How Long Does Gochujang Last? Tips To Know When it Goes Bad!
If you are looking for tips on storing Gochujang properly and knowing when it goes bad, this article is for you! We will discuss further on how long does gochujang last and tell you the right time to throw away your Korean paste from your fridge. Let’s dig in!
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How Long Does Gochujang Last?
Gochujang is a fundamental ingredient in most Korean cuisine; it is a thick Korean red chili paste with a savory, sweet, and spicy taste.
This red chili paste comprises Gochugaru (red chili flakes), glutinous rice, meju (fermented soybean), and salt.
Generally, Gochujang can last up to two years if you keep it unopen inside your fridge.
Once you open your Korean paste for the first time, you have about a year to use your leftover paste, provided it is store properly.
However, if you don’t store it properly, it might goes bad earlier than the expiration date.
Tips To Know Your Korean Paste Goes Bad
Credit to wikimedia
While this Korean paste has a long lifetime, it can still expire and go bad. Here are some tips to know your Korean paste goes bad and is no longer safe for consumption.
1. Another Highlight Color
Depending on the chili used to make the Gochujang, the color usually ranges from a bright red stunning color to a dark maroon color.
You might see your Korean paste color turn slightly darker as time passes. It’s okay as long as it’s still in the red color zone.
The problem starts when you find another highlight color on your paste: white, green, yellow, or others. Once you see another color on your paste, quickly throw it away!
2. Strong Sour Scent
The easiest way to know whether or not your Gochujang is safe to consume is to smell it. Once you smell a weird strong sour scent from your Gochujang, it’s time to say goodbye!
3. Bitter Acid Flavor
If you still doubt whether your Korean paste is safe to consume after looking at its color and scents, you can taste a bit of it!
If you taste a bitter acid flavor in your paste, you should quickly throw it away; Gochujang never has a sore or acid flavor!
However, as time passes, it is normal if your Gochujang flavors gets stronger. It happened because it continues to ferment in your fridge.
4. Mold Appears
Credit to maangchi
Mold is a well-known mushroom that causes food spoilage. You can easily spot mold by looking if your Korean paste has white or green fuzzy spots around it.
Do note that even though the mold appears on the surface, it has roots underneath. Which means, you can’t just scrape it off and keep the rest.
5. Turns Liquid
Gochujang should be sticky and firm; if it turns liquid like water, you must throw it away immediately.
The easiest way to check the sticky levels of your Gochujang is by putting a spoon inside and seeing whether it stands or not.
6. Floating Oils
The other thing to note is whether there’s oil on the surface of your Korean paste. Once you see oils floating on the surface of your paste, I suggest throwing it out.
However, some people think it is normal, and you can still use it safely. Just stir it with a clean spoon, and it’s all good.
How Do You Store Gochujang?
The easy answer is to keep it inside your refrigerator or any dark, cool place. Never put it in a hot area because your paste will quickly go bad and sour after a while.
If you don’t plan to use your Gochujang soon after opening it, make sure to tightly wrap it with a clingfilm to prevent it from drying out.
The last tip I can share is to avoid storing Gochujang in hot and bright areas. This Korean paste is sensitive to light, heat, and air exposure.
Where to Buy Gochujang?
It is easy to think that Gochujang lasts forever (really long) because it is a fermented product. However, there are a lot of factors that can make it goes bad.
Ensure you keep it properly, and you should be good to go for two years or at least one year after opening it.
If you had this Korean paste in your fridge for a long time, look at the above sign to know whether it is still safe to consume.
These are all I can share about this famous korean paste. Have you ever tried to cook Korean dishes with this paste? Let me know in the comment sections below!
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