The 8 Greatest Gochugaru Substitutes to Try in Your Next Korean Meal

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Do you want some hot Korean food? If you want to make Korean dishes in your home, one of the components you’ll need is gochugaru. This is a Korean spice created from gochu (red chili peppers). Gochu is typically sun-dried, however other companies dry it using machines. Gochugaru is often mistaken with gochujang. Although both of these spices are used to provide a spicy taste to meals, they vary in appearance. Gochujang is a chili paste used for marinating and preparing a stew foundation.

Gochugaru, on the other hand, comes in powder form and comes in two varieties. The first variety, maewoon gochugaru, has a stronger taste than the second type, deolmaewoon gochugaru. Despite the fact that this is Korean chili powder, you should exercise caution when buying it at certain Asian supermarkets. Take in mind that red pepper powder is not the same as gochugaru.

Uses of Gochugaru

One of the most common use for Gochugaru is as a component in Kimchi. It adds the proper amount of heat to this meal. Apart from that, gochugaru may be used in a variety of Korean stews, such as sundubu jjigae.

This Korean chili paper complements meaty foods like Korean BBQ Jackfruit tacos, Bulgogi, and Tempeh Steaks. Gochugaru’s distinct hot, spicy, and smokey taste makes it an excellent seasoning for Korean foods. If you want to add a fresh touch to your cuisine, try experimenting with gochugaru.

The Health Benefits

If you like include healthful spices in your recipes, you will fall in love with gochugarus health benefits. This Korean spice is high in vitamins E and A. You may obtain your daily vitamin E need with only two tablespoons. It’s also high in fiber, iron, and copper.

Regular use of gochugaru can help you avoid ailments including prostate cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Chili peppers, such as gochugaru, are excellent for decreasing blood cholesterol, inhibiting prostate cancer cell spread, and managing blood sugar.

The Best Gochugaru Substitutes

Although gochugaru may be the ideal spice for your dish, it may not be available at your local grocery shop. But don’t worry, there are several fantastic replacements for gochugaru that you may use if you can’t locate it. These are a few examples.

1. Chipotle Powder

Spicy foods are unquestionably more intriguing than non-spicy dishes. When chili powder is added to food, it adds an additional spike of flavor that many people appreciate. Although gochugaru may provide a high degree of spiciness, chipotle powder can provide almost the same taste.

Chipotle powder is not a kind of pepper. It’s really dried and smoked jalapeño peppers, which gives it a similar smokey taste to gochugaru. In reality, the spiciness of these two spices is almost identical. Gochugaru is typically between 1,500 and 10,000 SHU, whereas chipotle is between 3,000 and 10,000 SHU.

It is crucial to note, however, that chipotle has a smokier taste than gochugaru. This may not be the best option for your recipe. To balance out the tastes, mix in some crushed red pepper with your chipotle powder. This would boost the spiciness while decreasing the smokiness. The beautiful thing about chipotle powder is that it is widely available in supermarkets and grocery shops. Also, you may save the excess chipotle powder for subsequent use in Mexican-American cuisine.

2. Cayenne Pepper

While searching for an appropriate alternative, one of the factors to consider is the texture of the spice. If you want to avoid the hot taste of gochugaru, use cayenne pepper flakes.

Cayenne pepper is also used in a variety of Korean meals, so if you purchase this spice, you may use it in a variety of Korean recipes. Cayenne pepper has a similar feel but is somewhat hotter. Cayenne pepper may be purchased in powder or flakes form. The flakes are really hot, but you should be aware of the seeds that come with this variety of cayenne pepper.

Additionally, since cayenne pepper is already a regular component in Korean recipes, you may absolutely use this while preparing Kimchi without a gochugaru. But, since it has a hotter taste, exercise caution when adding it to your food. You may reduce the spiciness by soaking the pepper in tepid water before adding it to the Kimchi.

Cayenne pepper, in addition to providing a fantastic taste, is also a strong source of vitamins A, E, and C. It also contains flavonoids, which are excellent antioxidants that protect your cells from free radical damage.

3. Chile Pasilla

When it comes to spicy dishes, not everyone has a high tolerance. If you want to serve your Korean meals to those who aren’t great lovers of spicy foods, or even children, you may use a milder gochugaru replacement. Chile Pasilla is an excellent alternative in this case.

Chile Pasilla originates in Mexico and is distinguished by its dark hue. It is often used in salsas, adobo sauces, and tortilla soups. Despite its 1,000 to 4,000 SHU level is equivalent to gochugarus, it is not as potent as the Korean spice. As a result, you will be able to better manage the spiciness of your recipes.

The only drawback you should be concerned about is the color of this spice. Chile Pasilla has a very black tint, unlike gochugaru, which is brilliant red. This may have an impact on the look of your food. If you don’t want to jeopardize the aesthetics of your dish, this isn’t the greatest option to use. But, in terms of flavor, Chile Pasilla tastes more like gochugaru than other spices that may provide you with a brilliant red hue, such as fish pepper, paprika, and chungyang red pepper.

4. Paprika

Gochugaru has a vivid red hue that contributes to the rich color of Korean foods such as Kimchi. Individuals who wish to give their foods the same look without using gochugaru might add Paprika instead.

Paprika is one of the most widely available spices in supermarkets. You could even have it right now in your pantry. But did you know that there are several types of paprika?

Grinding dried peppers yields paprika. The finished product is a vivid, crimson, nearly orange hue. It comes in three varieties: sweet paprika, hot paprika, and smoked paprika. It is critical to understand the distinctions between these three so that you can choose the finest gochugaru alternative.

While shopping, the most common types to find are basic or sweet paprika. This kind has a light taste. However, Hot Paprika, often known as Hungarian Paprika, is widely regarded as the best of the three. This is a frequent ingredient in Hungarian dishes such as goulash. Last but not least, there’s Smoked Paprika. This one has been smoked and dried for a sweet and smokey taste. Paprika is available in powder form, so you won’t have any trouble swapping it for your gochugaru.

5. Gochujang

Since gochujang is a popular Korean ingredient, it is one of the greatest gochugaru alternatives. Each of these spices are derived from gochu pepper, thus they will have a similar taste. Their textures, however, vary. Gochujang, in addition to being a thick paste, incorporates additional components such as salt, sticky rice, and soybeans.

Expect a saltier taste if you use gochujang instead of gochugaru in your dish. It’s also an excellent replacement for cooking sauces, stews, and kimchi. Remember to adjust your recipe’s saltiness before adding gochujang. It’s also worth noting that since gochujang is a chile paste, it might give your food a moist and sticky feel.

The amount of heat in gochujang varies based on the brand. To be safe, limit the quantity that you will add in the recipe. It has a spicy, pungent smell and is excellent for marinating meats. If you prefer salty tastes over sweet ones, this is the greatest option. This chile paste should be kept in the refrigerator so that it may be used in various Korean dishes.

6. Chile De Arbol

Chili de Arbol is another versatile spice that may be used in place of gochugaru. Those searching for a more potent spice for their dishes may get the appropriate kick with this replacement.

The fiery red hue of Chili De Arbol will provide a spicy and smokey edge to any food. This component has a heat intensity ranging from 16,000 to 31,000 SHU. It’s a lot spicier than gochugaru, so use less if you don’t want to burn your tongue.

Chile de Arbol comes in powder, flakes, and paste forms. As a result, it may be employed in a variety of ways. This component is commonly accessible at grocery shops around the country, making it simple to locate. It’s also a lot cheaper than other spices, so if you’re searching for a low-cost alternative to gochugaru, this is your best bet. Apart from gochugaru, it’s also a good alternative for paprika due to its nutty taste.

7. Guajillo Powder

If you can’t locate certain Korean ingredients, such as gochugaru, you may use this Mexican spice to round out your dish. Guajillo is a common ingredient in Tex-Mex cooking. Although their origins in two separate civilizations, these two spices have a tangy taste and a moderate amount of spiciness. Guajillo also has a rich red hue that would complement Korean dishes. It is available in powder and flake form, and you may use either, but the powdered Guajillo is a preferable option since it has no seeds.

8. Aleppo Pepper Powder

If you live in the Middle East and want to experience Korean cuisine, you may have difficulty finding gochugaru. So don’t let this deter you from going exploring! Aleppo Pepper Powder is another acceptable gochugaru alternative. It is comparable to guajillo powder but is more widespread in Mediterranean areas.

Aleppo pepper, like guajillo and gochugaru, has a bright red hue that can brighten up your food. Nevertheless, be cautious when using this in a dish since it might be somewhat spicier than guajillo. Aleppo has a stronger aftertaste, so use just a little quantity of this spice. You can always add extra later if you believe your meal can withstand more of its taste.

Final Verdict

Korean cuisine is delicious. Kimchi and Bulgogi are just a few of the foods you may attempt cooking in your own home if you want something fascinating to prepare and taste for your taste buds. Yet, finding ingredients like gochugaru might be difficult, particularly if you are not in an Asian nation.

You may only be able to locate it in specialized Asian shops, so try to purchase in quantity whenever possible. But if you can’t locate one and want to fulfill your desires today, these gochugaru replacements may still add a spicy and smokey taste to your food. When adding spicy ingredients, it is usually better to start with minimal quantities, particularly because not everyone can take the heat levels of certain spices.


What can I substitute for Korean gochugaru?

The finest pantry staple option for gochugaru is paprika.

Although Aleppo pepper flakes and Kashmiri chilli powder are great replacements for hot and mild gochugaru, they are less often used ingredients. Paprika is a fine red pepper powder with a mild to spicy flavor.

What is the closest spice to gochugaru?

Gochugaru Crushed Red Pepper is the best substitute. Crushed red pepper flakes are an excellent gochugaru alternative…. Paprika…. Gochujang…. Cayenne Pepper Flakes…. Aleppo Pepper Flakes…. Guajillo Powder…. Chipotle Powder…. Chili de Arbol Powder.
Additional details…•December 6, 2022

What can you substitute for Korean chili powder?

The most probable alternatives for Korean chili powder substitutions are corn powder and paprika powder. The dried and smoked chiles provide a smokey taste with a tomatoy scent. Cayenne pepper is the way to go if you want to swap gochugaru for cayenne pepper.

What is gochugaru the same as?

Gochugaru is the Korean word for red pepper flakes. Gochu is a chili pepper, while garu is a powder. It should be noted that gochugaru is often crushed to flake size rather than fine powder like paprika or cayenne powder.

How to make homemade gochugaru?

To begin, cut the dried chilies’ stems and top parts off and remove the seeds and interiors. (Skip the coring and preserve the innards if you like more spice and heat.) Next, rinse the dried chilies with a towel and crush them in the blender to produce the chili flakes. Use a rice mill to make a fine powder.

Is Korean red pepper powder the same as gochugaru?

Gochugaru () has a number of alternative English names. Korean chili powder, flakes, hot pepper flakes, red pepper flakes, and so on. One of the most significant Korean ingredients is gochugaru.

Is gochugaru similar to sriracha?

Gochugaru is more akin to red pepper flakes, which are often used in Italian cooking. Although still a hot pepper paste, gochujang is not as spicy as other hot sauces like sriracha.

What spice is similar to Korean chili flakes?

Best Korean Chili Powder Substitutes (Gochugaru)
Powdered Chipotle.
Cayenne pepper is a spicy pepper.
Pasilla Chile.
Oct 10, 2021

What does gochugaru taste like?

How Does Gochugaru Taste? Despite its bright red colour, gochugaru isn’t as hot as one would assume. It has a little heat, but the capsaicin sensation is balanced off by fruity and sweet aromas. Sun-dried gochugaru has a subtle smokiness to it, adding depth to the taste.

What is the closest spice to chili powder?

Paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper

A blend of paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper. If you don’t have all of the ingredients listed above, you may create a “cheaper” version. This is the appropriate ratio: Ratio of substitutions: 1 tablespoon chili powder equals 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 14 teaspoon cayenne.

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