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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. Makes about 1 gallon (4 quarts).
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

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

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.