5 Effective Gochugaru Substitutes That Will Rock Your Dish – What are the Best Substitutes for Gochugaru?

Gochugaru Substitute: Gochugaru is called Korean chili flakes and is a must for any Korean dish. The vibrant red pepper flakes can be too spicy or less spicy. If you want to try authentic Korean cooking, Gochugaru is the required ingredient. It is available only at some speciality markets near you. If you don’t have Gochugaru in your kitchen, you can use any of the substitutes for Gochugaru to complete your dish.

Here we are giving some of the best Gochugaru substitutes that can replace the color, taste, and smoky flavor of the main ingredient Gochugaru in your cooking. If you want you can prepare Gochugaru at your place with the required ingredients. Get to know what is Gochugaru, and how it can be replaced with other substitutes in Korean dishes.

Gochugaru Substitute

What is Gochugaru?

Gochugaru is a coarsely ground Korean Chili powder which looks like crushed red pepper flakes in texture. The texture of Gochugaru lies between powder and flakes. This powder is mainly used in Korean dishes like tofu, kimchi, galbi, bulgogi, and so on. You can even add Gochugaru to side dishes to improve the spicy flavor.

A few common names of Gochugaru are Korean chili powder, Korean hot pepper flakes, and Korean chili flakes. In Korean kitchens, Gochugaru is the must spice which is always available. It is a primary ingredient in Korean cooking like stews, Kimchi, and even salads. In supermarkets, a few chili flakes just look like Gochugaru, but they are different. Gochugaru has a unique flavor, aroma, and color.


In Korea, gohu means chili pepper, and garu means powder. It is a vibrant red color powder, and it has a spicy, sweet and smoky taste. Here we will know how to prepare Gochugaru and how it is useful in Korean cuisine.

How is Gochugaru Prepared?

Most Koreans prepare Gochugaru with sun-dried chilies. Remove the seeds in the Korean chilies and ground them until they turned into a coarse powder. Many households still follow this authentic process. But in factories, they dry the chilies with machines.

Gochugaru is one of the famous Korean spices that tastes spicy. Based on their taste, they are divided into 2 types. The extra spicy is called maewoon gochugaru, and the more moderate spicy is deolmaewoon gochugaru.

Unique and Easy Gochugaru Substitutes

The best substitute for Gochugaru is red chili pepper flakes. These are made from crushed dried chili peppers. The intensity of spicy ness varies based on the strength of the chili peppers. Red chili pepper flakes have a hot and spicy flavor to use as a substitute for Gochugaru. It can be mainly used as a gochugaru substitute in many Korean dishes.

Depending on the hot and spiciness of the chili flakes, adjust the number of chili flakes to be added to your Korean recipes. Go through these easy steps to make homemade red chili pepper flakes.

  • Wash and dry the Korean hot pepper flakes.
  • Arrange the red peppers on a baking sheet and spread them.
  • Transfer the dried chili peppers to the oven and place on the lowest heat setting.
  • Also, use the thermo-fan setting of the oven or open the oven door to allow air to circulate.
  • Leave the peppers in the oven overnight so that they will dry completely.
  • Take out the chili peppers from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
  • Place the dried peppers in a ziplock bag and crush them.
  • Now, store the red chili pepper flakes in the jar.

Other Simple Substitutes for Gochugaru

What if I don’t have any gochugaru at home?” No need to worry as you can replace gochugaru with other Korean chili pepper. You can use any of the following great spices as a substitute for gochugaru in Korean dishes.

  1. Aleppo Pepper
  2. Paprika
  3. Cayenne Pepper
  4. Chipotle Powder
  5. Gochujang
  6. Ancho Chilis
  7. Kashmiri Chili Powder
  8. Jalapeno Peppers
  9. Chile Pasilla
  10. Chile de Arbol Powder

Aleppo Peppers

Aleppo pepper is the best Gochugaru substitute that helps to make spicy food in Korean cuisine. Aleppo peppers originated from Syria and Turkey. Once dried, the dried peppers can be ground into flakes that have a hot and mild flavor.

Aleppo peppers are famous in Mediterranean cooking and can also be used in Korean recipes as a substitute for gochugaru. Use twice the amount of Aleppo pepper flakes instead of gochugaru to make delicious Korean food.

Also, Know

Hungarian Paprika

Hot Paprika is a ground spice powder that is made from dried peppers. We have different kinds of paprika, a few are sweet and some of hot, but all of them have red color just like Gochugaru.


Paprika can be used as a Gochugaru substitute in most Korean recipes. In addition to the paprika, you also have to add another Korean spice in order to get the original Gochugaru intense smoky flavor. Add 2 tablespoons of basic paprika as a substitute for Gochugaru.

Cayenne Peppers

Cayenne pepper flakes are obtained from dried cayenne pepper just like Gochugaru is made. You can prepare Cayenne pepper flakes by grinding the sun-dried peppers into flakes. Its intense heat made Cayenne pepper so popular Korean spice in various cuisines. Use 3/4 tablespoon of cayenne in place of 1 tablespoon of gochugaru in your Korean dish.

Cayenne Peppers

Chipotle Powder

Chipotle powder is the best Gochugaru substitute because of its sweet and smoky flavor. The chipotle powder can be prepared from chipotle peppers. It is actually made from jalapeno peppers.

Chipotle Powder

The green jalapenos are dried, smoked, and ground down into fine powder form. This is the detailed process of converting jalapeno peppers into Chipotle powder. Use half a teaspoon of chipotle powder for 1 teaspoon of Gochugaru in any Korean recipe.

Chile Pasilla

Not everyone likes spicy foods. If you want to make Korean cuisine with a low tolerance level of spicy, then go for the best gochugaru substitute with a mild flavor. Chile pasilla is the perfect replacement if you want to lower the spiciness in your dishes.

Chile Pasilla is in dark, black color. It is one of the primary ingredients used in tortilla soups, salsa, and adobo sauces. On the Scoville scale, Chile pasilla scores between 1000 to 4000 SHU. The only disadvantage of this is its color. If you want pure red color in your food, then avoid using Chile pasilla.

Chile Pasilla

In terms of flavor, Chile pasilla is best when compared with other spices that have a red color. Use the equal parts of Chile pasilla in equal parts of gochugaru and add more.

Chile de Arbol Powder

Chile de Arbol powder is another substitute for gochugaru. It is a kind of regular chili powder available in the kitchen if you are a fan of spicy food. Chile de Arbol will give a boost of heat to all kinds of dishes. You can use it in BBQ, tomato sauce, wing sauce, and hot sauce recipes. Add half a teaspoon of Chile de Arbol powder for 1 teaspoon of gochugaru in your favourite dishes.

Chile de Arbol Powder

How to Prepare Gochugaru Substitute from Whole Dried Chilies?

In most cases, the Gochugaru substitute can be made from whole dried peppers. Here is the process for how to make the best gochugaru substitute.

Chipotle Peppers

Chipotles are much smokier than gochugaru. They measure sweetness about 2,500 to 8,000 SHU. It is a great moderate spicy substitute.

Ancho Chilies

Ancho chilies are nothing but dried poblano peppers which are used in Mexican cuisine. Once these are dried, make a coarse paste using the grinder. They measure about 1000 to 1500 SHU. It is a perfect substitute for mild gochugaru.

Chile de Arbol

These measure about 15,000 to 30,000 SHU. It is a heat alternative for gochugaru.

FAQs on Gochugaru Substitute

1. Can I replace gochugaru with chili powder?

Yes, you can replace gochugaru with chili powder.

2. How to make homemade gochugaru?

Cut the stems and upper part of the dried chilies, and also remove the seeds and innards. Clean the dried chilies with a cloth and grind the to make the chili flakes which are gochugaru in Korean cuisine.

3. Is gochugaru the same as red pepper powder?

Yes, gochugaru is similar to red pepper flakes or powder.

4. What can I use if I don’t have gochugaru?

If you don’t have gochugaru, use any of these as substitutes that will rock your palate. They are paprika, crushed red pepper, Cayenne pepper, gochujang, chipotle powder, Aleppo peppers, chile de Arbol powder, and so on.

Final Words

Finally, you have gained some knowledge on mild flavor Gochugaru substitutes and how to substitute gochugaru in dishes for a sweet and spicy taste. All of them are healthy alternatives that give the same as the Gochugaru taste.

Make sure to add the same amount of substitute items to get the perfect color, flavor, aroma, and taste. For more details on ultimate Gochugaru Substitute and other food substitutes like paprika substitute, condensed milk substitute, tamari substitute, etc stay tuned to our site daily.

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