I think of gochugaru as an ideal gateway chile flake for spice scaredies. Its heat is gentle and nowhere near as hot as an equivalent amount of crushed red pepper flakes—think more like poblano- or jalapeño-level hot. And where some chile flakes are blah and one-note, gochugaru has so much more to offer with its fruity, smoky, and sweet smell and flavor. It’s the ingredient that gives kimchi its signature heat and color, and also a common flavoring agent in Korean soups and stews like Kimchi Jjigae or the fiery soft tofu stew known as soondubu.

Author: k-food

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