2 Ingredient Homemade Gochugaru


Gochugaru, a staple in Korean cuisine, is a vibrant red chili powder known for its sweet and spicy flavor profile. Making your own at home ensures freshness and control over ingredients. Here’s how to create 2-Ingredient Homemade Gochugaru.

Origins and History Of Gochugaru

Gochugaru, pronounced as go-choo-gah-roo (고추가루), is a fundamental ingredient in Korean cuisine, renowned for its vibrant color and distinctive sweet, spicy flavor profile. The word “gochu” (고추) translates to “chili pepper,” and “garu” (가루) means “powder,” reflecting its primary form as ground chili powder.

Historical Roots: Gochugaru has deep roots in Korean culinary traditions, dating back centuries. Traditionally, gochugaru was made by drying Korean red chili peppers under the sun until they became brittle. These dried peppers were then finely ground to create the iconic coarse texture and rich red hue that characterizes gochugaru.

Cultural Significance: In Korean cuisine, gochugaru is not just a spice but a cultural cornerstone. It plays a vital role in numerous dishes, from kimchi (fermented vegetables) to soups, stews, marinades, and dipping sauces. Its versatility and flavor profile make it indispensable in both everyday meals and celebratory feasts.

Evolution and Modern Use: While traditionally made from sun-dried Korean chili peppers, modern variations of gochu-garu may include different types of chili peppers to adjust spiciness and flavor complexity. It continues to be a beloved ingredient not only in Korean households but also gaining popularity globally for its unique taste and culinary applications.

Global Influence: Beyond Korea, gochu-garu has influenced global cuisine, appearing in fusion dishes and gaining recognition among chefs and home cooks for its ability to add depth and heat to a wide range of recipes.

Understanding the origins and cultural significance of gochu-garu enhances appreciation for its role in Korean cuisine and encourages experimentation with this versatile ingredient in various culinary traditions worldwide.


Serving Suggestions For Gochugaru

Gochu-garu, with its vibrant color and spicy-sweet flavor, adds depth and character to a wide array of dishes in Korean cuisine and beyond. Here are some creative ways to incorporate and enjoy this versatile ingredient:

1. Kimchi:

  • Description: Use gochu-garu as a key ingredient in homemade kimchi, a traditional Korean fermented vegetable dish. Its spicy kick and distinct flavor are essential for achieving authentic kimchi flavor.

2. Marinades and Sauces:

  • Description: Incorporate gochugaru into marinades for meats and vegetables. Combine with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil for a delicious Korean BBQ marinade. Similarly, use it in spicy dipping sauces for dumplings or grilled foods.

3. Soups and Stews:

  • Description: Enhance the flavor of soups and stews by sprinkling gochugaru during cooking. It adds a subtle heat and depth of flavor, perfect for hearty dishes like kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew) or sundubu jjigae (soft tofu stew).

4. Seasoning for Noodles and Rice Dishes:

  • Description: Sprinkle gochugaru over noodle dishes like bibim guksu (spicy mixed noodles) or stir it into fried rice for a spicy twist. It adds color, flavor, and a hint of heat to simple grain-based dishes.

5. Garnish for Snacks and Appetizers:

  • Description: Use gochugaru as a finishing touch by sprinkling it over popcorn, roasted nuts, or even avocado toast for a spicy kick and visual appeal.

6. Fusion Cuisine:

  • Description: Experiment with gochu-garu in fusion dishes, such as incorporating it into pasta sauces, pizza toppings, or even as a seasoning for roasted vegetables to add a Korean-inspired twist.

7. Drinks:

  • Description: Infuse gochu-garu into cocktails or non-alcoholic beverages for a unique flavor experience. It can add depth and spice to Bloody Marys or spicy margaritas.

Pro Tip: Adjust the amount of gochu-garu according to your desired level of spiciness. Start with a small amount and gradually increase to suit your taste preferences.

Variations Of Gochugaru

1. Mild Gochugaru:

  • Description: Use mild chili peppers to create a gochu-garu with a milder heat profile. This variation is perfect for those who prefer less spiciness but still enjoy the flavor of gochugaru in their dishes.

2. Hot Gochugaru:

  • Description: Use spicier chili peppers, such as Korean hot peppers or other varieties known for their heat, to create a gochu-garu with a stronger spicy kick. This variation adds more intensity to dishes that require a bolder flavor.

3. Smoked Gochugaru:

  • Description: Enhance the flavor profile of gochugaru by smoking the chili peppers before grinding them into powder. This variation adds a smoky depth that complements grilled meats, vegetables, and savory dishes.

4. Mixed Pepper Gochugaru:

  • Description: Combine different types of chili peppers to create a gochugaru blend with a complex flavor profile. Mix mild and hot peppers to achieve a balanced heat level while adding depth and richness to your dishes.

5. Flavored Gochugaru:

  • Description: Infuse gochu-garu with additional flavors by blending it with herbs, spices, or citrus zest. This variation allows for customization to suit specific dishes or personal preferences, such as garlic-infused gochugaru or lemon zest gochugaru.

6. Organic or Specialty Gochu-garu:

  • Description: Opt for organic chili peppers or specialty varieties to create a gochu-garu with a unique taste and quality. These variations often emphasize natural cultivation methods or specific regional flavors.

7. Blended Gochu-garu:

  • Description: Mix gochu-garu with other seasonings or powders, such as salt, sesame seeds, or seaweed flakes, to create a versatile seasoning blend. This variation enhances the versatility of gochu-garu for different culinary uses.

Pro Tip: Experiment with different variations of gochugaru to discover your preferred flavor profile and spiciness level. Adjust the ingredients and ratios according to your taste preferences and the specific dishes you plan to prepare.


Storage and Shelf Life For Gochugaru

Gochu-garu, like other spices, requires proper storage to maintain its flavor and quality over time. Here’s how to store and extend the shelf life of your homemade gochugaru:

Storage Conditions:

  • Airtight Container: Transfer your homemade gochu-garu into an airtight container to protect it from moisture and air exposure, which can cause loss of flavor and color.
  • Cool, Dark Place: Store the container in a cool, dark pantry or cupboard away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Avoid storing it near the stove or oven, as heat can degrade its potency.
  • Refrigeration (Optional): While not necessary, refrigerating gochu-garu can further extend its shelf life, especially in warmer climates or during humid weather conditions.

Shelf Life:

  • Freshness: Homemade gochugaru retains its freshness and potency for up to 6 months to 1 year when stored properly.
  • Quality Assurance: Over time, the color of gochugaru may fade slightly, but it should still retain its spicy-sweet flavor profile if stored correctly.

Using and Testing Freshness:

  • Visual Inspection: Check the color and texture of gochu-garu periodically. Fresh gochugaru should have a vibrant red color and a coarse texture.
  • Aroma and Taste: Smell and taste a small amount of gochu-garu to ensure it still has its characteristic spicy-sweet aroma and flavor.

Pro Tip: Consider making gochu-garu in smaller batches to ensure freshness and potency. Label containers with the date of preparation for easy tracking.

Health Benefits Of Gochugaru

Gochu-garu, the essential Korean chili pepper powder, not only adds vibrant flavor and heat to dishes but also offers several health benefits:

1. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals:

  • Gochu-garu is rich in vitamins A and C, essential for immune function, skin health, and vision.

2. Antioxidant Properties:

  • It contains antioxidants like capsaicin, which may help reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage.

3. Metabolism Boost:

  • Capsaicin in gochu-garu can temporarily increase metabolism and promote fat burning.

4. Digestive Aid:

  • Gochu-garu may aid digestion by stimulating gastric juices and enhancing nutrient absorption.

5. Potential Pain Relief:

  • Capsaicin is known for its potential to relieve pain, such as arthritis discomfort, through topical applications.

Incorporating Gochugaru into Your Diet:

  • Use gochugaru in moderation to enjoy its health benefits without overwhelming spiciness.
  • Experiment with different recipes, such as soups, stews, marinades, and sauces, to incorporate gochugaru into your daily meals.


  • Individuals with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues may need to moderate their intake of spicy foods like gochugaru.
  • Consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about incorporating gochu-garu into your diet, especially if you have existing health conditions.

Pro Tip: Enjoy gochu-garu as part of a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for overall health benefits.


FAQ Related To Gochugaru

1. Can I substitute gochu-garu with other chili powders?

  • Yes, you can substitute gochu-garu with other chili powders, but the flavor profile may differ. Gochugaru has a unique sweet and spicy flavor that sets it apart from other chili powders.

2. What’s the best way to grind peppers for gochu-garu?

  • To make gochu-garu, traditionally dry Korean red chili peppers thoroughly in the sun until brittle. Once dry, grind them into a coarse powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle for optimal texture.

3. How spicy is gochu-garu?

  • Gochu-garu typically ranges from moderate to hot in spiciness, depending on the variety of chili peppers used. It adds a pleasant heat without overwhelming dishes.

4. Does gochugaru have any health benefits?

  • Yes, gochu-garu is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like vitamin A and capsaicin, which may offer health benefits such as immune support, metabolism boost, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Pro Tip: Start with a small amount of gochu-garu in dishes and adjust to taste, as its spiciness can vary depending on the brand and type of peppers used.


2 Ingredient Homemade Gochugaru

Rachid Yousfi
Create your own flavorful and versatile 2-Ingredient Homemade Gochugaru with this simple recipe. Gochugaru, a staple in Korean cuisine, is a vibrant red chili powder known for its sweet and spicy flavor profile. This homemade version allows you to control the ingredients and customize the spiciness to suit your taste preferences.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Drying Time: 7 days
Total Time 7 days 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Korean
Servings 1 Cups of Gochugaru Powder
Calories 8 kcal


  • Cutting Board and Knife Use a cutting board and a sharp knife to slice the chili peppers evenly. Remove stems and seeds if desired before drying.
  • Drying Racks or Trays: Arrange sliced chili peppers in a single layer on drying racks or trays. Ensure they are placed in a well-ventilated area or use a dehydrator for drying.
  • Dehydrator (Optional): A dehydrator can expedite the drying process by providing consistent low heat and airflow. Set it to a low temperature (around 130°F or 54°C) for drying peppers.
  • Oven (Alternative Method): If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use an oven set to its lowest temperature with the door slightly ajar to dry the chili peppers.
  • Spice Grinder or Mortar and Pestle: After drying, grind the dried chili peppers into a coarse powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. This step ensures the peppers are finely ground into gochugaru.
  • Airtight Container: Store the homemade gochugaru in an airtight container to maintain freshness and protect it from moisture and light. Mason jars or sealed plastic containers work well.
  • Gloves (optional): Wear gloves when handling chili peppers, especially if you have sensitive skin or are handling hot varieties to avoid irritation.


  • 1 KG Korean Red Chili Peppers Use Korean red chili peppers for authentic flavor and color. Adjust quantity based on batch size and desired spiciness level.
  • 250 Grams Optional: Mild Chili Peppers Add mild chili peppers to adjust spiciness or create a blended flavor profile. This is optional based on personal preference.


  • Prepare the Chili Peppers:
    Wash the Korean red chili peppers thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with paper towels.
    Optionally, remove the stems from the peppers. You can also remove the seeds if you prefer a milder gochugaru.
  • Slice the Chili Peppers:
    Using a sharp knife and cutting board, slice the chili peppers into thin strips or pieces. Ensure they are sliced evenly to promote even drying.
  • Arrange for Drying:
    Lay out the sliced chili peppers in a single layer on drying racks or trays. Ensure there is ample space between the pieces for good airflow.
  • Drying Method:
    Option A: Air-Drying:
    Place the drying racks or trays in a well-ventilated area with good airflow. This method may take longer (5-7 days) but preserves more of the natural flavor.
    Option B: Using a Dehydrator:
    Set your dehydrator to a low temperature, around 130°F (54°C), and follow the manufacturer's instructions for drying chili peppers. This method can expedite drying (approximately 24-48 hours).
  • Check for Dryness:
    Throughout the drying process, check the peppers regularly. They should become dry and brittle to the touch. The drying time may vary based on humidity and drying method.
  • Grind into Gochugaru:
    Once fully dried, transfer the chili pepper strips to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Grind them into a coarse powder consistency.
    Work in batches if necessary to ensure even grinding and to achieve the desired texture.
  • Store Gochugaru:
    Transfer the freshly ground gochugaru into an airtight container, such as a mason jar or sealed plastic container.
    Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain its vibrant color and flavor. Label the container with the date of preparation.
  • Usage Tip:
    Use homemade gochugaru in various Korean dishes such as kimchi, marinades, soups, and stews. Start with a small amount and adjust according to your taste preference and recipe requirements.


  • Quality of Chili Peppers:
    • Select fresh, high-quality Korean red chili peppers for the best flavor and color in your gochugaru. Avoid peppers that are overly ripe or damaged.
  • Drying Method:
    • Ensure thorough drying of the chili peppers to prevent mold and ensure a longer shelf life. Opt for air-drying in a well-ventilated area or use a dehydrator set to a low temperature for consistent results.
  • Handling Chili Peppers:
    • Wear gloves when handling chili peppers, especially if working with hot varieties, to avoid skin irritation. Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
  • Grinding Consistency:
    • Aim for a coarse grind when grinding dried chili peppers into gochugaru. This texture enhances the flavor and makes it suitable for various culinary uses.
  • Storage Tips:
    • Store homemade gochugaru in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Label the container with the date of preparation for easy tracking of freshness.
  • Adjusting Spiciness:
    • Customize the spiciness of your gochugaru by adjusting the ratio of Korean red chili peppers to mild peppers. Experiment with different blends to suit your taste preferences.
  • Usage Recommendations:
    • Start with a small amount of gochugaru in dishes and adjust according to taste. It adds heat and depth of flavor to dishes like kimchi, soups, stews, and marinades.
  • Consistency Check:
    • Regularly check the consistency and aroma of your gochugaru to ensure it maintains its quality over time. Refresh your supply periodically if needed.
  • Enjoying Freshness:
    • Use your homemade gochugaru within 6 months to 1 year for optimal freshness and flavor. Refresh the batch periodically to maintain its vibrant color and spicy-sweet taste.
Keyword Gochugaru

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating