Elevate Your Noodle Salad And Bibimbap With A Gochujang Vinaigrette

You may not want to actually experience "Squid Game," but if you love the flavors of gochujang, you'll be thanking Squid Game: The Trials for giving us all a great new way to use it. Gochujang is a spicy-sweet chili paste, and a staple Korean ingredient. It's made from red chile pepper flakes, sticky rice, soybeans, and salt that is slowly fermented, making it like a spicy miso paste with an incredible complexity of flavor. 

So, what does this have to do with "Squid Game?" Well, Squid Game: The Trials is an immersive experience from Netflix that opened in Los Angeles in December, and chef/partner Katianna Hong of the acclaimed L.A. restaurant Yangban collaborated on the menu for it. One of the stars of the menu is a bibimbap dish with a gochujang vinaigrette that deserves to live on beyond the event.

Speaking with Tasting Table, Hong told us, "Bibimbap is traditionally mixed with gochujang paste. In this instance, we decided to use our gochujang vinaigrette which adds a little more dimension to the dish." For the bibimbap dosirak, the gochujang vinaigrette is made with brown rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic. Hong said, "Gochujang provides an amazing flavor profile but the consistency is very thick and sometimes difficult to evenly disperse throughout a dish." To compensate, they created the vinaigrette to meld the other traditional flavors of bibimbap in a sauce that's easy to mix into dishes.

Gochujang vinaigrette is a spicy, umami sauce for a wide variety of dishes

A standout on the Squid Game: The Trials menu is the bibimbap dosirak, made with marinated beef, rice, vegetables, and a quail egg along with the gochujang vinaigrette, but that is just the start of what you can do with it. Hong suggested to us that it would make a great dipping sauce for everything from meat and vegetables to sushi and other raw seafood. She also threw out cold noodle salads as another fun use for the dressing. The gochujang vinaigrette's savory, hot notes will bring a robust flavor to a Korean noodle salad made with cold soba or wheat noodles and shredded vegetables.

Of course, we can think of a few more uses for gochujang vinaigrette that should convince you to give it a place in your kitchen. While Hong threw out raw seafood, the thought of some seared shrimp or scallops with a drizzle of this spicy sauce is just as appetizing. The idea of the shredded vegetables in a cold noodle salad makes the move to a spicy gochujang-flavored coleslaw an obvious next step. 

If you want to experience Hong's bibimbap dosirak with gochujang vinaigrette in person, you will have until March 10 to make it to Squid Game: The Trials, but nothing can stop you from making it over and over again at home far beyond then.