Can I Use Gochujang Instead of Sriracha?

Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by Lauren Beck

If you’re a fan of bold and spicy flavors, you might wonder if Gochujang can be a worthy substitute for Sriracha in your dishes. 

As someone who loves experimenting in the kitchen, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with these two popular condiments. 

Let’s explore whether Gochujang can stand in for Sriracha without compromising taste.

Can I Use Gochujang Instead of Sriracha?

You can use Gochujang instead of Sriracha, but they have different flavors. Gochujang is a Korean chili paste with a savory and sweet taste, while Sriracha is a Thai hot sauce with tangy and garlicky flavors. Choose based on your preference and recipe.

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a Korean fermented chili paste made from red chili peppers, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. 

It boasts a unique combination of spiciness, sweetness, and umami, making it a beloved ingredient in Korean cuisine. 

The paste is traditionally aged in earthenware pots, allowing the flavors to develop and intensify. 

Gochujang is incredibly versatile and can be used in various dishes, including stews, marinades, dipping sauces, and more.

Is Sriracha the Same as Gochujang?

Gochujang on a Glass Bowl

No, Sriracha and Gochujang are not the same. While they both provide a kick of heat, their flavor profiles and ingredient compositions differ. 

Sriracha, a popular Thai hot sauce, is made from red chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. 

The sauce has a thinner consistency compared to Gochujang and is known for its tangy and garlicky flavor with a hint of sweetness.

Differences Between Gochujang and Sriracha:

  • Origin: Gochujang originates from Korea, whereas Sriracha is in Thailand. Both countries have rich culinary traditions that heavily rely on spices and chili peppers to add depth and heat to their dishes.
  • Ingredients: The primary ingredients in Gochujang are chili peppers, rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. The use of fermented soybeans contributes to Gochujang’s distinct umami flavor. On the other hand, Sriracha is primarily made from chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt, resulting in a balanced and tangy taste.
  • Flavor: Gochujang offers a complex, savory, and slightly sweet taste, thanks to the fermentation process and the inclusion of glutinous rice. It delivers a unique depth of flavor that is characteristic of Korean cuisine. In contrast, Sriracha boasts a more straightforward and tangy flavor profile, focusing on chili peppers and vinegar’s bright, zesty taste.
  • Consistency: Gochujang has a thick, sticky paste-like consistency, making it suitable for glazing meats or incorporating marinades and sauces. As a thinner sauce, Sriracha is often used as a condiment for drizzling on foods or adding to soups and stir-fries.

Is Gochujang Really Spicy?

Gochujang packs some heat, but its spiciness is typically milder than Sriracha. The intensity of spiciness can vary depending on the brand and the specific chili peppers used. 

Some Gochujang varieties have a medium spiciness, while others may have a more pronounced kick. If you prefer a less spicy option, look for Gochujang labeled as “mild” or “less spicy.”

Is Sriracha Made From Gochujang?

No, Sriracha is not made from Gochujang. While they both fall under the category of chili-based sauces, they are distinct and have unique production methods and ingredient combinations.

Can I Use Gochujang Paste Instead of Sauce?

Yes, you can use Gochujang paste as a substitute for Gochujang sauce. Simply dilute the paste with water or other liquids for a sauce-like consistency. 

This makes Gochujang paste a versatile ingredient in your kitchen, as you can control the level of thickness according to your preference.

Do You Need to Refrigerate Gochujang?

Yes, Gochujang should be refrigerated after opening to prolong its shelf life and maintain its quality [1]. 

It’s best stored in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out or absorbing other odors in the fridge. 

The refrigerator’s cold temperature helps slow the fermentation process, ensuring that the Gochujang retains its flavors for an extended period.


In conclusion, Gochujang can be a fantastic alternative to Sriracha, adding a unique depth of flavor to your dishes. While both condiments offer spiciness, Gochujang brings a delightful complexity with its fermented richness and subtle sweetness. 

As someone who loves exploring diverse cuisines, I can confidently say that incorporating Gochujang into your recipes will undoubtedly elevate your culinary adventures. 

So go ahead, embrace the boldness of Gochujang, and let your taste buds embark on a flavorful journey that will leave you wanting more. Happy cooking!


Lauren Beck
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