Does Gochujang Go Bad?

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Have you purchased Gochujang but have not yet consumed it? This might have occurred to you several times, but before you discard it, ascertain that it is completely useless.

If you wonder, ‘why does gochujang not go bad?’, then the answer is it does go bad. However, it is possible, particularly if you consume spoiled food, you will become unwell, thus it is important to check that the food is still edible before eating it. Let’s see why and when does gochujang go bad.


What Exactly is Gochujang?

Gochujang is an indispensable condiment for preparing Korean cuisine. It is a fermented condiment that is fiery, sweet, and savory It is made from gochugaru (Korean pepper), meju powder (boiled soybeans), edible rice, salt, and otgirum (barley powder).

The ingredients are combined and set outside in an earthenware pot to ferment for several years.

During the fermentation process, the starches in the cooked glutinous rice are converted to sugar, imparting a mild sweetness to the paste. On the other side, the Gochugaru imparts the paste’s signature heat, while the fermented soybeans impart the paste’s signature umami taste.

Due to its distinct flavor, it is frequently used to enhance the depth of flavor in a variety of meals, including braises, stews, sauces, and marinades.

Health Benefits of Gochujang

Historically, doctors would advise patients to consume gochujang if they were experiencing digestive troubles, and there is some science behind this. Gochujang is high in beneficial bacteria due to the fermentation process, and so can help maintain a healthy gut.

Apart from alleviating stomach discomfort, gochujang can help promote long-term health. It contains antioxidants and the chemical that gives peppers their fiery flavor, capsaicin which can help enhance your metabolism as well.

How Long Does Gochujang Last?

The container contains an expiration date that you may use as a guide. However, if the gochujang retains its original appearance and aroma, it is safe to use. Regardless of the use of preservatives, it is suggested that you store it in the refrigerator and consume it within (or near to) the best before date specified on the package—which is frequently two years.

When Does Gochujang Go Bad?

What are the spoiling symptoms to look for to assess whether the gochujang is still safe to consume? Here are a few indicators:

  • Appearance Modifications

This is the first indicator you’ll see while opening the container of Gochujang. However, you are already familiar with the appearance of an excellent gochujang—it resembles red sticky cooked glutinous rice.

If the paste seems slimy or has an oily surface, you should proceed with caution and avoid consumption.

You should also avoid using the paste if it has gone brown.

  • Surface White Bump

If the surface of store-bought Gochujang contains white lumps, remove it immediately. These little white lumps are caused by mold that has become nasty on the surface.

You will become unwell if you consume moldy food. Additionally, you should never consume moldy food. It will induce stomach discomfort and even vomiting.

  • Off Smell

To be honest, it’s difficult to explain the fragrance of gochujang. However, we can advise you on how it should not be done.

If the tub emits a sour or nasty odor upon opening, it may have deteriorated. If it smells strongly like vinegar, throw it away immediately.

  • Weird Flavor

If you have doubts about the safety of the paste after smelling and inspecting it, you should taste it. However, just a tiny bit of the paste should be tasted.

It is natural for gochujang’s flavor to evolve over time. However, its flavor will either get softer or stronger, but it should retain its original flavor.

Sourness is a characteristic of ruined food products, so discard it if your gochujang begins to taste like vinegar.

Gochujang in a bowl
Gochujang in a bowl

Is it Safe to Consume Expired Gochujang?

Is your gochujang spoiled and over its expiration date? To be honest, expired Gochujang should never be consumed. It will wreak havoc on your tummy.

When it comes to handmade gochujang, it typically lasts around 24 months. It does not contain an expiration date, but if you use it to make food, it should be alright.

How to Properly Store Gochujang?

Gochujang is easy to store because of its shelf stability. If the tub remains unopened, it must be stored in a cold, dark, and dry location, such as your kitchen pantry or cupboard.

On the other hand, a tub of gochujang that has been opened must be refrigerated. The refrigerator’s chilly temperature can help delay deterioration, allowing you to enjoy the condiment for an extended period.

However, the most crucial storage advice of all is to avoid excessive air exposure. When gochujang is exposed to air, it becomes dry and susceptible to bacterial infestation.

How Does a Bottle of Gochujang Appear?

Gochujang paste is typically packed in a red resealable bag with a date printed in numbers on the side indicating when the paste should be used up. This date must be followed while applying the paste.

Once opened, the box should be kept in a cool, shady position. If you do not properly store it, it may grow moldy. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a long time.


Now you can conclude that Gochujang expires after a certain time. However, you may prolong your enjoyment. You can consume it after the expiration date as long as the color hasn’t changed, the scent isn’t off, and it hasn’t developed mold. If you wish to extend the shelf life of this product, simply follow all of the food preservation guidelines.

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