Inside the Spice Cabinet: Gochugaru

updated May 2, 2019
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The vibrant red spice known as gochugaru is a blend of red pepper flakes widely used in Korean cooking.

What Is Gochugaru?

Taste: Spicy, smoky
Most Popular Use: kimchi, sauces

An essential ingredient in Korean cuisine, gochugaru (or kochukaru) is a coarsely ground red pepper with a texture between flakes and powder. Traditionally, gochugaru is made from sun-dried chile peppers, and versions that are prepared in this manner are still considered the best tasting. The flavor is hot, sweet, and slightly smoky. Substitutes like crushed red pepper or cayenne just don’t compare.

Look for gochugaru at Asian markets and online, and store in an airtight container, away from heat and light.

How To Use Gochugaru

Gochugaru is a widely spice to add a fiery punch in Korean cuisine. It’s a common ingredient in kimchi, dipping sauces for spring rolls, dressing, and marinades.

Recipes for Cooking with Gochugaru