Trader Joe’s is very good at a few things: snacks, frozen foods, cheese, everything bagel-flavored anything, and condiments. So, when a new Trader Joe’s sauce comes on the market, we take notice. Make no mistake: This is not a review of Trader Joe’s Gochujang Paste—we’re talking about Trader Joe’s Gochujang Sauce. What’s the difference? According to Trader Joe’s, the sauce is a mix of gochujang paste, canola oil, soy sauce, brown rice vinegar, and sesame oil. TJ’s calls it a “versatile condiment that’s equally enjoyable on burgers, bulgogi, banh mi, or Buffalo wings.” So, how is it really? Does it live up to their other smash hit sauces? We snagged a bottle to find out.
- Trader Joe’s Korean Gochujang Sauce
I’m torn on this one and, to be honest, the rest of the Sporked staff wasn’t sold. It’s very, very sesame forward. So, if you don’t like the flavor of sesame oil, you will not like this. However, I love sesame oil. I happily drizzle onto everything and probably use way too much of it when I’m just cooking for myself (my husband likes it in moderation). But I was definitely expecting more of a traditional gochujang flavor out of this sauce rather than sesame. But after I adjusted to that flavor profile, I did somewhat enjoy the sauce. It’s not spicy but it is very intense and pungent with a fermented kick. I wouldn’t use it as a dip on its own—senior staff writer Jordan Myrick suggested mixing it into Greek yogurt or mayo for dipping purposes or using it as a spread for sandwiches or burgers—but I would definitely drizzle it onto scrambled eggs or use it in stir-fry. I just wouldn’t add any extra sesame oil.