Gochujang sauce is most often used in Korean recipes, but its sweet, spicy umami flavor is so delicious that you'll want to drizzle it over everything!
As far as flavor goes, there’s nothing like gochujang sauce. I first made it to drizzle over homemade bibimbap, but once I had it on hand, I began topping it onto everything from roasted veggies to avocado toast! A traditional Korean sauce, it has a bold sweet/spicy/umami flavor with an underlying funk. This delicious, distinctive taste comes from gochujang, a fermented Korean chili paste made from glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, red chili pepper flakes, and salt. It’s pretty assertive on its own – even small amounts add intense flavor to whatever you’re cooking.
That’s where this gochujang sauce comes in. Instead of using the paste on its own, I mix it with sesame oil, rice vinegar, and pure maple syrup. The resulting hot sauce is smoother and mellower than the paste, but its taste is just as complex. Add it to Korean food or spoon it over a simple rice bowl, but whatever you do, make it! If you like hot sauce, you’re going to love this recipe.
Gochujang Sauce Ingredients
For how flavorful this sauce is, it’s unbelievably easy to make! You just need these 4 ingredients:
- Gochujang paste – Find it at a Korean market or in the Asian section of your grocery store. Different brands vary in potency, so start with less and add more, to taste, depending on how spicy you like your sauce.
- Sesame oil – It cuts the heat of the gochujang paste and gives the sauce a nutty complexity.
- Rice vinegar – For tang!
- Pure maple syrup – Many brands of store bought gochujang sauce contain corn syrup, but I like to sweeten mine naturally with pure maple syrup. It makes this sauce deliciously savory and sweet.
Add the ingredients to a small bowl, and whisk to combine. Use the sauce right away, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
How to Use Gochujang Sauce
If you’re already familiar with gochujang sauce, you likely know it from eating bibimbap, a traditional Korean rice bowl (pictured above). But this tasty condiment is so much more than just bibimbap sauce! For starters, it’d be fantastic on any rice or veggie bowl. Swap it in for the sauce in any of these recipes:
- Mango Ginger Rice Bowl
- Cauliflower Rice Kimchi Bowl
- Tamago Kake Gohan
- Kimchi Brown Rice Bliss Bowl
- Best Buddha Bowl
- Or build your own bowl! Start with brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice, baked tofu or tempeh, and veggies like roasted broccoli, roasted cauliflower, or massaged kale. Finish it with the sauce to tie it all together!
How do you like to use gochujang sauce? Let me know in the comments!
More Favorite Sauce Recipes
If you love this recipe, try one of these flavorful sauces next:
- 2 to 3 tablespoons gochujang paste*
- 1½ tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- In a small bowl, whisk together the gochujang paste, vinegar, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Use less gochujang paste for a mild sauce, use more for a spicier sauce.
- Spoon onto bibimbap bowls, or use as a dressing for any veggie rice bowl.