Gochugaru (Guide to Korean Chili Powder)

What is gochugaru?

Gochugaru is Korean chili powder/flakes—a primary ingredient in many Korean dishes such as gochujang, kimchi, stews, noodles, and side dishes. It is typically bright red in color and has a moderate spice level.

What can you substitute gochugaru with?

If you can’t find gochugaru at your local supermarket, you can substitute other red pepper powders or flakes such as: crushed red pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper flakes, Chipotle powder, Aleppo pepper flakes, Chile de Arbol powder, or Guajilo powder.

Is gochugaru the same as red pepper powder?

Gochugaru translates into chili pepper powder, so the only difference you’ll find between most powders or flakes is the type of chili pepper used. If you can’t find Korean chili pepper powder, you can substitute with other red pepper powders without a massive taste difference.

Is gochugaru and chili flakes the same?

Gochugaru can come in powder or flake form. Each can be used in different situations depending on the dish and desired texture.

Is gochugaru the same as gochujang?

Gochugaru is a powder or flakes, while gochujang is a paste. They both are made from the same type of Korean chili peppers, so the primary difference is their texture and form.

Can I make kimchi without gochugaru?

You can make kimchi without gochugaru, but this will be what’s known as “white kimchi”. It’s still delicious, but lacks the spiciness of normal kimchi. If you don’t have gochugaru, you can always substitute another type of red chili powder.

Is gochugaru very hot?

On the Scoville scale, gochugaru lands somewhere between 4,000 SHU and 8,000 SHU, which is close to the jalapeño pepper.

What is the best gochugaru for kimchi?

The best gochugaru for kimchi depends on your desired spiciness. Milder flakes are a populr option if you want delicious kimchi that isn’t too spicy.

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