Asparagus with Gochujang Sauce

A quick and easy Korean side dish (banchan) made with asparagus and gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)

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Here’s a quick and easy Korean side dish you can make with spring asparagus. Simply blanch 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”.

Cho-gochujang is used in various dishes. It’s also popular as a dipping sauce for vegetables 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.

This sauce is also great with blanched broccoli or soaked miyeok (aka wakame).

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Asparagus with Gochujang Sauce

3.77 from 26 votes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe


  • 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


  • Remove the tough ends of the asparagus. Cut into about 2-inch lengths.
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  • Blanch the asparagus in salted boiling water until softened, about 1 to 3 minutes depending on the thickness. Remove with a strainer, and shock in icy cold water. Drain very well.
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  • Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the asparagus, and toss well to mix.
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