Asian cuisines have always interested me, especially Korean food! There’s something about the smoky spices that make me come back for more, no matter if my tongue ends up burning. From kimchi to Korean barbecue, I love the unique twist they put into their dishes, making it authentically Korean.
And I found out that Gochugaru is one of their main spices they use in their dishes, which prompted me to start whipping up Korean meals! And I’m sure you want to try it out yourself, but what if you’ve got none of this spice? Fortunately, there is an awesome Gochugaru substitute for you.
Are you wondering what you can use as an alternative for this Korean spice? Then read on as I show you the best ones to try out!
The Best Gochugaru Substitute For You
So what are the best alternatives for Gochugaru? Read on as I show you the yummiest ones that will have your dishes taste authentic and awesome.
Gochujang is one of the closest and best alternatives to the Gochugaru, as it is made of Korean pepper. But since this is a paste, it is a bit saltier than the powdered pepper, so I recommend that you use less than what’s expected and add a bit more according to your taste buds. It’s a great alternative for those who want to make a marinade or for their sauces.
Jalapeños are chili peppers known around the world for its health benefits and spicy flavors. This is a quick alternative if you do not have the Korean chili powder at home. You can either chop the jalapeños or use jalapeño powder on your dishes. It may not taste as authentic, but it adds the spice you need.
Indian Kashmiri Pepper
Indian Kashmiri Pepper is a type of pepper found in neighboring countries of Korea, which owns a vibrant red color and the deliciously spicy taste you want. Its colors also resemble the Gochugaru, which makes it look and taste similar. Opt for the Kashmiri powder than the pepper to garnish on top of your salads.
Ancho Chiles are the dried version of Poblano, which is a chili pepper found in Mexico. It isn’t as spicy as the Gochugaru but offers the smoky flavor you need for dishes. It’s a great alternative for those who don’t want something very spicy but with the perfect taste.
Though it might sound weird, these types of peppers are known to be one of the best you can find. They come in different colors that range from not-too-spicy to hot, but with an average hotness level overall. It’s best added to your Korean dish that uses fish or seafood.
Chipotle is actually jalapeños, but its smoked version. They are ripened with no moisture in them, containing the mixture of sweet and spicy. It even has a smoky flavor, making it the ideal Gochugaru substitute for those who want something smoky for their meat or other Korean dishes.
Aleppo Peppers are popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, but they can also be used in Korean dishes as well. You’ll appreciate its strong flavor and spice which tingles in your mouth. It also has the bright red flavors that have a tangy taste and medium-hot in spice. It’s ideal for using it as a rub for your meat for Korean barbecue.
Sandila Chiles isn’t exactly a chili, but a plant with a strong and spicy flavor. It isn’t over-the-top spicy but offers that kick you would want in your Korean dishes. They have a bright green color with a spice higher than jalapeños. Though it doesn’t have the same look as Gochugaru, they can be planted in your garden to easily harvest and use right after.
Chile De Arbor
What I love about Chile de Arbor is that it has a mix of smoky and spicy flavor you’d like for your Korean dishes. It’s popular in Mexican dishes, though it would work when creating your sauces or a stew. The powdered chili comes from the grounded Chile de Arbor, including its seeds and flesh, so you know it will be extra spicy.
Cayenne Pepper Flakes
If you want something closest to the texture and with the similar kick of spice, then you’ll want to try Cayenne pepper flakes, which are already popular in Korean cuisines. There’s no need to worry about experimenting because you know that this will be an ideal substitute with similar flavors as the Gochugaru.
They are a bit spicier than the powder, so add a bit less than what you need in the recipe to avoid overpowering the dish with spices. You can also opt for the powdered version, which is less spicy than the flakes.
Where You Can Use Korean Spices Perfectly
Now that you have the ideal Gochugaru substitute, what are some ideas you can try out that uses this spice? Here are tips and recipes you may want to try:
- Gochugaru has a spicy and smoky taste where you can use it for your kimchi. It’s one of the main ingredients for kimchi, as it has the spicy and smoky flavors that blend well together. Actually, gochugaru is best known to be in kimchi, which is fermented cabbage.
- You can add gochugaru to your dipping sauce for spring rolls or other Korean dishes. It makes a great chili paste or addition to liquid sauces for its spice without it overpowering the flavors of the sauce itself.
- Gochugaru and its substitutes go well with marinades for your meat for barbecuing. This is because it offers the kick and smoky flavors that keep your meat moist and tender. You can also opt to use it as a rub for your meats, if not a marinade.
- You can apply any of these spices to your salads, as they make a great addition to your dressing. Or besides adding it to your salads, sprinkle powder-based spices on top for a fiery look.
Whether you’re aiming for a subtly spicy Korean dish or one with smoky flavors, you’ll be able to get both with Gochugaru! While it may be a bit difficult to find in your local markets (unless you are from Asian countries), you can still create authentic Korean dishes with the best Gochugaru substitute you can easily find in your local area.
I hope that this Gochugaru substitute list helped you become more knowledgeable about what to do for whipping up the spicy and delicious Korean dishes for your family today. So don’t wait any longer! Try out any of these substitutes to begin cooking now.
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips on using the perfect Gochucaru substitute, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.