The Korean cuisine bug has finally bitten you, and you’re about to make bibimbap for the first time. (*)
You’ve already chopped up and prepared all you need—except for that one ingredient you don’t have in your pantry: gochujang.
And so you head to the store to get one.
But wait, where is Gochujang in the grocery store?
But which brand should you get?
We’ve compiled everything you need to know about buying and choosing Gochujang in this article, so let’s get started.
- Where To Find Gochujang in Grocery Store?
- What Does Gochujang Look Like In The Grocery Store?
- Where to Buy Gochujang Grocery Store Near Me?
- How to Choose Which One to Buy?
- Which Gochujang Brands to Buy?
- Final Words
Where To Find Gochujang in Grocery Store?
Since it’s a staple condiment in Korean cooking, you’ll most likely find it in the International Food section along with other Korean items like seaweed wrappers, ramen noodles, and other spices.
If the store you’re at has a dedicated section for Korean products, then you may want to head straight to their Korean Food area.
Another section you may want to check out is the Condiments and Spices aisle. If it isn’t there, you can also head to the Refrigerator section.
What Does Gochujang Look Like In The Grocery Store?
The good news is you can easily spot this item in the rack because the commercial version comes in a bright red medium-to-large-sized rectangular tub.
On the other hand, artisan or traditional versions are available in a transparent plastic jar which displays the paste’s beautiful crimson red shade.
Learn more: Gochujang Substitute
Where to Buy Gochujang Grocery Store Near Me?
Since Korean food is now one of the world’s most popular cuisines, you can now find this condiment in almost all major retailers. (*) But just to be safe, we’ve listed down some of your best options below:
As expected, you can find this paste in one of the biggest retailers in the US. When you head to the store’s Sauces and Marinades section.
Before you head to the location it’s highly recommended that you visit the store’s official website and mobile application. In there, they share information regarding the product’s availability and location.
In this store, you can find the paste in the International Food section. Aside from the traditional paste, they also offer gochujang-inspired hot sauce products.
Of course, Trader Joe’s doesn’t just carry gochujang—they even manufacture their own brand of it! You can find this in their Dips, Sauces, and Dressings aisle.
Same to Trader Joe’s, Meijer also manufactures their own brand of this paste.
As one of the biggest online marketplaces out there, you can expect a wide range of options—from brands to sizes– when you buy from Amazon. The good news is they offer this paste in bulk sizes, so it’s the perfect choice if you’re running a restaurant or you just simply want to stock up on this condiment.
Of course, the safest option that you have is to check out the small Asian stores or Korean marts (if there’s one) around your neighborhood.
How to Choose Which One to Buy?
But which of these brands should you choose? Well, here are the things you need to consider to make the right choice:
Taste or Flavor
Of course, the most important factor you need to consider is the paste’s flavor or taste. Keep in mind that not all pastes are created equal. Some are sweet while others are on the salty side.
To get an idea of what the product actually tastes like, you can do a taste test or you can check out user reviews.
The paste has a general score of around less than 1000 SHU which means it’s less spicy than Gochugaru and other hot sauces out there. The good news is it comes in 5 levels of spiciness—from mild (1) to extremely hot (5).
When choosing which brand to buy, it’s important to pay attention to the spice level which is usually indicated in the packaging. The spiciness is labeled as follows:
- Extremely Hot: >100
- Very Hot: 75 to 100
- Medium Hot: 45 to 75
- Slightly Hot: 3 to 45
- Mild: <30
The best products are those that have at least 12% Gochugaru content. Aside from the quantity, you also need to pay attention to the Gochugaru variant the paste has as it can affect the paste’s spice level significantly.
Pro Tip: Maewoon is the spiciest variant while Deolmaewoon is the least spicy of them all.
Quality of Ingredients
As much as possible, make sure that the paste’s ingredients are all-natural. This means that it should be free of artificial preservatives and colorings.
If you’re monitoring your sugar intake, then you need to pay extra attention to the paste’s sweetener. The best type would be grain syrup as it’s a lot healthier than high-fructose corn syrup.
Other types of sweeteners that you should look for are malt syrup, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup.
Which Gochujang Brands to Buy?
Now that you already know where you can find this paste, let’s take a deep dive into the different brands that you may want to consider on your hunt. Here are some of them:
- Chung Jung O’Food: Made with brown rice which is considered more nutritious.
- CJ Haechandle: Made by Korea’s #1 Food Brand.
- Sempio: Vegan-friendly formulation
- Roland Foods: Made using high-quality ingredients
- Bibigo: A sweeter option
Where is Gochujang in the grocery store? You can look for this paste in any of these aisles:
- International Food aisle (specifically the Korean Food section),
- Condiments and Spices area,
- or the Refrigerator section.
If you’re new to Korean cuisine, finding the right gochujang for your needs can be quite tricky. All you need to do is keep in mind the tips and considerations we’ve shared with you and you’d definitely find the best one for your needs.