These days I keep on seeing repeated shout-outs to gochujang, which is not available where I live. However, I do have a container of Doubanjang just sitting there in my fridge, taking up space. Would it be a reasonable substitute in recipes calling for gochujang?

  • without a chemistry conflict, substitution acceptability is in the mouth of the beholder. – dandavis May 28 at 19:39
  • Well, J, I moved to Abbotsford BC a couple of years ago. Forgot to update my profile. – Doug May 28 at 21:30
  • @Doug Pan Asia Market on Fraser? – J... May 29 at 10:32
  • Thanks J, I didn't think of that and will give it a try. – Doug May 30 at 18:37

Both are mildly spicy, but the similarities end there. Gochujang is tangy and slightly sweet, whereas doubanjiang is more salty, savory and fermented-tasting. Even the textures don't match up: gochujang is smooth, while doubanjiang is chunky and ragged. I wouldn't substitute either one for the other.

Incidentally, if your doubanjiang is just sitting there because you got it for some elaborate Sichuan recipe involving like eight other seasonings... doubanjiang is more flexible than that, and will work well as an addition or even just on its own. Try frying up some ground pork with a bit of doubanjiang and some scallions, served over rice.

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  • It was ma-po tofu. I will give your suggestion a try. – Doug May 29 at 5:16

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