11 Best Gochugaru Substitutes for Your Recipe Needs

With the popularity of Korean food on the rise, gochugaru is becoming a more common ingredient in kitchens. However, if you can’t find gochugaru or don’t want to spend the money on it, don’t worry – there are plenty of substitutes that will work just as well in your recipes!

In this article, we’ll discuss 11 different substitutes for gochugaru and explain how to use them. Let’s get started!

What Is Gochugaru?

Gochugaru is a type of Korean red chili pepper powder. It is made from sun-dried chili peppers that have been ground into a fine powder.

Gochugaru is used in a variety of Korean dishes, such as kimchi, bibimbap, and jjigae. It has a slightly sweet taste with a moderate amount of heat.

The heat level of gochugaru can vary depending on the type of chili pepper used and how it is processed. In general, gochugaru is not as spicy as other types of chili powder.

Substitutes For Gochugaru:

  1. Crushed Red Pepper
  2. Paprika
  3. Gochujang
  4. Cayenne Pepper Flakes
  5. Aleppo Pepper Flakes
  6. Guajillo Powder
  7. Chipotle Powder
  8. Chile de Arbol Powder
  9. Chile Pasilla
  10. Fish Pepper
  11. Sandia Chiles

Crushed Red Pepper

This spicy ingredient is made from chili peppers that have been dried and ground, making it a popular choice for adding heat to dishes from all over the world. While gochugaru is the traditional choice for kimchi, many home cooks find that crushed red pepper makes an excellent substitute.

The main difference between the two ingredients is their level of spiciness, with gochugaru being slightly milder than crushed red pepper. However, both ingredients will add a distinct chili flavor to your kimchi, so it’s really up to personal preference.

If you’re looking for a more traditional kimchi flavor, gochugaru is the way to go. But if you want your kimchi to pack a little extra punch, give crushed red pepper a try.


If you’re out of gochugaru and in need of a slightly spicy pepper powder to make kimchi, paprika is a good substitute.

Paprika is made from dried peppers and has a milder flavor than gochugaru. However, it can still add a spicy kick to dishes. So, while it’s not as spicy as gochugaru, it will still give your kimchi a nice flavor.

Paprika is also red, so it will add the same visual appeal to your dish.


Gochugaru and gochujang are both Korean chili pepper pastes, and they have a lot in common. They’re both made from ground chili peppers, and they both have a characteristic fiery flavor.

However, there are also some important differences between the two. Gochugaru is made from sun-dried chili peppers, while gochujang is fermented. This gives gochujang a more complex flavor, with hints of sweetness and umami in addition to the spicy chili flavor.

So if you’re looking for a flavor similar to gochugaru, gochujang is a good substitute. Just be aware that it will taste somewhat different.

Cayenne Pepper Flakes

Cayenne pepper flakes can be a great substitute for gochugaru in many cases. They have a similar flavor, although they are slightly different.

The main benefit of using the substitute is that it is easier to find in stores. It is also cheaper, so you can save money by using it instead of gochugaru.

Another benefit is that it is not as spicy, so you can use it more without making your dish too spicy. However, there are some downsides to using cayenne pepper flakes as a substitute for gochugaru.

One is that the flavor is not the same, so your dish may not taste exactly as you want it to. Another downside is that it does not have the same texture, so it may not be suitable for all recipes.

Overall, cayenne pepper flakes can be a great substitute for gochugaru in many cases, but there are some downsides to using it as well.

Aleppo Pepper Flakes

Aleppo pepper flakes are a good substitute for gochugaru because they have a similar flavor profile. Both chili peppers are fairly spicy, but the heat level of Aleppo pepper flakes is slightly lower than that of gochugaru.

Additionally, the flavor of Aleppo pepper flakes is more complex, with notes of acidity and fruitiness. However, the biggest difference between the two types of chili peppers is their appearance.

Gochugaru typically comes in powder form, while Aleppo pepper flakes are more flake-like. As a result, Aleppo pepper flakes may not be the best choice for dishes that require gochugaru to be finely ground.

Overall, Aleppo pepper flakes are a good substitute for gochugaru, although there are some distinctions to keep in mind.

Guajillo Powder

If you can’t find gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) or don’t have any on hand, guajillo pepper flakes make a good substitute. They’re similar in flavor, although guajillo peppers are a bit milder than gochugaru peppers.

Guajillo peppers also have a different flavor profile than gochugaru peppers, with notes of chocolate and prunes. However, they’ll still give your dish the same flavor depth, and complexity. And if you want a little extra heat, you can always add a few more flakes.

Chipotle Powder

Chipotle powder flakes are a great substitute for gochugaru because they have a similar flavor but with a few different benefits.

For one, chipotle powder flakes pack a little more heat than gochugaru, so if you’re looking for a bit more of a kick, these are the flakes for you.

Additionally, chipotle powder flakes have a smokier flavor than gochugaru, so if you’re looking to add some depth of flavor to your dish, these are also a great option.

Finally, because chipotle powder flakes are made from dried and smoked jalapeños, they offer a richer flavor than gochugaru, which is made from unripe red chili peppers.

So, if you’re looking for a flavor-packed substitution for gochugaru, chipotle powder flakes are a great option.

Chile de Arbol Powder

Chile de Arbol powder is a great substitute for gochugaru. They’re not as spicy, so they’re perfect for people who can’t handle the heat. They’re also great for people who want to add a little extra flavor to their food.

Chile de Arbol powder is perfect for adding flavor to soups, stews, and sauces. They’re also great for sprinkling on top of food.

If you’re looking for a delicious way to add flavor to your food, try Chile de Arbol powder flakes. You won’t be disappointed.

Chile Pasilla

Chile pasilla is a type of dried chili pepper that can be used as a substitute for gochugaru in some cases. Flavor-wise, it is similar to gochugaru, with a slightly smoky taste. However, it is not as spicy, so you may want to use more than the recipe calls for.

In terms of texture, chile pasilla is also different from gochugaru, as it is more delicate and can break down quickly when cooked.

For these reasons, it is best to use chile pasilla as a substitute for gochugaru in dishes where the peppers will be cooked for a short period, such as in stir-fries.

Fish Pepper

If you’re out of gochugaru and need a Korean chili powder substitute, fish pepper is a good option. Its flavor is similar to gochugaru, although it is slightly milder.

Another difference is that fish pepper has a more complex flavor, with notes of citrus and fish. However, these differences can be beneficial in certain dishes.

For example, if you’re making kimchi that is already quite spicy, the milder flavor of fish pepper can help to balance it out. Alternatively, the more complex flavor of fish pepper can add an interesting twist to a dish that uses gochugaru as an ingredient.

Overall, while fish pepper is not identical to gochugaru, it can be a useful substitute in many cases.

Sandia Chiles

If you can’t find gochugaru, don’t worry – Sandia chiles can be used as a substitute. Both chili powders have a similar flavor, though Sandia chiles are somewhat sweeter and milder than gochugaru.

They can be used in equal amounts, though you may want to start with less and add more to taste. One benefit of using Sandia chiles is that they’re easy to find in most supermarkets.

Another is that they don’t have the same level of heat as gochugaru, so they may be a better choice if you’re looking for flavor without the spice. Just keep in mind that your finished dish will be slightly different than if you had used gochugaru.


What dishes can I use gochugaru in?

Gochugaru is commonly used in Korean cuisine and can be used in a variety of different dishes. One popular dish is bibimbap, a rice bowl that is topped with vegetables, meat, and an egg. Another dish that often uses gochugaru is kimchi, a fermented cabbage dish that is often served as a side dish or condiment. In addition to these two dishes, gochugaru can also be used in soups, stews, marinades, and sauces.

How do I substitute gochugaru in a recipe?

Chili powder is the most common substitute, and it can be used in a 1:1 ratio. Another option is to use red pepper flakes. Again, these can be used in a 1:1 ratio, but they will be much spicier than gochugaru. If you want to avoid spice altogether, then you can try using paprika. It won’t provide the same flavor profile, but it will give your dish a nice red color.


Now that you know about the different gochugaru substitutes, it’s time to put them to use in your favorite recipes.

If you’re looking for a substitution that will give you a similar flavor profile, we recommend using gochujang powder as a replacement.

However, if you’re looking for something with a slightly different flavor, we suggest using Cayenne peppers.