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:

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Gochujang sauce

rate this recipe:
5 from 43 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
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.

36 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Cheryl W
    01.18.2024

    Could you supply the nutritional info?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      01.19.2024

      Hi Cheryl, unfortunately we don’t calculate nutrition facts for our recipes. The best way to get an estimate is to use an online nutrition calculator like MyFitnessPal. Hope this helps!

  2. Bidwee
    11.26.2023

    5 stars
    Not going to lie while I was making this I thought I would hate it. Try playing with the measurements to your taste. I used a 1 to 1 ratio for everything except the sesame oil. I find it over powering in most cases so I only use a few drops.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.28.2023

      Hi, I’m so glad you enjoyed the sauce!

  3. Liz
    10.01.2023

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! I use honey instead of maple syrup and it is amazing!

  4. Valory
    07.25.2023

    5 stars
    How long did this sauce last in the fridge? Thank you for the delicious recipe! Made it to put on top of Bulgogi wraps!

  5. Victoria J
    06.18.2023

    I purchased the Gochujang sauce thinking it was the Gochujang paste. Is the Gochujang sauce that I purchase is ready to eat?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.19.2023

      Hi Victoria, I’m not sure what brand you purchased or what’s in it, but it sounds like it?

      • Joel Bernardo
        12.01.2023

        5 stars
        Yes, the gochujang sauce is ready to eat. I did the exact opposite. I needed the sauce, but mistakenly bought the paste. So I made this sauce. I didn’t have the rice vinegar or maple syrup. I substituted apple cider vinegar and honey. It was great!

  6. Judith
    05.06.2023

    5 stars
    Made this tonight to go with rice, salmon and veggies. very tasty. Didn’t have maple syrup so used golden syrup instead, worked like a charm

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.09.2023

      Hi Judith, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  7. Sebd
    04.10.2023

    5 stars
    Easy and delicious. Thank you !

  8. Kate
    10.20.2022

    5 stars
    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.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.21.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  9. Jeanne I.
    10.17.2022

    5 stars
    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.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.21.2022

      I’m so glad it was a hit!

  10. Birdy
    09.29.2022

    5 stars
    I make a larger batch to keep in the fridge now 🙂 Good on everything suggested, and also in mac and cheez!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.02.2022

      Oh what a fun idea – yum! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it!

  11. Sissy
    02.01.2022

    5 stars
    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!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.02.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  12. wak
    11.08.2021

    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!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.08.2021

      toasted is best!

  13. BEATRIZ from h.e.a.l.t.r.i.x.
    10.29.2021

    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!

  14. Lynn
    04.27.2021

    5 stars
    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.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.28.2021

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  15. Nikky
    01.20.2021

    5 stars
    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!

  16. habib
    12.21.2020

    nice dish it is my favirate

  17. Laura
    12.05.2020

    5 stars
    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.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.06.2020

      I’m so glad you’ve been loving the sauce!

  18. Rikki
    09.13.2020

    5 stars
    Made this tonight for a rice bowl – so tasty and simple!!!

  19. Soo-Jin
    08.13.2020

    5 stars
    I tried it as a dipping sauce with cucumbers from our garden and it was awesome!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.30.2020

      ooh yum, I’m so glad you loved it!

  20. Jacob @FlavorThyme
    07.20.2020

    5 stars
    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!

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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.