Gochujang (//, from Korean: 고추장; gochu-jang [ko.tɕʰu.dʑaŋ]) or red chili paste is a savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment made from gochutgaru (red chili powder), glutinous rice, mejutgaru (fermented soybean powder), yeotgireum (barley malt powder), and salt. The sweetness comes from the starch of cooked glutinous rice, cultured with saccharifying enzymes during the fermentation process. Traditionally, it has been naturally fermented over years in jangdok (earthenware) on an elevated stone platform, called jangdokdae, in the backyard.
|Alternative names||Red chili paste|
|Place of origin||Korea|
|Main ingredients||Gochutgaru (red chili powder), glutinous rice, mejutgaru (fermented soybean powder)|
|Other information||HS code: 2103.90.1030|
|Cookbook: Gochujang Media: Gochujang|
It has commonly been assumed that spicy jang (장; 醬) varieties were made using black peppers and chopi, before the introduction of chili peppers in the early 16th century. Chili peppers originated in the Americas, introduced to East Asia by Portuguese traders. The first mention of chili pepper in Korea is found in Jibong yuseol, an encyclopedia published in 1614. Sallim gyeongje, a 17‒18th century book on farm management, wrote on the cultivation methods of chili peppers. In 18th century books, Somun saseol and Jeungbo sallim gyeongje, gochujang is written as gochojang, using hanja characters 苦椒醬 and 古椒醬. It is also mentioned that Sunchang was renowned for their gochujang production.
Gochujang ingredients reported in Jeungbo sallim gyeongje was 18 l (19 US qt) of powdered and sieved meju (fermented soybeans), 540 ml (0.57 US qt) of gochutgaru (red chili powder), and 1.8 l (1.9 US qt) of glutinous rice flour, as well as soup soy sauce for adjusting the consistency. Gochujang recipe in Gyuhap chongseo, a 1809 cookbook, says that gochujang is made by powdering meju made from 18 l (19 US qt) of soybeans and 3.6 l (3.8 US qt) of glutinous rice, then adding 900–1,260 ml (0.95–1.33 US qt) of gochutgaru and bap made from 3.6 l (3.8 US qt) of glutinous rice.
Other recipes use glutinous rice (chapssal, Korean: 찹쌀), normal short-grain rice (mepssal, Korean: 멥쌀), or barley, and, less frequently, whole wheat kernels, jujubes, pumpkin, and sweet potato; these ingredients are used to make special variations. The finished product is a dark, reddish paste with a rich, piquant flavor.
The making of gochujang at home began tapering off when commercial production came into the mass market in the early 1970s. Now, most Koreans purchase gochujang at grocery stores or markets. It is still used extensively in Korean cooking to flavor stews (jjigae), such as gochujang jjigae; marinate meat, such as gochujang bulgogi; and as a condiment for naengmyeon and bibimbap.
Gochujang is also used as a base for making other condiments, such as chogochujang (Korean: 초고추장) and ssamjang (Korean: 쌈장). Chogochujang is a variant of gochujang made from gochujang with added vinegar and other seasonings, such as sugar and sesame seeds. It is usually used as a sauce for hoe and hoedeopbap. Similarly, ssamjang is a mixture of mainly gochujang and doenjang, with chopped onions and other spicy seasonings, and is popular with sangchussam (Korean: 상추쌈).
Gochujang hot-taste unitEdit
Gochujang hot-taste unit (GHU) is unit of measurement for the pungency (spicy heat) of gochujang, based on the gas chromatography and the high-performance liquid chromatography of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin concentrations.
Gochujang products are assigned to one of the five levels of spiciness: Mild Hot, Slight Hot, Medium Hot, Very Hot, and Extreme Hot.
|Extreme Hot||100 <|
|Mild Hot||< 30|
Gochujang is used in various dishes such as bibimbap and tteokbokki, and in salads, stews, soups, and marinated meat dishes. Gochujang makes dishes spicier (contributed by the capsaicins from the chili), but also somewhat sweeter.
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