18 Spicy Korean Recipes That Showcase Gochujang Chile Paste

Bang Bang Chicken
Photo: Diana71

These top-rated Korean-inspired recipes all feature a unique ingredient that's at once sweet, savory, and spicy. Gochujang is its name, and it's a Korean fermented chile paste made with red chili peppers, soybeans, and glutinous rice. It adds depth and exciting flavor to so many Korean recipes. We've gathered together some of our favorites right here, including beef, pork, chicken, and tofu main dishes, along with lots of side dishes.

01 of 18

Spicy Pork and Vegetable Tofu

a white ceramic bowl filled with ma po tofu garnished with sliced red chile rings
Photo by Chef John. Chef John

"All the individual ingredients in this recipe taste distinct while blending seamlessly into one harmonious flavor bomb," says Chef John. "If you can't decide what to make for dinner, try this spicy pork and vegetable tofu dish: fast, easy, and tasty, it checks all the boxes for a satisfying meal and acts as a catch-all for any seasonal produce. Zucchini is our favorite veggie to showcase, especially if you take the extra 15 minutes to salt it, but pretty much any vegetables will shine."

02 of 18

Korean Spicy Chicken and Potato (Tak Toritang)

Chicken drumettes, potatoes, carrots, and onions simmer in a spicy sauce. "A very easy meal to make! The spicy sauce goes best with white rice. You can find Korean hot pepper paste in a Korean/Asian market," says sarakyong.

03 of 18

Korean Spicy Marinated Pork (Dae Ji Bool Gogi)

Add pork slices to a marinade of vinegar, soy sauce, gochujang hot pepper paste, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, sugar, and green and yellow onions. "This spicy Korean pork is very good served with rice, kimchi, and salad," says funinthesun.

04 of 18

Bang Bang Chicken

Bang Bang Chicken

"With twice-fried chicken, you get the crispy fried breading you'd expect, and the bang-bang sauce drizzle just makes the entire dish spectacular," says Diana71. "This is a wonderful Americanized version of an extremely popular Sichuan Chinese dish. You'll love this more than any takeout version. Pay attention to the notes in the directions!"

05 of 18

Shrimp and Noodles with Chili Crisp Sauce

Chili crisp sauce adds spicy tang to this shrimp and noodle stir-fry with garlic, ginger, and shallots. "This was some fantastic food," says J Alan Hall. "I had to find the chili crisp sauce, but we have a pretty good Asian food shop in town. I found that the sauce wasn't as hot as I'd thought it would be."

06 of 18

Mom's Spicy Cucumber Kimchee

This quick fresh pickle features cucumber slices marinated in vinegar, spicy gochujang paste, and sesame seeds. "May be a little salty, but that is because it's meant to be eaten with rice," says santokieann. "Spices can be adjusted to your personal taste. Hope you enjoy! It goes great with bulgogi."

07 of 18

Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)

Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)

"Tired of the same ol' fried rice? Well, this will add a kick to any of your favorite fried rice recipes by adding kimchi," says abstractj. "If you love kimchi, you will surely love this recipe. You can substitute butter for the canola oil and any meat (chicken, ham, pork, or spam) for the ground beef."

08 of 18

Sweet and Spicy Shrimps

Shrimp are marinated and glazed in a Korean-inspired sweet and spicy marinade. "Serve with salad, or over rice, pasta, or potatoes," says Sandra's Easy Cooking. "Garnish with more sesame seeds."

09 of 18

Air-Fried Korean Chicken Wings

Here's one for the air fryer. "These Korean-style air-fried wings are crispy, sticky, and spicy," says Yoly. "Cooked in an air fryer they are ready in less than 30 minutes. They are perfect as an appetizer or add some rice and veggies on the side and you have a balanced meal."

10 of 18

Sweet Korean Crispy Chicken

Sweet Korean Crispy Chicken
Sweet Korean Crispy Chicken | Photo by Shelby Lynn.

"This yummy and addicting chicken recipe brings authentic Korean flavors together and creates sticky and sweet (with a little heat) goodness!" says Shelby Lynn. "Great for snacks at a dinner party or just munching on throughout the night. Garnish with chopped peanuts."

11 of 18

Korean Baked Cauliflower 'Wings'

"Nutritious cauliflower with a spicy sauce makes a great vegetarian substitute for chicken wings," says James Strange. "Swap out the honey for agave syrup to make this vegan."

12 of 18

Godeungeo Jorim (Korean Braised Mackerel with Radish)

Godeungeo Jorim (Korean Braised Mackerel with Radish)
Godeungeo Jorim (Korean Braised Mackerel with Radish) | Photo by mykoreaneats.

Fresh mackerel and daikon radishes are braised in a sweet and spicy sauce flavored with gochujang and Korean red pepper flakes. "Godeungeo (mackerel) has a very special place in my heart, having eaten it every which way imaginable--pan-fried, grilled, braised, canned, and smoked during my days in Seoul," says mykoreaneats. "Serve with rice and other side dishes."

13 of 18

Best Bulgoki - Korean Barbeque Beef

Thinly sliced beef sirloin marinates in a spicy sauce made with gochujang, dark soy, mirin, pear, ginger, and garlic. "This is the best bulgoki recipe I've come up with, adapted from a few different ones," says mollymayo. "It is very forgiving and you can adjust sweetness and spiciness as you prefer. Serve over rice."

14 of 18

Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken

This air fryer version of Korean fried chicken is ready in just 20 minutes. Serve with a simple sauce made with tomato sauce, gochujang sauce, honey, and soy sauce. "I'm lucky to live in an area with an abundance of Korean restaurants, and this is my take on a local restaurant's Korean fried chicken," says thedailygourmet. "Serve chicken with cooked rice if desired."

15 of 18

Vegan Korean Tofu and Leek Barbeque

This Korean-inspired tofu and leek recipe features a sweet and savory marinade of sesame oil, apples, maple syrup, and hot chili paste. "Easy-to-make and easy-to-eat," says MyNutriCounter. "Tofu is a good source of protein and comes in a range of textures: firm is suitable for grilling."

16 of 18

Dak Dori Tang (Spicy Korean Chicken Stew)

This simple, full-flavored Korean chicken stew is marinated with gochujang chile paste, ginger, and garlic, and then simmered with carrots, potatoes, leeks, and onions. "I learned how to make this from a Korean exchange student who stayed with my boyfriend's family," says PolkaDot. "Serve with white sticky rice spooned on top to dilute spiciness."

17 of 18

Gochujang-Roasted Potatoes

These spicy roasted potatoes combine chunks of potato coated with a mixture of veggie oil, gochujang, soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes . Garnish with scallions and a drizzle of lime juice. Roxy rates this recipe 5 stars: "This was very, very good!" she says. "The potatoes came out well roasted and full of flavor. My father and husband just loves them!"

18 of 18

Spicy Korean Fried Chicken with Gochujang Sauce

Spicy Korean Fried Chicken with Gochujang Sauce
Spicy Korean Fried Chicken with Gochujang Sauce. Diana71

"It took about two decades for this style of Korean fried chicken to make its way into the American foodie scene," says Diana71. "The chicken is deep fried twice to make the exterior extra crispy and to lock moisture in. The gochujang sauce is a hot, honey, spicy mix...and well, it's just fabulous. You'll have the family completely raving!"

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