Is red curry paste the same as Gochujang?
In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Is red curry paste the same as Gochujang?”, and tell you whether you can substitute Gochujang for red curry paste paste. We will also discuss whether chili sauce and Gochujang are the same.
Is red curry paste the same as Gochujang?
No, red curry paste is not the same as Gochujang. Gochujang is basically just Korean chili paste.
Red curry paste has a lot of other ingredients added to it other than red chili peppers such as cumin, coriander, fenugreek, etc. These other ingredients are what give the curry paste its unique flavor. This is also why different types of curry pastes taste different and also have different colors.
Gochujang on the other hand is just made with mainly red chili peppers.
Gochujang is used widely in a lot of dishes to make the food more spicy. Depending on one’s own preference, they can add as much or as little Gochujang as they like. It is added as an ingredient. On the contrary, curry paste is used with a lot of different meats and vegetables. The star of the dish is the curry paste rather than an ingredient.
Can I substitute Gochujang for red curry paste?
Yes, you can substitute Gochujang for red curry paste given that your recipe requires only ‘red’ curry paste. This is because red curry paste contains primarily red chillies. The only requirement for substituting Gochujang for red curry paste is that you have all the other ingredients like ginger, garlic, turmeric, sea salt, fish sauce, lemongrass, basil, and sesame seeds.
You need to add all of these ingredients to Gochujang in order to make your curry taste similar to an authentic red curry.
However, for other Thai curries such as yellow or green thai curry, you can not use Gochujang as a substitute for curry paste as they have different flavor profiles. Their main ingredients are not red chili peppers. You can add Gochujang to add heat to these curries, but it can not be used as a substitute.
How to use Gochujang?
We will list down some popular ways in which Gochujang is used for its flavor and spiciness. If you have not tried any of these before and you are a fan of spicy food, then maybe you should try to spice up your food with these tips.
Add a couple of teaspoons to your soup for some extra heat.
Use it as a marinade for fresh chicken.
Use it as an ingredient for making chicken breasts for burgers.
Add it to stew to make it a little hotter.
Mix it with mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and paprika to make a dip. This type of dip goes well with fries and chicken strips.
Alternatively you can add soya sauce or oyster sauce to Gochujang to make Asian style dipping sauce.
Kimchi, an important Korean staple, is also made using Gochujang.
Is chili sauce and Gochujang the same thing?
No, chili sauce and Gochujang are not the same thing. Chili sauce has a runny consistency while Gochujang is more thicker and concentrated.
Chili sauce has other ingredients added to it. It gets its consistency from added moisture which can be either due to water or vinegar.
On the other hand, Gochujang mainly only has chilis. It has other ingredients too but the star of the paste is chilis.
Since chili sauce has more moisture, it’s more diluted. It is still very hot but less hot than Gochujang. They both have different flavor profiles as well.
Chili sauce is mostly used during cooking or as an add condiment but Gochujang is only used as an ingredient while cooking.
Learn how to make Gochujang at home here.
Can I use chili sauce instead of Gochujang?
As explained above, they both have different flavor profiles and consistencies. Ideally, they should not be used interchangeably unless you really have to and you do not have any other option.
Chili sauce can be simmered down to a more concentrated consistency or you can add other things like chili powder or cayenne pepper to match the heat level of chili paste.
As for using Gochujang in place of chili sauce, you can make the chili paste more runny by adding vinegar in it as vinegar is a component of most chili sauces.
Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “Is red curry paste the same as Gochujang?”, and told you whether you can substitute Gochujang for red curry paste paste. We also discussed whether chili sauce and Gochujang are the same.