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!
You can also use it as a sweet and spicy dipping sauce for sweet potato fries or grilled veggies, mix it into a stir fry, or even slather it onto a veggie burger!
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:
- Easy Peanut Sauce
- Creamy Chipotle Sauce
- Chimichurri Sauce
- Tahini Sauce (4 ways!)
- Cilantro Lime Dressing
- 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.
I used this as a dipping sauce for crab cakes and it was SO GOOD. I used the Trader Joes gochujang which is pretty mild, but perfect for not overpowering fresh crab.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
I made the gochujang sauce today and LOVE it! I used 2 tablespoons gochujang paste and it was perfect for my non heat loving friends but it still had a little “after burn” as they described it. I will always have a batch on hand and plan to use it drizzled over almost every thing, thanks for sharing this.
I’m so glad it was a hit!
I make a larger batch to keep in the fridge now 🙂 Good on everything suggested, and also in mac and cheez!
Oh what a fun idea – yum! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it!
Made this again tonight. Served it over air fried tofu and roasted Brussels sprouts. It’s incredibly easy and the taste is addictive. Thank you!
I’m so glad you loved it!
The picture looks like toasted sesame oil which tastes different from plain (uncooked) sesame oil. I have both in my pantry and would like to know which one is best for the recipe. Thanks!
toasted is best!
Do you know what is the full ingredient list of the Gochujang sauce from the korean store? Ive seen it many times but cant understand the ingredients. I might be misjudging, but it gives me the feeling that is full of unhealthy ingredients such as, sugars, refined oils, dyes and preservatives. Please correct me if Im wrong.
A recipe to make it from scratch would be a nit idea!
Hi Beatriz, I use Mother In Law’s Gochujang, their ingredients are pretty good (ie, maple instead of sugar), they’re listed here: https://milkimchi.com/collections/gochujang/products/gochujang-fermented-chile-paste-00
Thanks so much for this easy and delicious recipe! Tried kimchi fried rice tonight, and it was sooo good. We all ate extra servings. Easy, delish sauce for so many dishes.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
This is perfection, have made it many many times since discovering it. Have used it on fried rice, bibimbap, over grilled veggies, mixed into ramen…it is so versatile and delicious! Highly recommend!
nice dish it is my favirate
Made a second batch of gochujang sauce. Used honey instead because I don’t have maple syrup. It’s delicious and versatile. We use it on everything rice and noodles.
I’m so glad you’ve been loving the sauce!
Made this tonight for a rice bowl – so tasty and simple!!!
I tried it as a dipping sauce with cucumbers from our garden and it was awesome!
ooh yum, I’m so glad you loved it!
I came across this recipe and thought to myself, man I bet this would be amazing with korean BBQ, and have not been able to stop thinking about it since then! It looks incredibly delicious and well balanced!