Easy and simple stir fried gochujang sauce!
Today, I want to share a magic sauce that will instantly become your favorite condiment.
Enter – Yak gochujang!
What is Yak Gochujang
You might already know or at least have heard of gochujang, right? Gochujang is an essential Korean condiment and it’s basically the Korean version of chili paste. You can read more about gochujang from here.
Now you might be wondering what yak gochujang is?
Yak gochujang (약 고추장) translates to medicinal gochujang. That’s because one of the ingredients used in this dish is honey and it used to be considered as medicine in the olden days of Korea.
Though, based on the cooking techniques used, I will call it stir fried gochujang sauce from here onwards.
Making Stir Fried Gochujang Sauce
Stir fried gochujang sauce is literally gochujang that is stir fried. But its flavor and the texture is enhanced by adding some fine meat (usually minced beef or pork) as well as other seasoning, which includes some honey.
Depending on the amount of honey you use, you can intensify the spiciness of the sauce. As an example, the sauce will be a lot spicer when you use only 1 tsp of honey compared to when you use 1 Tbsp of honey. So I will leave the decision up to you.
If you’re not much of a meat lover, you can substitute the meat with some mushrooms too. If so, shiitake mushrooms would be the best.
Benefits of Having Stir Fried Gochujang Sauce in Your Fridge
The beauty of this gochujang sauce is that once you make a fair amount of it, you can store it in the fridge for up to one month and conveniently use it as your needs arise. Basically it becomes your emergency condiment!
Emergency as in, when you don’t want to cook / when you feel like being lazy, you can simply take out this sauce and serve it over some leftover steamed rice. The simplicity of the bowl contents can extend as much as you want to prepare other ingredients.
As an example, in the last few weeks, when I didn’t have much time to cook, I just served my family with some steamed rice, fresh salads, egg and this sauce in a bowl. It resulted in a very simple yet wonderful bibimbap!
What’s more, if I feel even more lazy, I just serve the sauce with steamed rice, that’s it. That’s my super lazy lunch. LOL.
Comparing Stir Fried Gochujang with My Regular Bibimbap Sauce
Many of you may have tried my bibimbap recipe already. In that recipe, I also included my hugely popular bibimbap sauce. (If you haven’t tried it, you must!)
Anyhow, I just want to compare my regular bibimbap sauce with this stir fried gochujang sauce as a bibimbap sauce in case you are curious.
My regular bibimbap sauce is thiner / runnier than today’s stir fried gochujang sauce. So it spreads and mixes easier. It’s also slightly sweeter and tangier. (Well, I did add some vinegar there!)
But the most obvious difference would be that today’s recipe contains meat in the sauce whereas my regular bibimbap sauce doesn’t.
How to Serve Stir Fried Gochujang Sauce
As I mentioned a few times already, you can use stir fried gochujang sauce in bibimbap.
Bibimbap is a popular Korean mixed rice bowl, in case you’re not aware. Since this sauce itself contains some protein and it’s seasoned, you can prepare your bibimbap much quicker.
Also, you can use the gochujang sauce as a dipping sauce in rice lettuce wrap. This is how the king of the Joseon dynasty used to eat the sauce.
Finally, you can use the sauce as a filler when you make some rice balls (like Japanese onigiri). I will share the link to my recipes as these become available.
Are you ready to give it a go? I hope you’re convinced! Enjoy!
P.S. If you like a multi-purpose sauce, you might also like to try spicy canned tuna!
Ingredients for Stir Fried Gochujang Sauce (Serves 15 Bibimbap Bowls)
- 200g / 7 ounces minced beef or pork
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3/4 cup gochujang (korean chili paste)
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp honey
- (optional) 1 Tbsp pine nuts or your choice of nuts
Meat Marinade (mix these in a bowl)
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice wine
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp minced ginger
- A few sprinkles ground black pepper
* 1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml
** If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check essential Korean ingredients list.
How to Make Stir Fried Gochujang Sauce
1. Combine the meat with the marinade sauce and set it aside for about 5 minutes.
2. Pre heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the sesame oil and spread it thinly quickly. Add the meat and stir it well so the meat doesn’t clump.
3. Once the meat is mostly cooked, add the gochujang and water. Stir them well for 2 to 3 mins. Reduce the heat to low and simmer it a further 8 mins. Add the honey and pine nuts then stir. Simmer it a further 2 mins. Remove from the heat. Cool it down and store it in an air tight container until needed. It can be refrigerated for up to one month.
How to make stir fried gochujang sauce with minced beef or pork. It's super easy!
Combine the meat with the marinade sauce and set it aside for about 5 minutes.
Pre heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the sesame oil and spread it thinly quickly. Add the meat and stir it well so the meat doesn’t clump.
Once the meat is mostly cooked, add the gochujang and water. Stir them well for 2 to 3 mins. Reduce the heat to low and simmer it a further 8 mins. Add the honey and pine nuts then stir. Simmer it a further 2 mins. Remove from the heat. Cool it down and store it in an air tight container until needed. It can be refrigerated for up to one month.