Recipe For Health
By Corporate Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski
Featured Food: Gochujang Yield: about 1 cup Learn more about Gochujang

Ingredients

  • ¼ c. gochujang
  • ½ c. ripe pear (peel and core removed)
  • ¼ c. rough chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t. minced ginger
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 2 t. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 T. hoisin sauce
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

Preparation

Put ingredients into the bowl of food processor. Blend until smooth. Brush sauce on food and let marinate for 4 hours before grilling. Serve hot.

Learn More About Gochujang

Every cuisine has a key ingredient—the pillar of memorable flavor. Gochujang (pronounced gō-choo-chjong) is just such an ingredient in Korean dishes. Gochu means red chile pepper and jang means soy fermented paste. Put it all together and you’ve got gochujang, a fermented red chile paste.

Korean gochu has been cultivated on the Korean peninsula for centuries if not millennia. Korean gochu is distinctly different from Mexican and Thai chile peppers. The gochu used in traditional Korean foods must be originally from Korea. Good reason for being a stickler about this: most other red chile peppers are too spicy. For foods to ferment, the SHU (Scoville Heat Units) has to be less than 1,000. That’s quite mild as hot peppers go.

Gochujang is a seasoning paste made from Korean red chile peppers, glutinous (sticky) rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. The chile peppers provide a deep, piquant flavor with just the right amount of lingering heat. Add umami from the fermented soybeans, a touch of sweetness from the sticky rice powder, and a certain amount of earthy tang that comes from fermentation and you have a unique and complex flavor combination. No wonder this Korean cooking staple is gaining popularity outside of traditional Korean cooking.

While gochujang can be made from scratch, it’s quite a process. More often, it’s purchased as a ready-to-use product. You’ll find it in most Asian markets as well as the international aisle of larger grocery stores. Mostly it’s sold in small red tubs. Brands seem to have varying heat levels so check the package. You may also want to use a bit of caution by adding it gradually to your dish, tasting as you go.

Gochujang is a go-to main ingredient in traditional dishes such as bibimbap and spicy rice cakes, and straight-up as a condiment—veggie dip anyone? It’s gaining momentum in all kinds of dishes outside Korean cuisine, often as a riff on a familiar food such as Chef Kurt’s Korean Barbecue Sauce.


By Peggy Crum MA, RD

Featured Recipes

Recipe For Health

Rhubarb & Strawberry Crisp

Combine tart rhubarb with sweet strawberries, add a streusel topping, and bake until bubbly. Dessert doesn’t get easier—or more classic—than this. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You’re sure to get rave reviews!

Recipe For Health

Farro Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Chewy farro grains are delicious in this autumn-y salad. Recipe yields enough for dinner for 2 to 4 with some left for a couple of lunches. To do this, make the base with dressing, farro, and grilled veggies. Add fresh veggies to the base as you go.

Recipe For Health

Pecan and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Roasting amps up the flavor in everything including pecans. Chef Kurt's attention to detail takes a traditional chocolate chip cookie to another level of yum!

Recipe For Health

Onion Soup

Onions, the simplest of pantry staples, mingle with butter, broth, and herbs to become luxuriously smooth and delicious. Add "homemade" croutons and a blend of cheeses to make a complete and satisfying meal.

More Food and Nutrition Recipes

Find a Recipe

Browse all recipes

Find a Class

Browse all courses

Search Health4U


Coaching and Counseling Services

Coaching and Counseling Services provides you with access to accurate health and lifestyle information, helping you to explore new behaviors and skills, and identifying useful campus and community resources.

MSU community members eligible for coaching and counseling services include faculty, staff, graduate assistants, retirees and the spouses/partners of members of these groups.

To schedule an appointment with Health4U you are not required to email us from your MSU email address; please email us from the email address you are most comfortable with. 

Read More

Departmental Services

The goal of department based services is to provide work units and colleagues the opportunity to learn about health and wellness as a group activity or exploration.  

Read More

Health e-Guide

This guide has been discontinued and is no longer viewable.

Visit Health e-Guide