Gochujang and Sour Cream Sauce


I have been meaning to share this sauce with you for several months or even years. It includes only two ingredients, so I shouldn’t probably even call it a recipe. Observing blogs and reactions of my family and friends, I realised that even though simple, sour cream and gochujang are not only an uncommon, but also a surprising combination, hence the decision to write about it. I have been preparing this sauce for years, sometimes as often as several times a week. I serve it with dishes and snacks of as different origins as Hungarian and Japanese and make sure both ingredients are constantly available in my fridge.

Gochujang has been a staple for many years now. Actually I was addicted as soon as I tasted it. Its hot and sweet flavours and the sticky consistency have won me over instantly. For those who still don’t know it, gochujang is a Korean condiment, based on hot pepper and fermented soybeans, usually sold in red plastic tubs. It is dark red, a bit sticky, quite hot and slightly sweet (it has different degrees of hotness and I usually buy medium hot).  In Korean cuisine gochujang is put into soups, sauces and marinades.

I don’t remember when I had the idea to combine gochujang and sour cream, but somehow it felt very natural. Sour cream (or I should rather say “milk”, because what I use is called “sour milk” due to its low fat content) is extremely cooling and I often use it to tame down very hot sauces and dishes. Combined with gochujang it still is cooling, but gives a fiery “kick” and its taste is much more complex than a simple mixture of chili pepper and cream. Of course the “kick” depends on how much gochujang you have put and what kind of gochujang you buy.

I serve this sauce with grilled sandwiches, Japanese or Korean meat rolls, spring rolls, Indian curries, Mexican dishes such as chili con carne, Hungarian dishes (such as Szekély Gulyàs or Stuffed Pepper), skewers, grilled meat, fish and shellfish, roasts… It’s also a perfect dip for raw vegetables served as snacks at a party (celery, carrot, cauliflower…).

TIP & UPDATE: The Sour cream or milk can be substituted here with Greek yogurt, which is slightly sour.

Preparation: 5 minutes


125 ml (about 1/2 cup) sour cream (I use thick sour milk) or Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon gochujang (or less/more depending on your preferences)

Mix the ingredients with a fork or, if you want to obtain a homogenous smooth result, with a food processor.

52 Replies to “Gochujang and Sour Cream Sauce”

  1. 5 minute prep… it doesn’t get better than that! And from your description, I think I would absolutely fall in love with this sauce… and eat it on virtually everything! I tend to sub Greek yogurt for sour cream across the board now because it has the same delightful, creamy texture (regardless of fat content), with more protein. Fermented pastes such as this one always add nutritive properties which is a big bonus and it’s so darn pretty Sissi in its gentle pink hue. What have you topped it with – chopped red chili peppers? Looks fabulous.

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. I have never bought Greek yogurt… I don’t know even why… I love sour cream and when I discovered something they call “sour milk” which looks and tastes almost like sour cream but has only 3,5% fat I have fallen in love and since then I constantly have it in the fridge. I must test Greek yogurt! Thank you for the idea.
      I have sprinkled some Korean dried chili peppers on it 🙂

  2. Sounds very interesting indeed. I think I may have seen this Asian condiment on another blog that I follow and it peaked my interest then too. The presentation is very lovely too.

    1. Thank you so much, Eva. Maybe you saw it on my blog two posts ago? 😉 I wrote about pork rolls with gochujang-teriyaki glaze. I actually use gochujang very often (even though I don’t write about it often).

  3. It’s amazing how some great tasting things can be so easy to make! I’m going to try this for a vegetable dip but I’ll have to use sour cream since I haven’t seen sour milk on our shop shelves. This is simply brilliant! … pun intended 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Ping. I think they should call what I buy low-fat sour cream, but since cream can only be called cream above 18%fat, they have to call it milk (otherwise it’s almost like sour cream, but with only 3,5% fat).

  4. I had never heard of gochujang and then today I read about it in two blog posts! Must be good and I must try it. We have a great Asian market here so I will go and find it…I love sweet and hot things. This sour cream could really jazz up my fish tacos.

    1. Hi, Nazneen. You probably mean Nami’s blog. I have also thought it was a funny coincidence. I hope you can taste gochujang because if you like sweet and hot combination, you will love it.

  5. I are really adding to my list of ingredients that I need to find, Sissi. Now that we are in Maine for the summer, I will make a day trip to Portland to search out some of the Asian ingredients that you use. Your sauce sounds very versatile.

    1. Thank you, Karen. I hope you can find it. It keeps opened forever in the fridge, so don’t worry if you use it rarely.

  6. Oh, I love the idea of this, but will have to go for a hunting trip to the local shops to track down gochujang first. Never heard of it before, but am really really interested in trying 🙂

  7. A very interesting combination that i’ve never come across yet but the use of sour cream to tone down the spiciness makes sense!

    1. I totally agree with Hyosun. This is brilliant recipe! I am following Hyosun and use it for Korean style tacos she just posted… =)

      p.s. and… we are on the same topic Gochujang, Sissi. This is our 2nd time. So happy with this tiny coincicence!

      1. Thank you so much, Nami. When I saw her tacos today I thought instantly of my sauce! I often have sour cream with tacos so gochujang and sour cream sounds perfect for Korean tacos. (I have seen your gochujang post. It’s telepathy!!!)

    2. Thank you so much, Hyosun. I have just seen your tacos and you are so right: I would really be tempted to use this sauce with them.

  8. Back in secondary school, when we ate out at burger king (I haven’t been there in years) my best friend and I used to get mayo and chilli ketchup and mix them in a specific ration of I can’t remember how many packets of one to the other, it made the most amazing sauce. sweet, slightly tangy and creamy, and spicy. Of course, it’s one sauce I wouldn’t even think of sharing with anyone now. Anyway, just wanted to say that sometimes the simplest things are the best, yours sounds MUCH better and would be delicious as a sauce or dip!

    1. Hi, Shuhan. I am not surprised you mixed mayonnaise and chili ketchup because I love mixing mayonnaise with my crunchy thick Japanese chili sauce (Taberu rayu). It’s irresistible with potato croquettes…
      I am glad you like this simple idea.

  9. Sissi, I never heard of Gochujang…from your description is something that I will enjoy. I will definitely look for it at the local Korean grocery.
    Thanks for this recipe and hope you are enjoying your week 🙂

  10. A very intriguing item to add to my ever burgeoning pantry … in the new years. 🙂 I’m in the process of clearing it out right now. The dip looks as attractive as I’m certain it must be tasty.

    1. Thank you, A_Boleyn. I always have a tube of gochujang in my fridge. Now I only buy 500g which already takes some space… but once they had only 1 kg and it took me so much time to finish and of course blocked a huge space in the fridge (always packed to the maximum).

  11. I’ve still yet to try this gochujang – maybe I had it in some dishes before without realising it… the sauce sounds amazing though, and I’d still classify it as a recipe, even with “just two ingredients”!

    1. Thank you, Charles. If you had Korean hot dishes, you have probably tasted it, but otherwise you can buy it rue St Anne of course.

  12. Wow Sissy, I’m so impressed with all your exotic creation, like the gochujang sauce. Where did you get all your amazing ideas?…have you lived in Korea or Japan?…or are you living there now?

    Excuse me for asking all these questions, I hope you don’t mind me asking where do you reside!

    I will certainly google to find out where I can order this gochujang sauce from, and with the addition of the sour cream…I just love it!

    1. Thank you so much, Elisabeth. No, I have never lived outside of Europe (I have never been to Japan or Korea either but I dream of a nice culinary trip to Japan…). I live in Switzerland, but I love so much Japanese cuisine I think if I believed in reincarnation I would be certain I used to be Japanese in my previous life 😉

    2. Oh, I have forgotten to answer. Since here Japanese restaurants serve mainly sushi (and make profits mainly from sushi) and other dishes are very disappointing and since I cook a lot, I started to cook on my own from blogs or cookery books. Most Japanese dishes I love cannot be found in any restaurant or are really not good.

  13. Hi Sissi,

    I see that you also live in Switzerland. I can’t get gochujang in Fribourg, where do you get yours, please? I’d love to try it.

    1. Hi, Liz. You can buy it in Japanese grocery shops in Lausanne and Geneva (for example Uchino or Uchitomi).

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