8 Gochugaru Substitutes for Kimchi That Will Impress Koreans

Kimchi is a classic Korean side dish comprised of salted and fermented vegetables such as napa cabbage, Korean radish, burdock roots, garlic chives, bamboo shoot, radish green, scallions, soybean sprouts, sugar beets, tomatoes, and cress. Kimchi is typically seasoned with gochugaru, ginger, garlic, scallions, and jeotgal.

Kimchi is relatively simple and inexpensive to produce at home. It would be a wonderful and nutritious side dish. However, gochugaru, one of the spices required to produce kimchi, may not be available to everybody.

Before we get into the specifics of the greatest gochugaru alternatives, let’s first talk about this intriguing ingredient.

What Is Gochugaru?

The spice gochugaru is created from dried gochu pepper. It is sometimes referred to as Korean chili flakes.

Korean chili powder and spicy pepper flakes. It has a crimson hue and a mild to moderate spicy flavor. It tastes sweet and smokey. There aren’t many alternatives, however the following list is worth considering.

1. Gochujang

Gochujang is the first gochugaru alternative for kimchi on the list. Gochujang is manufactured from the same component as gochugaru, the gochu pepper, as the name suggests.

Gochu pepper, also known as the Korean Chili Pepper, is a pleasantly spicy, thin chili pepper that is dried and crushed to make spices such as gochugaru and gochujang.

The shape, ingredients, and taste of gochugaru and gochujang are the most notable differences. Gochujang is a thick paste formed from fermented soybeans, salt, and sticky rice.

It tastes hot, tangy, and umami. Gochugaru, on the other hand, is Korean chili flakes. It tastes smokey, peppery, and fruity. It is often used in the preparation of kimchi, salads, stews, and other meals.

When substituting gochujang for gochugaru in kimchi, use half a teaspoon of gochujang for every teaspoon of gochugaru.

2. Chipotle Powder

Chipotle Powder is a chipotle pepper-based spice. Chipotle peppers are just smoked jalapeño peppers that have been dried. Because of its spicy, smoky, and earthy flavor, chipotle powder is one of the greatest gochugaru alternatives for kimchi.

Chipotle powder is hotter than other chili powders, so it will give your kimchi a kick.

Chipotle powder is used as a rub or marinade for meat dishes and roasted vegetables, in addition to replacing gochugaru in kimchi. It may also be used to flavor sauces.

Use a 1:1 ratio of chipotle powder to gochugaru powder for preparing kimchi.

3. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is the most similar to gochugaru in look and texture to those included on the best gochugaru alternative for kimchi list.

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Cayenne pepper has a Scoville heat unit value of 30,000 to 50,000. Gochu pepper, on the other hand, has just 1,500 heat units. As a result, using cayenne pepper as a replacement will make your kimchi much hotter.

When substituting cayenne pepper for gochugaru in kimchi, use 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper for every 1 teaspoon gochugaru. Cayenne pepper is available in two forms: whole and ground.

4. Paprika

Paprika is a spice made from dried peppers of the Capsicum anuum family. Cayenne peppers, sweet peppers, Aleppo peppers, and hot chili peppers are some of the peppers usually used to manufacture paprika.

In general, there are three types of paprika:

  1. Regular or Basic Paprika,
  2. Hungarian Paprika
  3. Spanish Paprika or Pimenton.

The taste of regular or basic paprika is modest. It’s a popular garnish for potato salad and deviled eggs. Hungarian Paprika, on the other hand, comes from Hungary, as the name indicates.

It is Hungary’s national spice. Hungarian Paprika comes in eight varieties, each with a unique taste and heat level. Finally, there are three types of Spanish paprika: mild, slightly spicy, and fiery.

Spanish Paprika has a sweet and smoky flavor.

5. Chile Pasilla

Chile pasilla is the next best gochugaru alternative for kimchi on the list. Chile pasilla refers to dried chilaca pepper, commonly known as Mexican chili pepper.

Chile pasilla seems black and wrinkled. As a result, it is also known as Chile Negro. As a consequence, when using chile pasilla as a replacement, the color of the kimchi may not be as red.

This pepper, on the other hand, would be ideal for individuals who are sensitive to heat while making kimchi. On the Scoville scale, it only has a rating of 250 to 2500 heat units.

6. Guajillo Powder

The dried guajillo chile is used to make guajillo powder. It is Mexico’s most prevalent and popular chili pepper. There are two main types of guajillo chili, which differ in size and intensity.

The guajillo puya is the smaller and spicier of the two varieties. Meanwhile, the longer and broader guajillo peppers are milder. On the Scoville scale, both variations have a rating of 2,500 to 5,000 units.

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Guajillo chiles are often used in Mexican cooking. It’s a common ingredient in salsas, marinades, butters, pastes, and spice rubs. It is also used to season pork, beef, and seafood.

When substituting guajillo powder for gochugaru in kimchi, use three teaspoons for every two teaspoons of gochugaru.

7. Chile de Arbol powder

Chile de Arbol, like guajillo chili, is a Mexican chili pepper. Chile de Arbol, also known as rats tail chile and birds beak chile, is a little yet potent pepper.

On the Scoville scale, it ranges from 15,000 to 30,000 heat units. For individuals who like spicy foods, this is a fantastic option for gochugaru when preparing kimchi.

Use a 1:1 ratio of chile de Arbol powder to gochugaru powder in kimchi.

8. Jalapeno pepper

The list concludes with jalapeño peppers. These are medium-sized chilli peppers with a high heat level. Green and red jalapeño peppers are the two most common types of jalapeno peppers. Green jalapenos have a heat unit rating ranging from 4,000 to 8,500.

Red jalapenos, on the other hand, have a heat unit value ranging from 2,500 to 10,000. Red peppers are hotter and sweeter than green peppers. When cooking kimchi, it is thus advised to utilize red jalapenos.

Gochugaru Substitute Related FAQs

Do I need gochugaru for kimchi?

In essence, yes. Kimchi requires gochugaru since the main characteristic of kimchi is its spiciness.

However, as previously said, if you do not have access to gochugaru, there are other options to consider.

Can I use red pepper powder for kimchi?

Yes, normal chili powder, cayenne pepper, or paprika may be used as a replacement for gochugaru while preparing kimchi.

However, use the appropriate quantity of ingredients to ensure that the heat is not overbearing.

Can I use gochujang instead of gochugaru?

Yes. As previously stated, gochujang may be used in place of gochugaru while preparing kimchi.

The major component in both gochujang and gochugaru is gochu.

What are the health benefits of kimchi?

Kimchi is a high-nutritional-value side dish. Because it is largely composed of vegetables, it is high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

Iron, calcium, selenium, choline, and phosphorus are also present. Because it is a fermented food, it has a high concentration of probiotics, which assist in digestion, heal the common cold, clean the skin, improve the immune system, and fight some forms of cancer.

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Aside from the aforementioned advantages, kimchi is also beneficial to individuals attempting to reduce weight. Kimchi contains just 23 calories in an average meal. It is an excellent appetite suppressant, therefore it will significantly aid in the reduction of cravings.

It has also been demonstrated in studies to help improve cholesterol levels in the body. It also stimulates fat loss due to its probiotics. As a result, it is a nice side dish to add for individuals on a diet.

Is it okay to eat kimchi every day?

Yes, according to studies, at least one serving (100g) of kimchi should be eaten every day to get the advantages.

What is the disadvantage of kimchi?

The disadvantage of kimchi are the following:

  1. it is very spicy
  2. It has a pungent smell.

Eating kimchi every day, particularly the somewhat spicy kind, might cause intestinal issues. Some people may feel uneasy when defecating. Others may also suffer from acid reflux.

Another issue is the odor. Kimchi, being a fermented food, has a distinct odor that requires adaptation if you are not a native Korean.

How do I make kimchi?

In Korea, preparing kimchi is a family and communal activity. During the kimchi-making season, families and communities meet. The steps for making kimchi are as follows:

  1. Wash the veggies you’ve picked. Kimchi may be produced from a variety of vegetables, although cabbage is the most usually utilized. For the sake of this instructional, cabbages will be used.
  2. Remove any wilted or discolored cabbage leaf.
  3. Remove the cores from the cabbage and cut it into quarters lengthwise.
  4. Place the cabbage in a large mixing basin and cover with cold water and salt.
  5. Turn over the cabbages after thirty (30) minutes to salt evenly Repeat at least three times.
  6. Wash the cabbages in cold water at least three times.
  7. Drain the cabbages and set aside.
  8. Chop the additional veggies that will go into the kimchi. Carrots, scallions, radish, and leeks are popular additions to kimchi.

Making the seasoning:

  1. Combine the cold sweet rice porridge, fish sauce, gochugaru (or any of the above-mentioned replacements), chopped onion, minced ginger, and smashed garlic in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the veggies and spices in a large mixing basin by hand.
  3. Place the kimchi in an airtight container. Refrigerate.



Can I use gochujang instead of gochugaru for kimchi?

Gochugaru is important, however gochujang, a Korean fermented chile paste, may be substituted.

Which Korean chili powder brand is best for kimchi?

Red Chili Pepper Powder Tower Top Gochugaru for Kimchi is ideal for preparing a variety of Kimchi. Red pepper, a tropical perennial crop, is an alkaline meal high in fiery capsaicin and vitamins A and C.

Can I use crushed red pepper instead of gochugaru?

Crushed red pepper may be substituted with gochugaru, however it is not the best taste option. Crushed red pepper is commonly manufactured from cayenne pepper, a chili with a Scoville heat unit (SHU) rating of 30,000 to 50,000.

Is gochugaru the same as kimchi powder?

This is a higher-quality gochugaru. It is utilized in the preparation of gochujang and nabak kimchi. It is also used in several soups and side dishes to improve the color and texture.

What can I use instead of gochugaru for kimchi?

Aleppo pepper flakes are the greatest substitute for gochugaru flakes in kimchi. It has the same heat as hot gochugaru and a comparable texture due to the deseeded crushed peppers. However, for a milder version, combine Kashmiri chilli powder or paprika with a sprinkle of cayenne powder.

Can kimchi be made without gochugaru?

If you don’t have gochugaru, you may create Baek-kimchi (white kimchi), which is a non-spicy kimchi. This kimchi is white-ish in color since it is produced without gochugaru. Alternatively, if you have chili powder or red pepper flakes on hand, you may create hot red kimchi.

What is the #1 kimchi in Korean?


Since 1987, Jongga, Korea’s favorite Kimchi brand, has been enhancing the tradition and culture of Kimchi.

What do Koreans use for kimchi?

Although cabbage is the most widely used ingredient, kimchi may be produced from any fruit or vegetable, and there are over 180 legally recognized kinds to select from.

What chili powder do Koreans use?

Korean gochugaru is either a chili powder or a chili flake, depending on how it’s made or the brand you buy. These red pepper flakes are used in a variety of dishes in Korean cuisine, including cold salads, kimchi, stews, and more. Gochugaru has a bright crimson hue and a smokey, somewhat fruity taste.

How to make gochugaru from scratch?

To begin, cut the dried chilies’ stems and top parts off and remove the seeds and interiors. (Skip the coring and preserve the innards if you like more spice and heat.) Next, rinse the dried chilies with a towel and crush them in the blender to produce the chili flakes. Use a rice mill to make a fine powder.

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