A Bit Of Gochujang Makes For Spicier, Thicker Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is a classic comfort food, but sometimes you want a batch with extra flavor and kick. That's where gochujang, a Korean fermented chili paste, comes in. This versatile condiment adds depth, spice, and umami to various dishes, and it's no exception for chicken noodle soup. So how exactly do soothing broth, tender chicken, and al dente noodles come together with this famous Korean import? With its unique combination of red chili peppers, fermented soybeans, salt, and glutinous rice, gochujang's consistency and complex taste make it a versatile ingredient that can elevate the most straightforward recipes.

Adding gochujang to your chicken noodle soup base creates a complex and savory flavor profile. The gochujang's inherent sweetness balances the spice, while the subtle smokiness adds an extra layer of depth without overpowering the dish. The heat is subtle yet distinct, adding a layer of warmth that complements the comforting nature of the soup. The fermented soybeans in gochujang contribute to its rich umami flavor, enhancing the overall flavor profile and adding complexity and sophistication to the traditional soup's familiar flavors. Finally, gochujang's thick consistency helps create a heartier and more satisfying broth.

If you prefer chicken noodle soup on the thicker side, a spoonful of gochujang is all you need to achieve that luscious, velvety texture. This is especially helpful if you're using homemade broth, as it can sometimes be thin and watery. The gochujang helps to coat the noodles and vegetables, creating a more cohesive and enjoyable eating experience.

It's a balancing act

Ready to get started? Not a fan of things being too spicy? You can always adjust the amount of gochujang to your desired heat level, starting with a little and adding more and taste as you go. Gochujang works best when it complements rather than dominates, so aim for a balance that enhances the overall taste without overshadowing the other ingredients. To ensure even distribution of gochujang, consider diluting it in a bit of the hot broth before adding it to the entire pot. This technique prevents clumps and ensures every spoonful carries the perfect heat and flavor. Additionally, don't be afraid to get creative! Gochujang pairs exceptionally well with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Consider incorporating these elements to create a harmonious blend of flavors in your chicken noodle soup.

You can transform your ordinary chicken noodle soup into a culinary masterpiece with just a bit of gochujang. Adding this Korean chili paste brings a delightful heat, a depth of umami, and a thicker consistency that will have you savoring every spoonful. So, the next time you're in the mood for a comforting bowl of chicken noodle soup, reach for that jar of gochujang and embark on a journey of flavor that will leave you craving more. You can easily take your chicken noodle soup from ordinary to extraordinary with a touch of gochujang — ditch the bland and embrace the bold!