This Korean-inspired pasta recipe has a creamy sauce with a hint of sweetness and spiciness. It’s an easy recipe and takes less than twenty minutes to make, which makes this creamy gochujang pasta a great weeknight dinner option.
What is gochujang?
Gochujang is a fermented Korean chili paste that is used commonly in Korean cuisine. It primarily consists of glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, chili peppers and salt.
It has a beautiful red hue and a salty, spicy and umami flavor that works great in a variety of savory sauces and dishes.
Gochujang has been a part of Korean cooking for thousands of years. It is unique to Korea, similar to another iconic fermented food, kimchi.
It’s long been seen as a health food in Korea, especially helpful for those who are sick. Gochujang was also thought to improve digestive functionality.
Gochujang is used in a variety of Korean dishes, both traditional and new. Some of these dishes include bibimbap (mixed rice and vegetable dish), tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), kimchi (fermented spicy cabbage), dak-galbi (spicy chicken) and jjigae (kimchi stew).
Where to buy
You can find gochujang at most Asian markets or Asian grocery stores. It typically comes in a red rectangular package with a removable lid.
Some regular grocery stores may carry gochujang, as it’s become more popular over the last few years. Even Trader Joe’s has its own gochujang and gochujang sauce!
Ingredients for Gochujang Pasta
The ingredients for this creamy gochujang pasta are listed below along with all of the possible alternatives you can use. For the best results, I wouldn’t recommend making any substitutions.
|Whole wheat pasta, any shape
|White pasta, white rice pasta, brown rice pasta, udon noodles, ramen noodles, any other types of pasta
|Avocado oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil
|White onion, sweet onion, red onion, shallot
|Jar minced garlic, garlic powder
|Shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms
|Salt and pepper
|Kosher salt, sea salt
|Oat milk, almond milk, heavy cream, half and half
|White sugar, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar
|Kale, collard greens, chard
|Any kind of cheese
|Green onions (optional)
How to make Gochujang Pasta
First, follow the package instructions to prepare your whole wheat pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the diced onion, minced garlic and chopped mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the onions are browned and mushrooms have shrunk.
Add the gochujang paste to the skillet, mix, then add the brown sugar and milk. Stir until the gochujang is dissolved. Add the chopped baby spinach and fold into the sauce until wilted.
Add the cooked pasta and parmesan to the gochujang pasta sauce and toss together. Continue to cook until the sauce has thickened. Serve with extra parmesan cheese, green onions and your favorite protein if desired. Enjoy!
How to store for later
If you have any leftovers, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should last about 2-3 days before it spoils. To reheat, transfer to a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute, then 30 seconds intervals until warm.
After you prepare your creamy gochujang pasta, make sure you aren’t leaving the dish out for more than two hours before transferring to the refrigerator. Any leftovers left at room temperature for longer than two hours should be tossed due to increased risk of foodborne illness.
I wouldn’t recommend using spaghetti shaped pasta or any long, thin noodles for this recipe. If that’s all you have on hand it’s fine of course, but I find the vegetables all gather at the edges of the pan if you use long pasta shapes. I prefer them to all be mixed in nicely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is gochujang very spicy?
The Korean fermented chili paste is spicy, but it doesn’t pack that much heat compared to other hot sauces. That being said, it depends on how much you consume. It rates less than 1,000 Scoville units, which is fairly mild compared to hot peppers like jalapeño.
Is gochujang similar to sriracha?
Gochujang is similar to sriracha due to it being spicy and part of Asian cuisine. But the two foods are different in many ways. Gochujang comes from Korea and is a thick, red fermented paste. Sriracha is used in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine and is less thick and more spicy compared to gochujang.
What is the closest sauce to gochujang?
If you are looking for a substitute for gochujang, you can try ssamjang, doenjang, sambal oelek, miso paste, chili garlic sauce or sriracha. While none of these are perfect substitutes, they can work in a pinch to mimic the taste and spiciness of gochujang.
Is gochujang healthy for you?
Gochujang can be part of a healthy diet. The fermentation process gochujang goes through means it’s high in probiotics, which can be beneficial for your gut health. That being said, it’s high in sodium which can be harmful if consumed in excess. To sum it up, gochujang should be consumed in moderation for the most benefits.
If you tried this recipe and liked it, I’d love to hear your thoughts and see the final product! Rate this recipe and comment down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me on social media @tasteitwithtia!
Creamy Gochujang Pasta
- 1.5 cups dry whole wheat pasta any shape
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1 cup white mushrooms sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp gochujang
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup milk of choice
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 cups baby spinach chopped
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- First, follow the package instructions to prepare your whole wheat pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the diced onion, minced garlic and chopped mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the onions are browned and mushrooms have shrunk.
- Add the gochujang paste to the skillet, mix, then add the brown sugar and milk. Stir until the gochujang is dissolved. Add the chopped baby spinach and fold into the sauce until wilted.
- Add the cooked pasta and parmesan to the gochujang pasta sauce and toss together. Continue to cook until the sauce has thickened.
- Serve with extra parmesan cheese, green onions and your favorite protein if desired. Enjoy!