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The Hirshon Korean Imperial Gochujang - 고추장

The Hirshon Korean Imperial Gochujang – 고추장

  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • 1 2/3 lb. Fine Red Chili powder (Goun Gochukaru 고운 고추가루)
  • 250 g Fermented Soy Bean powder (Meju Karu 메주가루)
  • 500 g Sweet Rice powder (Chapsal Karu 찹쌀가루)
  • 375 g Milled Malt Barley (Yeotkireum Karu 엿기름가루)
  • 375 g Sea Salt with bittern removed (Cheonilyeom 천일염)
  • 500 g Rice Syrup (Jocheong 조청)
  • 2 quarts cold bottled water
  • 2 1/3 cups Bek Se Ju (TFD addition – optional – replace with bottled water for original)


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