I want to make my own Kimchi, and from the reading I've done, Gochugaru appears to be the best variety to use. Can anyone confirm this? Or tell me what I should be using? Kimchi in a grilled cheese sandwich is killer.
But, as I understand it: Gochu means pepper. Garu means powder. So, Gochugaru is only translated as pepper powder.
There are quite a few Korean varieties used to make the powder and they vary in heat, mostly. Taeyang Gochu is one.
It seems pretty hard to infiltrate the world of Korean pepper varieties as one: they don't seem to care too much about variety. And, two: Good luck without speaking Korean.
The vibrant red colour and smokey flavour is a combination of the variety but perhaps more importantly the drying method. Sun dried is the key, it seems. Retains the vibrant colour and flavour.
I make kimchi all the time and if you want it to taste like kimchi use Korean pepper flakes. The package is normally labeled "powder coarse" and many have a picture of kimchi on the bag.
I like the flavor of Assi brand pepper flakes but they are high in sodium. Ive gone through many bags of these and the flavor has been very consistent over the years. Locally at the Asian Market these run about $8/2lbs roughly.
My S. Korean source says use TAE (Might be TOE)-Yang Gochu Peppers.
She says it's then Original Kimchi pepper-traditionally used.
She did say another pepper was also used in different places.
I'd guess it's a landrace thing.
She is talking about the pots they put in the ground...
I doubt she would ever use any powder...
She lives in S.Korea.
I worry about her with N. Korean stuff going on.She is a U.S. Citizen.
Taking care of an elderly family member.
Could get really nasty for her...
I spent a little over a year in Korea back in the 80's..I think ShowMeDaSauce is right on the sun dried peppers..They also use dry red hot peppers as table pepper..Good luck with your Kimchi experiment..
I got a couple of the gochu plants from Chileplants. Not sure how they will turn out for powder so i only got 2. I really love gochugaru. I use it in far more than Korean dishes. The "good stuff" from Korea (not China) without salt added gets really pricey. The last bag i got was about $16/lb for a spicy one. I used some of it for a small batch of radish and turnip kimchi and my "kimchi light" for hot dogs. It was excellent.