Gochujang Sauce

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!

Gochujang sauce

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 recipe ingredients

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.

Whisking gochujang sauce in a bowl

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.

Bibimbap rice bowl

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:

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!

Gochujang sauce in a bowl

More Favorite Sauce Recipes

If you love this recipe, try one of these flavorful sauces next:

Gochujang sauce

rate this recipe:
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Serves 4
If you like hot sauce, you won't be able to get enough of this gochujang sauce! It has an incredible sweet and spicy flavor that's delicious on bibimbap, roasted veggies, veggie burgers, and more.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons gochujang paste*
  • tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*I use Mother in Law's Gochujang which I get at Whole Foods. Other brands may vary in flavor and spice level.

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A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.