Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (2024)

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Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (1)

Homemade gochujang recipe that allows you to have a ready-to-eat gochujangin just a couple hours! What? That’s almost instant in the Korean fermentation world!! Is that possible?? Is it any good? You may ask… And my answer is YES and Yes, I mean, it’s pretty good considering it is ready in just few hours vs months.

Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (2)

BTW, if you want to go all the way and make it the slow, traditional way using yeotgireum, try my very populartraditional gochujang recipe.

So I have to say I was pretty skeptical when I first learned this easy and quick homemade gochujang recipe from a temple food instructor Ms. Han a few years back while in Korea. I first met her while attending a temple food (sachal eumsik 사찰음식) class. Afterwards we kind of became friends… During class, she shared on how temple food helped her regain her health after having suffered with various health issues for so many years. Several years before, she said she was an art student in Italy and because she was so busy with her studies, she did not even have time to grocery shop properly let alone cooking for herself. So she said she ate just canned and instant foods all the time. Little by little, her health started to deteriorate with skin issues and other stomach issues. Things got so bad that she had to give up her studies and come back home to Korea. After coming back to Korea, she tried everything to cure her illnesses but nothing really helped until she decided tototally change her diet and went fully into temple food. She said after 6 months or so of cooking and eating temple food, her health slowly got back to normal and now, although she still has sensitive skin, she told us that she has no other health issues. So, naturally, she became a fan of temple food!

In 2014, when I opened my cooking studio in Seoul, she shared this easy and quick ready-to-eat gochujang recipe as a gift to me. And Iwas recently reminded of this recipe while I was making my gochujang for this year. I know this instant homemade gochujang recipe will never have the complex flavors that my authentic gochujang recipe (also on my blog) will develop over time but I know that this easy homemade gochujang recipe is still much better than the store bought ones – both in terms of flavor and health (no corn syrup and very little gluten).

The main difference between the two recipes is the milled malt barley. This quick and easy homemade gochujang recipe does not use any milled malt barley but just uses Korean rice syrup (jocheong 조청). But jocheong is made from rice and milled malt barley (yeotgireum 엿기름) so in some ways we are not going too far off the original recipe.

BTW, when I say ‘quick’, I mean quicker than my original recipe. 2 days + months of fermentation VS 2 hrs + few days of fermentation (optionally).

So here’s how you can make your own –

EASY HOMEMADE GOCHUJANG RECIPE

Makes: 4 cups Total Time: 2:40 hrs (Active: 40 min) Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients (** you can buy all the needed ingredients from my store– see Fermentation category)

  • 2 C Korean gochukaru for gochujang (fine chili powder for gochujang) 고운고추가루
  • 1.5 C meju powder (fermented soybean powder)
  • 1/2 C sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 C sea salt
  • 1 C rice syrup (jocheong)
  • 3.5 C water
  • 1 Tbs green plum syrup (maesil cheong) – optional
  • soju or sake – optionally if too thick
  1. In a pot (preferable flat bottomed and uniform sides), mix water and sweet rice flour. Mix it well with a whisk. Bring to boil, stirring often to prevent any lumps from forming and to make a paste. (much like sweet rice paste for kimchi)

    Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (3)

  2. When it starts to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 min. or so until it is fully thickened to a paste. Stirring often to avoid lumps.

    Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (4)

  3. Add 1 cup rice syrup to sweet rice flour paste and mix. You can add more if you want a sweeter gochujang.
    Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (5)

    Once you mix the syrup, the paste will become watery, no longer thick. That’s fine. Just continue to simmer for another 20-25 minutes until the volume reduces about 20%. Tip – you can measure the 20% reduction of liquid by using a chopstick to measure the height of the pot at the beginning and throughout. So if the height was 10 cm to start, you can stop when it is 8 cm. Note this will work only if you have a pot that is uniform in shape i.e. the diameter of the bottom and top of the pot is the same.

  4. Turn off heat and let it cool.
    Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (6)

    Cooling time will be different based on your room temperature but for me it took about 2 hrs to cool the rice paste + rice syrup mixture from 3. It doesn’t have to be cold, just room temp. I transferred it to this glass measuring cup to cool it more quickly. You can always cool it in the fridge or in an ice bath to shorten the cooling time.

  5. Add meju powder, chili powder and salt to cooled rice syrup liquid.

    Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (7)

  6. Use a whisk and mix everything well until there are almost no lumps.

    Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (8)

  7. And there you go! You now have instant gochujang that you can use right away!!

    Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (9)

Follow along on social for more Korean recipe inspiration!

Prep: 2 hours hours

Cook: 40 minutes minutes

Total Time: 2 hours hours 40 minutes minutes

serves: 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 C Korean gochukaru for gochujang (fine chili powder 고추가루 for gochujang)
  • 1.5 C meju powder (fermented soybean powder)
  • 1/2 C sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 C Sea Salt (Trader Joe's)
  • 1 C rice syrup (jocheong)
  • 3.5 C water
  • 1 Tbsp green plum syrup (maesil cheong) – optional

US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  • In a pot (preferable flat bottomed and uniform sides), mix water and sweet rice flour. Mix it well with a whisk. Bring to boil, stirring often to prevent any lumps from forming and to make a paste. (much like sweet rice paste for kimchi)

  • When it starts to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 min. or so until it is fully thickened to a paste. Stirring often to avoid lumps.

  • Add 1 cup rice syrup to sweet rice flour paste and mix. You can add more if you want a sweeter gochujang.

  • Turn off heat and let it cool.Cooling time will be different based on your room temperature but for me it took about 2 hrs to cool the rice paste + rice syrup mixture from 3.

  • Add meju powder, chili powder and salt to cooled rice syrup liquid.

  • Add meju powder, chili powder and salt to cooled rice syrup liquid.

  • Use a whisk and mix everything well until there are almost no lumps.

  • Let your gochujang mature a little more for 2-3 days in the fridge or at cool temperature before using it for even more flavor.

Tips & Notes:

  • This is NOT the traditional gochujang recipe where it's meant to ferment for months outside in the sun. This is meant to be consumed pretty quickly and will not change much in flavor over time and may not last very long (i.e. will not have the deep ripened flavor)
  • Buy special fine chili powderthat is made specifically for gochujang (고추장용) or grind it very fine, like ground black pepper.
  • It is important that the rice paste is cooled (not cold but room temp). If you add meju powder to hot liquid, the smell of meju powder will be too strong.
  • If gochujang mixture seems to be too thick, you can add 1-3 Tbs of sake or soju. Mine came out a little on the thick side - I like mine that way.
  • If you have maesil cheong (green plum syrup), you can add 1-2 Tbs for added flavor and sweetness. Now, you have Maesil flavored Gochujang. You can make your own maesil cheong or buy it. Substitute corn syrup or Oligodang syrup instead if you can't get maesil syrup.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 301kcal (15%)| Carbohydrates: 80g (27%)| Protein: 3g (6%)| Sodium: 731mg (32%)| Potassium: 15mg| Sugar: 50g (56%)| Calcium: 63mg (6%)| Iron: 0.1mg (1%)

Author: JinJoo Lee

Course:seasoning

Cuisine:Korean

Keyword:chili paste, easy, fermented

KoreanCategory:장 (Jang)

Did You Make This?I love seeing what you’ve made! Tag me on Instagram at @Kimchimari or #kimchimari and don’t forget to leave a comment & rating below!

Notes

  • This is NOT the traditional gochujang where it’s meant to ferment for months outside in the sun. This is meant to be consumed quickly.
  • Buy special fine chili powderthat is made specifically for gochujang (고추장용) or grind it very fine, like ground black pepper.
  • It is important that the rice paste is cooled (not cold but room temp). If you add meju powder to hot liquid, the smell of meju powder will be too strong.
  • If gochujang mixture seems to be too thick, you can add 1-3 Tbs of sake or soju. Mine came out a little on the thick side – I like mine that way.
  • If you have maesil cheong (green plum syrup), you can add 1-2 Tbs for added flavor and sweetness. Now, you have Maesil flavored Gochujang. You can make your own maesil cheong or buy it.

Well, I hope you enjoy this easy gochujang recipe!

XOXO,

JinJoo

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92 Comments
  1. Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (15)Kawika Hurd says

    Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (16)
    I made this and in a week mold was forming on the surface. But there’s a really easy fix that will make this recipe last much longer. Just pasteurize it! I took the gochujang out of the container and put it back in the pot. Then over medium heat, heated the gochujang with constant stirring until the temperature reached 160 F. That’s it. The gochujang was allowed to cool, put back in the container and no more mold/etc. issues….

    Reply

    • Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (17)JinJoo says

      Thanks for sharing. I’m sorry you had mold develop, you can usually just remove the top layer, add a little more salt and make sure it gets plenty of sun. Pasteurizing is great except the neat thing of making homemade gochujang is so that it ferments and continues to ferment naturally. The commercial ones are actually not made by fermentation. But I understand the convenience.

      Reply

  2. Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (18)Kawika Hurd says

    Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (19)
    I made rice syrup using short grain rice and barley malt just for this recipe! Initial flavor is great!

    And also I made a double batch. But after my initial enthusiasm, I’m looking at your notes again and wondering about spoilage. Will a thin layer of salt on the top prevent spoilage? Or can I just keep it in the fridge? Can I freeze some and defrost it later?

    Reply

    • Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (20)JinJoo says

      Oh – as long as you used the right amount of salt and the weather is mostly sunny, you shouldn’t worry about spoilage. But if you want, you can refrigerate and it will last for years. Hm, I have not tried freezing – it should be ok but I don’t think it’s necessary.

      Reply

  3. Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (21)Gwendolyn says

    My sauce turned out salty too but reading other comment that it should mild up, so I will wait before I had more syrup. Also my turned out thinner then I want. Can I do something to make it a little bit thicker or will it get thicker as is fermenting?

    Reply

    • Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (22)JinJoo says

      So, what everyone needs to know is that the Gochujang you get from the store is WAY TOO sweet and corn syrup is the #1 ingredient. Homemade authentic gochujang is meant to be salty and spicy. And yes, it does get less salty as it ferments but it will still be lot saltier than store bought ones – again because it’s not diluted by corn syrup. A little bit is supposed to go a long way. If you made the full traditional version, I would say it will get thicker as it drys out in the sun for months but since you made the instant version, it will not change much over time. If you want to make it thicker, you can add a bit of sweet rice flour paste.

      Reply

  4. Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (23)Hanna says

    I tried making this with my Bidan Red Pepper powder. I felt like it came out way saltier compared to the store one I buy. I used cheonilyum course salt. Any insight? In general this tastes really different from the store one and I’m not sure if I did this right and if it’s safe to use lol.

    Reply

    • Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (24)JinJoo says

      Hi Hanna, please don’t compare this gochujang with the store bought one. Yes, it will be saltier because the store bought one is full of corn syrup. If you look, it probably has 물엿 (corn syrup) as #1 ingredient. So as long as you followed your recipe, you should be fine to use it after it’s ripened for few days. Sadly, many don’t know the traditional complex flavor of the truly fermented homemade gochujang any more and now are so used to the syrup laden gochujang that’s not even fermented. But of course, I understand, if you don’t like the taste, you can try adding some additional rice syrup or maesil syrup to make it less salty and similar to store-bought. Hope that helps. Thank you for asking.

      Reply

      • Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (25)Hanna says

        I actually did taste it today and I think the salt flavor has calmed down a little compared to the day before! I feel a bit more encouraged haha. I did put a little more rice syrup after tasting it yesterday. It is confusing if you never had the real thing. How long does this last? Also was it a mistake for me to use course Korean salt? I do have fine blend Costco sea salt. I think I will try making stir fry squid with this.

      • Easy Homemade Gochujang Recipe - Almost Instant! (26)JinJoo says

        Yes, the saltiness will get milder with time and fermentation. Of course, I totally understand it’s confusing to you and I’m glad you asked. Many native Koreans have now forgotten the full authentic flavor of homemade gochujang so you are not alone. The full traditional Gochujang version will last for years but this easy version will only last for 2-3 months in the refrigerator. And no, it wasn’t a mistake to use coarse salt – in fact, Korean coarse sea salt IS what you should use. Please don’t use any other salt. Wait for a week or so for it to ferment further (after that it’s not going to change much) and then use in cooking. Good luck!

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