Korean Gochujang Ragu

I’m not sure what inspired me to use Korean Gochujang in a pasta dish. Granted, I’m never entirely sure of the origin of inspiration behind many of my dishes. A memory or dream? A bad dining experience reimagined? A fun fusion of genres? Necessity? It’s the mother of invention after all.

Korean Gochujang Ragu

I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with traditional recipes. My mother was never afraid of playing with flavor, trying new ingredients, even altering the classic Nicaraguan dishes she grew up with. I learned early on that most recipes—even classic ones—are never fixed or unalterable. Besides, we didn’t always have a lot of money so we used what we had on hand and made it work. That still remains my favorite part of cooking—creating original and unique recipes as you go.

Gochujang Ragu

I used some of Born with Seoul’s Original Sesame Gochujang! This savory, spicy sauce is filled with red peppers, miso, and garlic. It’s a very versatile sauce that can be used in soups, pastas, marinades—I want to try it in lieu of BBQ sauce next!

Korean Gochujang Ragu-7

I originally used it in a few Asian inspired soups and loved the heat and mild sweetness it brought to the broth. Somewhere down the line I got it in my head that it would pair well in a tomato based sauce. That idea eventually led to the pasta dish I bring you today.

Since I had only the vaguest anticipation of how this would come out, I kept the overall vision simple. I would take a classic ragu and incorporate the bold flavors of the Gochujang. Simplicity is the key component in a classic Italian pasta dish. No fuss or frills, just a few quality ingredients that compliment each other. 

Korean Gochujang Ragu-4

Simon’s grandmother is Italian and he’s always loved pasta dishes. I’m not sure how she’d feel about my brazen concoction but Simon loved it and—considering he’s a picky eater—that’s the real test!

Korean Gochujang Ragu
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. pasta (I used linguini)
  2. 1 lb. beef shoulder or stewing beef
  3. Salt and pepper
  4. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  5. 1 small onion, minced
  6. 2 medium carrots, minced
  7. 2 stalks celery, minced
  8. 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  9. ½ cup rice wine
  10. ¾ cups Born with Seoul Korean Gochujang Sauce
  11. 1 28oz. can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  12. 1 ½ tsp. sugar
  13. Fresh basil for serving
Instructions
  1. Cut beef into 1-inch chunks and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or pot heat olive oil over medium high heat.
  3. Sear beef in batches until brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  4. Sautee the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic on medium heat until softened. About 5 minutes.
  5. Deglaze the pan with rice wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add beef back in along with gochujang, tomatoes, and sugar.
  7. Simmer on low heat for 2 ½ to 3 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  8. The ragu is ready when the beef is tender and falling apart.
  9. When ragu is nearly done, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  10. When sauce is finished season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  11. Serve pasta family style on a large platter or dish and top with ragu and fresh chopped basil.
  12. Enjoy!
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