A quick and easy Korean side dish (banchan) made with asparagus and gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste).
Here’s a quick and easy Korean side dish you can make with spring asparagus. Simply blanch (or steam) the asparagus and dress with a sweet and vinegary gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste) sauce, called cho-gochujang (초고추장). Cho is a short form of sikcho, which is vinegar.
Dishes seasoned with a vinegary sauce is often called cho muchim, so you can call this dish “asparagus cho muchim” or simply “asparagus muchim”.
You can also serve the gochujang sauce on the side as a dip along with blanched/steamed asparagus or other vegetables like blanched/steamed broccoli. Soaked miyeok (aka wakame) is excellent with this sauce as well.
Cho-gochujang is also popular as a dipping sauce for and seafood such as squid and raw fish (saengseon hwe, 생선회).
Everyone makes the sauce a little differently, but the key ingredients are gochujang, vinegar, and sugar (or corn syrup). Adjust the amount of vinegar and/or sugar to your taste.
If you like sweet and vinegary gochujang sauce, you may also like my Saewu ganghwe (spring onion tied shrimp and asparagus) and Ojingeo muchim (spicy squid salad).
Asparagus with Gochujang Sauce
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1 tablespoon salt
Sweet and sour gochujang sauce (Cho-gochujang)
- 2 tablespoons gochujang Korean red chili pepper paste
- 2 tablespoons vinegar - more if you like
- 1 tablespoon sugar - more if you like
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds