A recipe worth crying for – Gochujang onion paste

This onion paste was an experiment replacing all ingredients except onions with Gochujang in Alison Roman’s (NYT food columnist) shallot pasta sauce. Gochujang is a fermented paste of glutinous rice, soybeans and salt. The flavors are earthy, salty and sweet all at the same time – very versatile for cooking! Gochujang and onions, as I’ve learnt are very complementary partners. Use this to give your soup that extra kick, or spread it on tortilla wraps before loading it with avocado and scrambled eggs for a burrito. Just one piece of advice – don’t underestimate the amount of onions you need, you’ll know this when you decide to make a “big batch” and end up eating it all for breakfast 😉

Ingredients (Makes 4 tbsp of paste – only!)

2 tbsp Gochujang paste, 10 small red onions/shallots, 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tbsp hot water


Time: Prep – 10 mins, Cook – 10 mins

Prepare for battle against the onions by running your knife under water (this helps prevent you from tearing up – or at least mentally!!). Slice onions thinly and set aside.

Gochujang paste can be really sticky to dealt with so break this down first. In a bowl, mix together Gochujang, hot water and olive oil until combined.

In a small pan with ~ 3tbps of olive oil at medium heat, fry the onions until you see them turning a golden brown. At this point, pour in the paste, continuing to stir the onions. The water in the paste will cause some moisture so be patient as this will evaporate. Keep stirring and stop when you see that the onions have turned slightly crispy and become a deeper shade of brown/orange. Use immediately or store in in the fridge if you are able to exercise self control 🙂

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