Want to make kimchi: need a substitute for gochugaru, 고추가루 (Korean child powder)

I've looked at buying gochugaru at Amazon, and the prices are outside my budget. Can the experienced kimchi makers recommend something I can find at my local grocery store? I've been thinking of maybe some ground paprika mixed with some cayenne, or maybe some kind of generic chili flake, or grinding a dried California chili? (I know the flavour won't near that of gochugaru.) Thank you.

  • Posted by: Ted
  • September 9, 2019


Stephanie B. September 9, 2019
I think grinding your own dried chilies and paprika might not be a bad idea, and would allow you to play with the chili flavors. I'd go light on the cayenne though; every time I buy kimchi and gochugaru from the Korean market near me both are fairly mild (to my taste). Full disclosure: I've never made kimchi I just eat a lot of it.
Nancy September 10, 2019
Agree with Stephanie B (and I both eat and have made Kimchi). All descriptions I have read of gochugaru say it is NOT hot.
Have a look at this article, which also places it on the Scoville scale near jalapeno peppers, and just above poblano and anaheim. If you can get one or more of those dried, I would use one of them and paprika.
Ted September 10, 2019
Thank you!
Ted September 10, 2019
Thank you!
Recommended by Food52