Monday, May 19, 2008

Korean Food Substitutions for Americans

Here is a list of substitutions in case anyone ever wants to try some Korean recipes, but doesn't have a Korean grocery store in the area.

  • Gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder) can by substituted with paprika and cayenne pepper. Gochugaru has a very deep pepper flavor more like paprika, but it is very spicy like cayenne. I like a half/half mixture of the two, but you can adjust to your family's tolerance for spice.

  • Korean radish = 1 or 2 Chinese daikon radishes, or a dozen or so American radishes

  • Dwenjang (fermented soybean paste) is very nearly the exact same thing as Japanese miso. It is my understanding that miso is much easier to come by. But if you can't find that, substitute with tahini and salt (dwenjang tastes very salty), but this will change the taste. This substitute will work if you only need a little bit; do not attempt to make a dish like dwenjang jjigae (fermented soybean paste stew) where the taste of the soybean paste is prominently featured
    *Gochujang (hot pepper paste)
    1 Tbs miso (or tahini + salt)
    3 Tbs mixture of cayenne pepper and paprika, to your family's tolerance
    1 tsp sugar
    3 cloves garlic
    1 tsp soy sauce
    1 tsp rice wine or other cooking wine or vinegar (optional)
    Mix all ingredients; let sit 10 minutes. Add 1 tsp dark sesame oil, let sit another 10 minutes. Refrigerate.

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