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Is Gochujang Gluten-Free?

A bowl of gochujang, a dark red paste, next to a bowl of kimchi and some green vegetables.Is Gochujang Gluten-Free?

Gochujang may or may not contain gluten. If you want to try a dish with gochujang, verify that it is gluten-free before eating.

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a sweet, savory and sometimes spicy chili paste. Ingredients differ from recipe to recipe, but it’s usually made from a fermented mixture of chili powder, soybeans, salt, glutinous rice and barley malt powder. Barley malt contains gluten and should be avoided by anyone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Confusingly, glutinous rice does not contain gluten, and is safe for someone with celiac disease.

So gochujang that uses glutinous rice can be safe, but gochujang with barley malt is not.

Some variations of gochujang may also use soy sauce or vinegar, which may or may not contain gluten. You’ll need to read the ingredients list or look for a certified gluten-free symbol on the gochujang container to verify that it is gluten-free.

What Foods Contain Gochujang?

Gochujang is a staple of Korean cuisine, so you’ll find it in Korean foods like dolsot bibimbap, gochujang chicken, and teokbokki (chewy rice cakes).

Again, each gochujang recipe is different, so verify that dishes with this red chili paste are gluten-free before trying them.

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