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The 10 Best Gochujang Substitute List For Cooking

Do you have a craving for a sweet and tangy gochujang paste, but you don’t have any on hand? It’s possible that you won’t be able to find it anywhere in your local retailers. Whatever the reason, if you enjoy the flavor of gochujang sauce, it’s a good idea to know how to substitute it when the occasion calls for it.

Here are the 10 Best Gochujang Substitute List For Cooking

  1. Red pepper flakes
  2. Sriracha
  3. Thai chili paste
  4. Miso and chili
  5. Sambal oelek
  6. Harissa
  7. Tomato paste
  8. Cayenne Pepper
  9. Spiced Date Paste
  10. Spices

Gochujang is the secret ingredient that gives Korean dishes their distinct flavor, and it is something you will repeatedly crave for. Gochujang is a condiment frequently used in Korean recipes. It can be used in the many dishes or served as a side dish to accompany other dishes on the table.

Read on if you are keen to find out more about what you can substitute for this secret ingredient. 

What Is Gochujang?

Gochujang Substitute

Gochujang is a type of fermented chili paste that is popular in Korea. It is the ideal combination of fiery, sweet, and salty ingredients rolled into one delicious dish.

In Korea, it is used as a sauce for octopus, a popular dish there. When it comes to cooking in the United States, it can be found in various meals such as salad dressings, soups, meat, and vegetables. Gochujang can be used to flavor eggs, rice dishes, and sauces, among other things.

When it comes to gochujang, the ingredients used in its production vary, depending on which brand you choose to buy. The most used ingredients are salt, fermented soybeans, chili peppers, and rice powder.

All of these ingredients are readily available at most supermarkets. Korean chili peppers are used to prepare gochujang to achieve the distinctive sweet and spicy flavor that distinguishes it from other condiments.

10 Gochujang Substitutes That Work

Gochujang is a delicious condiment that can be used in various dishes. As a result, you will most likely run out of supplies very quickly. What do you do when you run out of something that you need to use it in a specific dish? The solution is straightforward: use a substitute.

Gochujang’s flavor is difficult to replicate in other recipes. There are substitutes that will not deliver the same flavor as original gochujang, but they will enhance the flavor of your food.

There are a variety of ingredients that can be used in place of gochujang. The following ingredients can be used in place of gochujang: Thai chili paste, red pepper flakes, Sriracha, miso & chili, Sambal oelek, tomato paste, Harissa, and spices. Alternatively, you can make your gochujang from scratch.

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Here are some suitable substitutes for gochujang.

Red Pepper Flakes

McCormick Crushed Red Pepper, 13 oz 

The best gochujang alternative is arguably red pepper flakes. Red pepper flakes replicate Gochujang’s spicy and sweet taste.

To use red pepper flakes as an alternative for gochujang, first, make a paste out of them. Combine a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, a dash of soy sauce, and a pinch of sugar in a small mixing bowl.

The soy sauce will act as a binder, and the sugar will sweeten the red pepper flakes. Make sure not to put too much sugar, as this will result in an unpleasant flavor in the paste, which will ruin your dish.

You won’t have any trouble making red pepper flakes paste with these three ingredients.


Huy Fong - Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (Net Wt. 17 Oz.) - 3 Pack 

Another great substitute is Sriracha. It is used in various dishes, including eggs, fries, and burgers. Sriracha’s sweet and tangy flavor can easily replace gochujang’s spicy and sweet flavor.

If you are looking for a replacement that will incorporate sweet and spicy taste to your dish, try Sriracha.

The only disadvantage of Sriracha is that it lacks the thick consistency of gochujang. Sriracha is much sweeter, so only use it if you don’ mind your dish is a little sweeter.

If you’re creating a Korean dish, one of the other substitutes should suffice because Srichacha’s sweet and garlic taste may overpower the dish.

Thai Chili paste

Thai Kitchen, Chili Paste, Roasted Red, 4 oz 

Another acceptable substitute for gochujang is chili paste. The texture is similar to that of gochujang, which is a plus. As a result, it’s simple to incorporate it into meals that call for gochujang.

Thai chili paste has a peppery and sweet flavor as well. As a result, it is an acceptable alternative. The only drawback is that it has a unique garlic flavor that gochujang does not have. If you dislike the taste of garlic, try one of the other alternatives.

Thai chili paste adds a delightful and tangy flavor to meat dishes.

Miso and chili

Miko - Awase Miso Soyabean Paste (Aka + Shiro) - 500 Gram - GMO Free Japanese Miso Paste 

Because fermented soy is a primary ingredient in gochujang, miso paste has many similarities. As a result, a suitable gochujang substitute can be made by combining Korean chili powder with miso paste to mimic gochujang’s sweet and sweet flavor.

If you don’t have Korean chili powder on hand, you can substitute a mixture of cayenne pepper and sweet paprika.

Simply combine cayenne pepper powder and sweet paprika, then add to your miso paste. Mix the mixture until all of the ingredients are well combined. This sauce is a good substitute for gochujang.

Sambal Oelek

Huey Fong Sambal Oelek Chili Paste 8 Oz (2 Pack) 

You can also use sambal oelek as an alternative for gochujang if you prefer something different. There are several similarities between sambal oelek and gochujang. To begin with, they have the same consistency and appearance, which is a good thing.

Sambal oelek has a strong flavor. It’s made with salt, raw chilies, and vinegar.

Most grocery stores carry sambal oelek, so you should have no trouble finding it. If you’re worried about the heat that this will add to your meal, start with half the amount called for in the recipe and gradually increase until you get the taste you want. Don’t add it all at once, or your dish will be overpowered.


Harissa Condiment in Tube - Spicy 120 Gr (15 PACK) 

If you don’t have store-bought harissa on hand, you can make your own. Simply place 4 oz. of dried chilies in a heat-resistant bowl and cover with boiling water.

Allow the chilies to soak for half an hour in boiling water. Simultaneously, in a skillet over medium heat, toast one teaspoon caraway seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds.

Remove them from the heat once they have become fragrant, and grind them in a coffee grinder. Drain and seed the chilies, then pulse them in a food processor with the ground spices and a drizzle of olive oil.

Combine the ingredients in a food processor and process until they make a substantial, smooth mixture. Your freshly made harissa is now complete and ready to use. You can keep homemade harissa in the fridge for up to a month.

Tomato Paste

Cento Double Concentrated ORGANIC Tomato Paste - 2/ 4.56 oz tubes 

If you’re in a pinch and don’t have any of the aforementioned substitutes, you can also use tomato paste. Tomato paste has a thick texture that will enhance the texture of your meal. It will also add acidic sweetness to your dish.

You can kick things up a notch by adding a pinch of chili pepper flakes. The chili flakes will compensate for the heat provided by gochujang.

If you use tomato paste as a substitute, remember that the taste and aroma will differ. The tomato paste will completely transform the flavor of your dish. 

To improve the flavor of your dish, add cayenne pepper, soy sauce, and a dash of sugar.

Cayenne Pepper

Simply Organic Cayenne Pepper 2.89 oz 

Red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or red pepper powder may be listed on your spice bottle. All of these are derived from hot cayenne peppers in the United States.

You can use the pepper alone to add heat or make a paste with soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Because of the paste consistency, it is a good gochujang replacement.

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To make a paste, combine one part cayenne pepper with half as much soy sauce and a bit of sugar, then use it in the recipe in an equal amount.

Spiced Date Paste

Med Cuisine Premium Medjool Date Paste (15.5 Ounce) 100% Pitted Medjool Dates Spread | Vegan | Plant Based | Gluten Free | No Preservatives | Paleo Friendly | Kosher 

If you have hot pepper flakes and dates on hand, you can make a spicy paste that can be used in place of gochujang in most dishes.

Use date paste if you can find it in your pantry. If not, pit and soften 5 Medjool dates or 10 Deglet Noor dates in a small amount of water for about ten minutes.

Combine the dates, a few teaspoons of cayenne powder, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and a few tablespoons of water in a mixing bowl. Add a small amount of garlic powder to taste, then use the mixture as you would gochujang.



When you run out of gochujang, you can substitute spices to add a sweet and tangy flavor to your dish. A few spices can be used to compensate for the flavor profile that gochujang provides.

Cayenne pepper powder, sweet paprika, apple cider vinegar, and garlic powder are recommended. To compensate for the consistency of gochujang, add a small amount of tomato paste.

Homemade Gochujang Recipe

For many, the best gochujang replacement is homemade gochujang. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to recreating the distinct flavor of gochujang. Gochujang has an intricate authentic taste because it is fermented over several months.

Here’s how to make the tastiest homemade gochujang you’ll ever have.


  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of miso
  • One ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • One teaspoon of rice vinegar
  • ½ cup of chili powder
  • One tablespoon of salt
  • One teaspoon of sake


  1. Heat the water and brown sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir the solution until the brown sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Pour in a cup of miso and continue to stir until the mixture is thick and smooth.
  4. Stir in the chili powder until it is combined and the mixture thickens.
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat and set it aside for several minutes to cool. Make sure it cools to 100 ℉.
  6. To the mixture, add a teaspoon of sake, a teaspoon of rice vinegar, and a tablespoon of salt
  7. Continue to stir the paste until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Your best homemade gochujang is finished and ready for use or storage.

Note: If you want to keep the gochujang for a long time, store it in airtight containers.