Gochugaru is a staple spice in Korean cooking, which consists entirely of dried chili peppers that have been deseeded.
Made from Korean chili pepper (often called gochu), gochugaru mainly comes in two varieties: more coarsely ground Korean chili flakes and more finely ground Korean chili powder. Gochugaru is traditionally made from sun-dried peppers, though these days, it’s not the only way of drying peppers in commercial manufacturing. Look for taekyung or taeyangcho varieties for sun-dried gochugaru.
Gochugaru spiciness can vary anywhere from 1,500 SHU to 10,000 SHU. It’s broadly separated into two varieties by spiciness: maewoon for spicy gochugaru and dol maewoon for more moderate spice levels.
Korean chili flakes are widely used to flavor almost all traditional spicy Korean soups and stews. In contrast, Korean chili powder is most often used as a seasoning for the famous Korean chili paste gochujang. It’s also a popular ingredient in a variety of sauces, dips, and marinades.