Spice Advice: Gochugaru
Let’s go behind the scenes for the true chilli story of gochugaru. Though today gochugaru (GO-choo-GAH-roo, gochu means “chilli pepper” and garu means “powder” in Korean) is an A-list actor in Korean food for its sun-dried smoky sweet fruitiness, red chilli peppers were first introduced to Korea by Portuguese traders from Japan after the Hideyoshi Invasions in the late 16th century.
You’ll no doubt recognize these vibrant flakes (though sometimes ground into a fine powder) in gochujang (Korean chilli paste), kimchi for their fiery signature red color and mild heat, Korean soups and stews like sundubu jjigae (Korean soft tofu stew), dakgalbi (Korean stir-fried chicken), and Korean cucumber salad.
Only the best napa cabbage will do and it’s high time you finally make kimchi; the hardest part is the waiting! Sprinkle with abandon on avocado toast or garlicky white bean mash. Assemble some quick gochujang with that tub of miso in the back of your fridge, scramble a couple eggs, and fry up that leftover takeout white rice.
Looking for more Gochugaru inspo? Check out our Gochugaru Rice Bowl recipe!