10 Best Gochujang Substitutes You Can Try!

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Gochujang’s umami taste is the heart of Korean cooking. If you are making Korean cuisine and run out of gochujang, it’s a perfect place to find a substitute for the same. Just read the information below, and you will get your answer.


Some of the best gochujang substitutes are miso paste, ssamjang, sriracha sauce, tabasco sauce, and sambal oelek.

Gochujang is a spicy Korean fermented paste known as Korean red chili paste. It has a savory, sweet, spicy, and almost smoky taste with a dark red color.

The main ingredients to make gochujang substitutes are Korean red chili powder, glutinous rice powder, barley malt powder, powdered fermented soybeans, and salt.

Regarding the level of spiciness, it provides various options like mild, slightly hot, medium hot, very hot, and extremely hot.

You can use it as a base for Korean dishes, stews, and marinated meat. It adds flavors to naengmyeon, bibimbap, and spicy tteokbokki.

Now, just read the crux of the article, find your desired alternative, and consider it simultaneously.

10 Best Gochujang Substitutes 

Here is a list of gochujang substitutes you can use next time you cook. 

1. Miso Paste

You can use miso paste, containing powdered fermented soybeans, as a gochujang substitute. It is one of the ingredients used to make gochujang paste.

Miso paste provides savory, umami flavors like gochujang. It is best to use in marinades or as a soup dressing.

If it’s too thick, add some water to thin it out. To increase the level of spiciness, you can add cayenne powder. You can use miso paste in equal amounts to gochujang in your recipes. 

2. Ssamjang

Ssamjang is one of the best shop-bought substitutes for gochujang. It contains gochujang, garlic, green onion, sesame oil, and soy sauce. 

It’s a great substitute because it contains gochujang and has a thick and spicy paste. Due to its strong flavor, it is best to use in kimchi dishes and dips.

Add a splash of maple syrup and chili powder to make it more flavorful. You can use them in the same proportion as gochujang in your dishes. 

3. Sriracha Sauce

Sriracha sauce is a famous sauce from Thailand that exhibits sweet and spicy flavors. Red peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt are the main ingredients of Sriracha sauce.

It has a similar tangy flavor and heat level to gochujang. It has a thinner consistency which is great to use in noodle soups. You can use it as a 1:1 substitution.

Note: To intensify the flavor, combine it with miso paste.

4. Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is an excellent alternative to gochujang. It’s made by cooking tomatoes and straining the paste to remove skin or seeds.

Tomato paste is thick with a deep red color and intense flavor. You can make it at home or purchase it from nearby stores.  

It has the consistency of tomato paste and is excellent in soups, stews, and curries. Use it in an equal amount as a substitute for gochujang.

Note: Add chili powder for heat and sugar to balance the acidity. 

5. Chilli Bean Paste

You can use chili bean paste as an alternative to gochujang due to its hot, spicy, salty, and savory flavor. It is a commercial Chinese sauce fermented from broad beans and spicy red chili peppers. It is similar to gochujang in both flavor and texture.

You can use it in stir-fries, fried rice, eggs and omelets, green beans, fish, scallops, clams, and shrimp. You can use it in a 1:1 substitution ratio.

6. Tabasco Sauce

Tabasco sauce is one of the hottest sauces available. It contains only three ingredients, aged red peppers, salt, and distilled vinegar.

It has a tangy taste and is slightly sweet with some salt. You can use Tabasco sauce as a substitute for gochujang in salads, curry, and pasta sauces. You can incorporate it in an equal amount of your dishes.

7. Doenjang 

Doenjang is a good substitute in the absence of Gochujang. It is a fermented bean paste with a sharp, salty, umami flavor with a chunky texture.

Compared to gochujang, it is less spicy and has a more intense and savory flavor. You can use doenjang in stews, soups, and marinades. You can use it in your dishes in a 1:1 ratio.

8. Turkish Red Pepper Paste

Turkish red pepper paste is an ideal replacement for gochujang. It is made from sweet peppers and has a tasty red condiment with a thick texture.

Due to moderate heat and incredible flavors, You can use Turkish red pepper paste in dishes like stews and marinated meat. Use an equal amount of Turkish red pepper paste as a gochujang substitute in your dishes.

9. Sambal Oelek

Sambal Oelek is a raw chili paste made with vinegar and lemon juice. It has a sweet, slightly tangy, salty, and spicy flavor. 

To get the perfect alternative, add one tablespoon of maple syrup for every ¼ cup of sambal oelek.

It has more than 200 varieties, so choose wisely which sambal oelek is best for your recipe. You can use it in soups, marinades, and noodles.

In an equal amount of gochujang, combine sambal oelek and maple syrup.

10. Harissa Paste

If you don’t have any alternative listed above, you can substitute harissa paste for the gochujang. 

Harissa paste is a fiery, bright red condiment with a slightly smoky and sweet flavor that originated in Tunisia. It contains cayenne pepper, garlic, coriander seeds, cumin, salt, and olive oil.

Use it in a 1:1 ratio to incorporate it into your favorite dishes.

Short Recap Of Gochujang Substitute 

Here is a quick peek at gochujang substitutes. I categorized these into three categories so it becomes easy for you guys to find your desired alternative.

Best Gochujang Substitute In Terms Of Flavor and Texture

  • Miso Paste
  • Ssamjang
  • Doenjang 

Best Gochujang Substitutes That Are Easily Available-

  • Tomato Paste
  •  Tabasco Sauce

Gochujang Substitute Should Be Least Considered –

  • Harissa Paste

How To Use Gochujang Substitutes In A Recipe

15 Best Gochujang Substitutes You Can Try!

Some of the best gochujang substitutes are miso paste, ssamjang, sriracha sauce, tabasco sauce, and sambal oelek.
5 from 1 vote


  • Miso Paste
  • Ssamjang
  • Sriracha Sauce
  • Tomato Paste
  • Chilli Bean Paste
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Doenjang
  • Turkish Red Pepper Paste
  • Sambal Oelek
  • Harissa Paste


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Now that we have come to the end of the article. I hope you discover your preferred substitute and use it in your dishes.

Finding a substitute for gochujang is difficult, but the options in this section function well and improve the flavor of your food. Till then, we will meet at the next one. 

Till Then! Happy Cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I use if I don’t have Gochujang?

 You can use miso paste,sriracha sauce, tabasco sauce , and sambal oelek as a substitute for gochujang.

Can I use red pepper flakes instead of gochujang?

Yes, you can use red pepper flakes instead of gochujang.

What is a gochujang substitute for bibimbap?

You can use sriracha and Tabasco sauce as a substitute for bibimbap.

What is a gochujang substitute for tteokbokki?

You can use doenjang and ssamjang in tteokbokki.

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