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How to make Gochujang at home

How to make gochujang at home the traditional and authentic way. It is a lot of work but will be nothing like the ones you buy at the stores.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Keyword chili paste, fermentation, korean chili paste
KoreanCategory Yangnyeom (양념)
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 12 hours
Servings 4 quarts
Author JinJoo Lee

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg Fine Red Chili powder (Goun Gochukaru 고운 고추가루) (1.5kg = 3.3 lb)
  • 500 g Fermented Soy Bean powder (Meju Karu 메주가루) (500g = 1.1 lb)
  • 1 kg Sweet Rice powder (Chapsal Karu 찹쌀가루) (1 kg = 2.2 lb)
  • 750 g Milled Malt Barley (Yeotkireum Karu 엿기름가루) (750g = 1.65 lb)
  • 750 g Sea Salt with bittern removed (Cheonilyeom 천일염) (750g = 1.65 lb)
  • 1 kg Rice Syrup (Jocheong 조청) (1 kg = 2.2 lb)
  • 5 litre water (5 litre = 5.2 quart)

Instructions

  1. THE NIGHT BEFORE: Soak malt barley (all 750 g of it!) in 5 litre of cold water for 5 hrs or more.
  2. THE NIGHT BEFORE: Soak sweet rice in water for 3-4 hrs or more.
  3. NEXT MORNING: Strain soaked sweet rice through a colander and remove all excess water.
  4. Grind sweet rice with a blender or chopper as fine as you can make it. Set aside.
  5. Strain malt barley through a fine sieve or medium grade cheese cloth to just get the liquid and some fine white sediments.
  6. Add sweet rice powder to strained liquid from above.
  7. Leave mixture in the oven with a temperature of about 60°C (140°F) for 5 hrs.
  8. Remove malt barley + sweet rice mixture from oven and cook on stove top.
  9. Start at medium high -> medium heat until liquid has reduced by about 20%. Let it cool.
  10. Once liquid is cooled, add fine gochukaru, meju karu and sea salt.
  11. Add rice syrup (jocheong 조청) - add more or less to your taste.
  12. Mix everything well.
  13. Transfer gochujang into the prepared, sanitized clay pot (hangari 항아리).
  14. Sprinkle top with handful of sea salt.
  15. Leave in full sun for 6 months.

Recipe Notes

The sun helps to kill any fungus from forming on top. Cover the top with a fine mosquito net or mesh that will keep the bugs away but let the sun in. Tie the net with a string so it stays put. Cover with a lid when it rains and at night time to keep moisture out.
Please check out my blog post for more details on how to sterilize the pot 1-2 days before.