Korean cuisine has a reputation for being delicious and healthy because most of them are fermented. Earlier, there were no refrigerators. So, fermenting was the ideal method of preserving food. If you have ever tasted Korean food, you will have come across gochujang, a fermented condiment that can form a crucial part of various recipes.
Gochujang is a sweet, spicy, and savory fermented sauce made from Korean chili peppers (gochugaru), fermented soybeans (meju powder), and barley malt powder (yeotgirum), glutinous rice, and salt. You allow the ingredients to mix and ferment for years before preparing gochujang.
Since gochujang can take years to ferment and prepare, its chances of going bad are less. In addition, it has an excellent shelf life, with an opened can of gochujang lasting up to two years in the refrigerator. So, the next question is whether you can freeze gochujang?
Can You Freeze Gochujang?
Technically, there is no problem freezing gochujang, but we do not recommend it because its texture and taste can change after defrosting.
How Do You Freeze Gochujang?
You can freeze gochujang in a couple of ways.
Freezing The Entire Batch
Gochujang sauce has a long shelf life. So, it should not be a problem freezing gochujang in a large batch. However, you should also note that thawing gochujang can be an issue. Nevertheless, you can freeze gochujang.
- Scoop the gochujang into resealable ziplock freezer bags. Alternatively, you can use Tupperware plastic airtight containers.
- Seal the bags after expelling as much air from the bag as possible.
- Stick the date and contents label on the container or the bags before pushing them into the freezer.
Freezing In Individual Serving Portions
Since gochujang does not have a good track record of defrosting well, there are chances of the dish being wasted. So, the ideal freezing mode is to apportion the sauce into single servable portions. The ice cube tray or the silicone cube tray should be perfect.
- Scoop a teaspoonful of gochujang into each ice cube tray compartment. Leave some gaps at the top for the sauce to expand during the freezing process.
- Cover the ice cube tray with plastic wrap to prevent the freezing gochujang from spilling out and making a mess inside the freezer.
- Place the ice cube tray deep into the freezer and allow the cubes to freeze.
- Once frozen, you can remove the cubes, transfer them to a freezer-safe resealable bag, and seal it after removing excess air.
- Note the freezing date on a sticker and push the bag inside the freezer to freeze.
How Long Can The Frozen Gochujang Remain In The Freezer?
Theoretically, the frozen gochujang can remain well forever. However, what would you do by preserving it for so many years? So, we suggest you consume them whenever you feel. Secondly, gochujang does not defrost well. Therefore, the longer it stays in the freezer, the more challenging the defrosting process.
How Do You Defrost Gochujang?
You allow the frozen gochujang to thaw at room temperature. Then, you can remove the frozen gochujang from the freezer and place it on the kitchen shelf to thaw for a few hours.
Can You Refreeze Gochujang?
Since it does not thaw well, we do not recommend refreezing gochujang. It can lose its texture and flavor.
Can You Freeze Homemade Gochujang?
Homemade gochujang is the best because it will continue to ferment and develop better flavor. In addition, you can freeze homemade gochujang the way described above.
Can You Freeze Store-Bought Gochujang?
Store-bought gochujang contains preservatives, and hence, we advise you to keep it in the fridge without freezing it. Usually, it has a ‘Best for use by date of two years. Therefore, you can refrigerate it accordingly and consume it before the listed date.
Can You Freeze Gochujang Paste?
Gochujang paste is similar to gochujang sauce, except it is thicker. You can freeze gochujang paste the same way you freeze gochujang sauce.
Can You Freeze Gochujang Fried Rice?
Yes, you can freeze gochujang fried rice. We recommend freezing it in servable portions in freezer bags or airtight containers. They can remain fresh for a month.
Can You Refrigerate Gochujang?
Yes, you can refrigerate gochujang to last for two years. However, we recommend sealing the container well because the odor from the other foods can mix with gochujang and spoil it.
Can You Store Gochujang On The Kitchen Shelf?
Storing unopened gochujang bought from the store should not be a problem. The store-bought gochujang has a listed expiration date. Therefore, you can store them up to that date comfortably.
How Long Is Gochujang Good For After Opening?
You can store the opened gochujang can for three months after opening it. After that, however, we recommend wrapping the container tightly with cling wrap to prevent the paste from drying out.
Can You Freeze The Dried Gochujang?
As long as the dried gochujang has a vibrant color, you can revive it by adding hot water to it bit by bit and stirring the gochujang until it retains its consistency. Then you can freeze it the way described here.
Can You Freeze Gochujang Noodles?
Yes, you can freeze gochujang noodles to remain fresh for three months. After that, you can defrost the frozen noodles by letting them thaw in the fridge overnight.
Can You Freeze Gochujang Pasta?
You can freeze gochujang pasta the same way you freeze gochujang noodles.
Can You Freeze Gochujang Leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze gochujang leftovers, similar to how you freeze gochujang sauce. However, we suggest scraping off the other foods that stick to the gochujang paste before freezing. The presence of other food can cause the gochujang to go bad quickly.
Can You Freeze Gochugaru?
Gochugaru is the prime ingredient for making gochujang. Gochugaru is dry chili powder. So, you can keep it in the freezer for nearly two years. However, we recommend that you seal the packet properly because the exposure to the cool air inside the freezer can spoil the gochugaru.
Most Korean foods are fermented. Hence, they generally do not go bad quickly. Foods like gochujang have a long shelf life. They can remain on the kitchen shelf for years. However, you can freeze gochujang and preserve it well.
Can you freeze gochujang? Yes, you can.