Gochujang Bokkeum (고추장볶음)

I am the type of person to go out of my way to eat something amazing and I'd rather go hungry than settle for something mediocre. But let's be real; I'd never let myself go hungry. As soon as my stomach growls, I find or make something awesome to eat and chow down. If I'm at home on a lazy afternoon, instead of just munching on crackers, I'll dig through the pantry and make butternut squash soup. Even at work, I have a snack drawer with Nutella, granola, and honey wheat pretzels so I never have to resort to the sad pathetic bags of chips in the vending machine.

My papa, on the other hand, would probably pass out from malnutrition because when he's left to his own devices, he will eat just rice and gochujang for every meal. So, today's post is inspired by my pops. It's a way to binge on gochujang while still getting a bit of protein. There are plenty of gochujang bokkeum recipes out there but I like mine because it's easy and there are only 6 ingredients and there's no corn syrup in it. I don't have anything against corn syrup. In fact, I've shared recipes that call for corn syrup. But, I just hate squeezing it out of the stupid container. It leaves sticky strings all around the bottle cap, no matter how carefully I dispense it.
½ lb lean ground beef
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
½ cup hot pepper paste
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Mince the garlic. I like to give them a quick smash to remove the skins and then a rough and quick chop with a knife. You can certainly use a garlic press or a grater but I like the little pieces of garlic in this dish.
Heat a wide and shallow skillet over a low flame and add in the oil and garlic and cook for about a minute. The garlic will soak up some of that strong sesame flavor. Chuck in the beef and break it up with a spoon. Let the beef cook for a few minutes until browned. If your beef wasn't all that lean there might be some extra grease in the pan; drain it.
Add in the sugar and the gochujang and stir until everything is evenly distributed.
And that's it. All that's left to do is to stir in the sesame seeds.
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge (or at room temperature in the winter time when the house isn't boiling hot). And garnish with a few more sesame seeds if you like.
The first thing I used the gochujang bokkeum for was kimbap! I used it as one of the filling ingredients and it added an awesome spiciness that I thought was delicious.
Or, you can eat it with a regular bowl of rice on a lazy day.
Here's the recipe page:


  1. Hi Rachel! This is Wendy Shaun's friend (well not Shaun anymore haha!) again =) I LOVE reading your blog, especially the Korean recipes. I'm living in Mexico for the year, but got my hands on some gochujang and have been looking for recipes that have simple ingredients (all the above are easily found in the part of Mexico I'm living in), and this looks absolutely AMAZING! I can't wait to try it. =) ::Kaycee::

    1. Hi! I'm so glad you're enjoying reading my blog. I hope you enjoy the recipes and wow, great job finding gochujang in Mexico!!

  2. Dang I'm going to have to try the kimbap. Is bokkeum gochujang different from just gochujang? I bought a huge jar of it but I think I'm going to have to acquire the taste for it. I thought I was going to like it a lot but it looks like I'm going to have to get used to it day by day.

    1. Hi! Yes, gochujang bokkeum is the recipe I posted above and it's basically regular gochujang beefed up (literally) with beef and other seasonings. Let me know if you end up trying the kimbap :)

  3. Love your blog! So many delicious recipes I can’t wait to try. My husband has always mentioned this but I’ve never made it before. This sounds like a great, easy lunch idea during this heat wave we’re currently having. Thanks!


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