Gochujang (고추장), fermented chili paste, is an essential condiment in Korean cuisine.  Traditionally it’s made with a mixture of soybean malt, salt, chili pepper powder and a blend of rice flour,barley flour and malted barley.  Gochujang is used in many sauces and soups.  Packed with nutrition, fermented gochujang offers the benefits of probiotics, healthy bacteria for our gut to boost our immune system.  Chili peppers, the main ingredient in gochujang, can be an aid to maintain a healthy weight since research shows that it decreases build up of fat cells along with using energy to create thermogenesis, heat in our body.   It is also a great source of Vitamin E, A,K along with vitamin B6, B2, B3 and iron, magnesium and potassium.  

Gochujang is a tasty condiment that I have missed eating since I started eating gluten free.  Most commercial gochujang sold in stores also contain msg so I rarely would eat it.  I recently found a recipe  which offered an alternative method to make gochujang on the Neo-Homesteading Richness  Through Food blog  called Homemade Authentic Gochujang , Grain & Gluten Free

Here is the recipe with my addition of extra salt to sprinkle on top of the paste after you place it in a mason jar to ferment.  PRINT VERSION

1 cup of potato starch
1 cup of organic coconut sugar ( or other unrefined dry sweeteners such as sucanet, date sugar)
3 cups of Korean hot chili pepper powder ( purchase at local Korean market or online)
1 1/2 cups of organic tamari
3 tablespoons of sea salt 
2 cups of water
3 tablespoons of sea salt.

Picture of ingredients~


  1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a pot and mix together until smooth.
  2. Over medium-low heat whisk the mixture until it has thickened being careful not to burn it.
  3. Cool mixture then place in mason jars or a fermenting crock.  I used Cultures of Health Fermenting Vegetable Master with an airlock lid which allows gas bubbles to escape.  You can use a mason jars, and tighten the lids. Be sure to vent the mason jars every couple of days to let the gasses produced during fermentation escape and avoid exploding jars.   My mother added extra salt onto of the chili paste to inhibit mold formation then covered her crock with several layers of fine cheese cloth.  This method prevented unwanted particles to get into the jar and allowed the fermentation gasses to escape.
  4. Sprinkle 3 Tablespoons of sea salt onto of chili paste.  This is a mold inhibitor.
  5. Allow the gochujang to ferment for at least 30 days at room temperature of 70 deg F to 80 deg.  (Traditiionally gochujang would be placed out in the sun to dry during the day, then brought in the house and covered at night).
  6. The blogger recommends using some raw honey to adjust the flavor to “smooth” it out.  If it’s too salty then adding honey to balance the flavor is a good idea.
  7. Afterwards place in the refrigerator and it will keep for several months. Use freely in your cooking.

 Ready for fermentation~ I’ll let you know how it turns out.


Here are some additional resources for making gochujang and fermenting which I find helpful:

Traditional Gochujang: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/gochujang
Wild Fermentation: http://www.wildfermentation.com
Cultures For Health: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/free-ebooks-fermented-cultured-foods