Gochugaru, also known as Korean red pepper flakes or chilli powder, is an important ingredient in Korean cuisine. It is renowned for its vibrant color, complex flavour profile, and moderate heat. This coarsely ground chilli powder is made from sun-dried Korean red chilli peppers, imparting a distinct smoky-sweet flavour with a moderate level of spiciness.
I love the appearance of gochugaru. It is striking, featuring a bright red hue with a coarse texture. Its flavour profile balances heat with fruity and slightly earthy undertones, offering a unique complexity to dishes. The spice level typically ranges from mild to moderately hot, making it versatile for various palates.
In Korean cuisine, gochugaru is a staple ingredient used in a myriad of dishes such as kimchi, stews (like kimchi jjigae), soups, marinades, and sauces like gochujang. Its unique flavour adds depth and character to these preparations and the vibrant red color commonly associated with Korean dishes.
Beyond Korean cuisine, gochugaru has become popular globally, being used in fusion recipes, spice blends, and seasoning for meats, vegetables, and even snacks. Its ability to infuse dishes with a balanced heat and fine flavour has made it sought after in international kitchens.
Gochugaru is not solely used for spiciness; it adds a depth of flavour that enhances the overall taste profile of dishes. Whether adding a kick to a dish or contributing its vibrant color and flavour, gochugaru remains an indispensable ingredient in Korean cooking and a beloved spice all over the world.
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