Last updated January 2, 2015

My food trend pick for 2014 is Gochujang. It’s another way to add sweet heat to dishes without burning your tastebuds.

Gochujang Potstickers from Zestuous

Gochujang is a fermented Korean red chile paste that has a little bit smokier flavor than sriracha. It has a thick consistency like tomato paste and is made from red chiles, glutinous rice, soybeans, seasoning and sweetener.

You can easily add it to condiments (like mayo or ketchup), dressings, sauces and marinades for a surprising accent.

My first creation with Gochujang was pan-fried potstickers. I knew I wanted to fill the wonton skins with pork, traditional Asian seasonings and gochujang, but I honestly wasn’t sure how to cook them.

Gochujang Potstickers from ZestuousI mentioned the dilemma to a coworker, and she shared the technique her mother used. Using a paper towel, her mother would coat a frying pan with sesame oil. I never dreamt of using sesame oil. It has such a strong flavor if you use too much. But if you follow her paper towel trick, it works perfectly and adds much more flavor than a vegetable or peanut oil.

After you get the nice brown coating on the dumplings, her mom adds just a hint of water and covers the pan tightly with a lid, until the potstickers are steamed. They came out perfect!

Gochujang Potstickers from ZestuousI accented them with a Gochujang Ponzu Sauce for dipping. You can use regular soy sauce, but I like ponzu because it has a hint of citrus, making it more Zestuous.

This recipe makes about 50 potstickers. I cooked about 20 for dinner (that’s all we ate), and froze the other 30 for another day. It does take a while to fold each little pocket of goodness, so it’s nice that I can pull a few out of the freezer next time I’m in the mood for this tasty appetizer.

Gochujang Potstickers

Yield: 50 potstickers

Gochujang Potstickers


  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 3 tablespoons ponzu sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 2 tsps. sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper (or black pepper)
  • ~50 wonton wrappers
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil for frying
  • 1 cup water for steaming

In a medium bowl, use your hands to combine the pork, ponzu sauce, rice wine vinegar, green onions, garlic, gochujang, 2 teaspoons sesame oil and white pepper . Let rest for about 10 minutes for the flavors to combine.

Place 1 wonton wrapper on the counter. Place about 1 teaspoon of the pork filling in the center.

Using your finger, brush a small amount of water on two adjoining sides of the wonton wrapper.

Fold the wrapper in half over the meat to form a triangle. Use your fingers to push the sides together. The water will help create a seal.

Fold the two corners toward each other and seal together with a small bit of water. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.

Use a large skillet that has a tight-fitting lid. Place the skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add about 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to the pan. Use a papertowel to spread the oil over the whole bottom surface.

Place wontons in the pan, so they are not touching.

Brown the bottoms for 3-5 minutes.

Have the lid ready and pour in about ¼ cup water. Quickly place the lid on the pan and steam for about 5 minutes.

Remove from the pan with a spatula and serve with the sauce.

Continue cooking the remaining potstickers the same way. You may need to clean the pan in between batches, if the pan starts to build-up residue.
Gochujang Ponzu Sauce

Gochujang Ponzu Sauce


  • ¼ cup ponzu sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vineagar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. gochujang
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper (or black pepper)
  • ¼ tsp. ground coriander

In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients. Serve with Gochujang Potstickers