Gochugaru Chile – the Secret To Great Korean Cooking

Garurumon_bWhat comes to mind when you see the word Gochugaru?

At first glance, the word reminds us of Garurumon, (pictured), a digital monster character from our favorite 90s cartoon, Digimon.

However, Gochugaru is a different kind of “beast” — a flavorful chile pepper, a key ingredient in many favorite Korean foods.

Gochu means chile pepper and garu means powder. Our Crushed Gochugaru Chile is (no surprise!) made from red Korean chile peppers that are dried and ground into coarse flakes — yielding a sweet, sharp taste that is at once fruity and smoky.

Gochugaru-chile-crushedThe medium heat of Gochugaru chile (less than 10,000 on the Scoville “spiciness” scale) is just right for a wide range of recipes. Gochugaru is a must-have for Korean cuisine, including homemade kimchi, the famous Korean fermented cabbage dish.

The Gochugaru chile is also a welcome addition to meaty chilis and stews, stir fry, and BBQ dishes. We love to make a sauce with Gochugaru Chile to use on our homemade hot wings.

For something completely different, sprinkle a little Gochugaru chile and sea salt between layers of  White Chocolate Bark.

The fruity smokiness of Gochugaru chiles is reminiscent of the heat and flavor of the Syrian Aleppo Pepper. Use Gochugaru in any dish where you’d normally include red pepper flakes or ground Cayenne — even in sauces, on vegetables or to homemade pickles!

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