs for your products to capitalize on this consumer trend. We understand how to mesh the complexities of flavor with your brand development, technical requirements and regulatory needs to deliver a complete taste solution. From concept to manufacturing, we’re here every step of the way. Contact our Sales Service Department at 630.578.8600 to request a flavor sample or visit www.fona.com.