Posts Tagged ‘gochugaru


Day 11: Korean Style Roasted Chicken

Gochugaru Roasted Chicken

Gochujang Roasted Chicken

My housemates on the second floor inspired this dish. I may have shared with you in a past post, but I live in a special situation where everyone in my building is a friend or family member of mine. On the third floor you have my brother and sister in law, second floor are our friends from before we all lived together, and then first floor is my closest friend from college and myself. Or, as my roommate likes to call it: Uptown, Midtown, and Downtown. Together we make up a dysfunctional commune of eaters, activists, acupuncturists, techies, creatives, students, and drinkers. The first and last reside Downtown.

It is because of my friends on Midtown that I was introduced to so many Korean flavors and dishes. There have been many times that I would visit the second floor for lunch and dinner and they would share a variety of Banchan made by them or their mother. It was an awesome experience and opened my eyes to the complexities of Korean flavors and the thought that goes into creating a well-rounded meal of small sides. It also made me discover what an abundance of kimchi in one’s diet will do to a human’s plumbing system. No, seriously, it was like three weeks straight of just kimchi. I think I may have discovered the new celebrity cleanse.

Second floor also taught me about the amazing qualities of one of the most important condiments in a Korean kitchen: Gochujang. This delightful and bright paste is made from fermented soybean, rice, salt, and chili peppers. The rice and soybean in the beautifully red paste imparts sweetness from the fermentation process of the starch. The process of creating gochujang is very similar to creating miso paste, with the addition of chili powder. A paste of soy bean and rice is left out to ferment in giant jars that are laid out in the in sun. One of the main different between the two pastes is the addition of spice to the Korean version. After it’s introduction to Koreans in the late 16th century by the Europeans, chili was added to the paste to create one of the staples of Korean kitchens. If you can’t get Gochujang, you can substitute it with red miso paste and chili sauce mixed together. It’s not going to be the same, but it will get the general flavors for this chicken recipe.

You can grill the chicken if you would rather have that charred flavor to it, just make sure it is on medium high heat and extend the cooking time to ensure the chicken is cooked through.


1 5lb chicken, broken down

½ c gochujang

2 tbs soy sauce

3 tbs sesame oil

1 c scallion, minced

4 cloves garlic, sliced

3 tbs sugar

½ c onion, minced

1 tsp gochugaru (Korean chili powder)

2 tsp salt


mix all ingredients in a bowl and marinade for at least 3 hours, better if you can do it overnight

preheat oven to 450°f

place chicken pieces on a roasting pan and roast for 30 min, or until the meat is cooked through

-serves 4 to 6-



“Barkeep! There is fermented vegetables in my beer!”

This post may seem somewhat out of season. I’ve taken a drink that is popular in the summer, but there is a reason for it. I promise. First a little introduction to the drink:

A couple of weeks ago an organization that does amazing work asked me to come up with a cocktail for their annual fundraiser. The organization, Nodutdol, has been working to build a community institution that promotes the self-determination and unity of the Korean people through grassroots organizing and community development. Every year they throw a “Kimchee Bowl” to highlight the year’s work, get people together to enjoy good food, good drinks, and great kimchee and just get friends together to celebrate another year.

Usually the main part of the event is the food. Drinks are just an afterthought that is meant to just be there for convenience. For this year’s Kimchee Bowl (which is today), they asked me to create a drink to serve at the event. The only requirement was that kimchee had to be part of it. I figured this would be a fun challenge and something for me to do during the storm. So, I spent a few days trying to figure out what drink I wanted to make. I played around with syrups, gin, and tequila. Some were excellent and some tasted not so excellent. Some masked the flavor of the fermented vegetables, while others only hinted at the kimchee. And, after a few attempts, I realized that in all the complexity of trying to make an innovative drink, I was forgetting the most important thing about this challenge: Highlight the amazing things about the ingredient. So why not just make a michelada?

For folks who are unfamiliar with a michelada (and I’m about to blow your mind with something amazing if you haven’t): A michelada is a wonderful Mexican invention that is part of a category of drinks called cerveza preparada. Out of the other beers in this category, a michelada is more similar to the bloody mary, usually containing various sauces and ingredients including hot sauce, worchestershire, lime, and salt. The flavor is usually a savory, tart, and refreshing combination that is perfect for any hangover, summer day, or Asian fermented vegetable.

It makes complete sense; the light crisp lager doesn’t over power the flavor of kimchee, but allows a canvas for the subtle (and not so subtle) flavors come out. Plus, if you think about it, the ingredients in kimchee are very similar to the ingredients in worchestershire sauce. Fermented anchovies, soy sauce, salt. Perfect substitution. In addition to that, it’s in the wintertime that kimchee is usually the most ripe and ready to eat and when first brought out to the tables after months of fermentation. So, why not celebrate the end of the pickling process with some beer?

For the event we had to make a video to share for folks who attended the event. As you can tell, it’s much more professionally done compared to my other video posts. A friend of ours edited it for us. So enjoy the fancy graphics and music, which I find very similar to adult movie music from the 80’s…but I kind of like that.

For more information on Nodutdol, please check out their website here.



1 tsp gochugaru (Korean chili powder)

juice of half of a lime

1 tbs kimchee

1/4 oz soy sauce

16 oz. lager or pilsner

blend of gochugaru and salt



rim the outside of a pint glass with lime juice and the salt blend

muddle the rest of the ingredients except for the ice and beer

add ice and beer and stir

garnish with a lime wedge

-serves 1-


i hunger...i cook...i eat...i come back...i reminisce...i blog...enjoy.


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