Move over sriracha, gochujang is having a moment in the American food scene, and I’m really happy about it. These Gochujang Mushroom bowls feature sweet and spicy gochujang marinated mushrooms, quick pickled cucumbers, crunchy carrots, and plenty of jasmine rice make a quick, easy, and super flavorful bowl that’s perfect for meal prep. If you’re ready to breathe some new life into your marinades and stir fries, pick up some gochujang. You won’t be sorry.
What is Gochujang?
Gochujang is a Korean chile paste made from fermented soy beans, red chiles, and rice. It has a flavor that is spicy, sweet, and savory. If you’re a spicy food lover, you’re going to love gochujang’s unique flavor. It’s kind of like miso, but spicy! You can use gochujang in marinades, sauces, soups, as a table condiment, or basically anywhere you want to add a little sweet and spicy kick. It’s extremely versatile and once you start using it, you’ll probably start adding it to everything.
I’ve been seeing gochujang in more and more grocery stores lately, so chances are you may not need to make a special trip to an international market to find it! Scroll down to the step by step photos to see a photo of the brand I bought, which I picked up at Kroger.
Do I have to use Gochujang?
This recipe is designed around gochujang, so swapping it out for another type of hot sauce will change the balance of flavors. Instead, you can try using a different type of sauce, like my Homemade Teriyaki Sauce, or if you want spicy, try the sauce I used in my Pork and Peanut Dragon Noodles.
What if I hate mushrooms?
Well then you’re reading the wrong recipe. HA! J/K. Luckily this marinade also works great for tofu, tempeh, or beef. All three should also cook relatively quickly in the skillet just like the portobellos, so swapping them out should be pretty seamless.
Gochujang Mushroom Bowls
Quick Pickled Cucumbers
- 3 Tbsp rice vinegar ($0.36)
- 1 Tbsp sugar ($0.06)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 1 cucumber (about 7-8″) ($0.59)
- 1 Tbsp gochujang ($0.23)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.12)
- 1 Tbsp water ($0.00)
- 1.5 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.06)
- 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar ($0.06)
- 2 portobello mushrooms ($4.31)
- 1 small yellow onion ($0.21)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
- 4 cups cooked jasmine rice ($0.70)
- 1 carrot ($0.11)
- 2 green onions ($0.15)
- In a medium bowl, stir together the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt for the quick pickled cucumbers. Thinly slice the cucumber, add them to the bowl with the vinegar dressing, and toss to coat. Let the cucumbers marinate, stirring occasionally, as you prepare the rest of the dish. They should soften and release water as they marinate.
- Prepare the marinade for the mushrooms. In a medium bowl stir together the gochujang, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and rice vinegar. Stir until the gochujang and brown sugar are dissolved.
- Clean each portobello mushroom to remove any dirt or debris. Cut each cap in half, then slice crosswise into thin strips. Place the mushroom strips into a shallow dish and pour the gochujang marinade over top. Gently stir the mushrooms to coat in the marinade, taking care not to break them. Let the mushrooms marinade for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the mushrooms are marinating, shred the carrot using a cheese grater. Thinly slice the yellow onion and slice the green onions.
- Add the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the sliced yellow onion and sauté for about two minutes, or just until the onion begins to soften.
- Add the marinade mushrooms and all of the gochujang marinade to the skillet. Continue to cook the mushrooms and onion over medium until the mushrooms have softened and the liquid in the skillet reduces to a slightly thickened sauce (about 8 minutes).
- To build the bowls add about 1 cup cooked rice to each bowl then top with 1/4 of the gochujang mushrooms, 1/4 of the pickled cucumbers, and 1/4 of the shredded carrot. Sprinkle sliced green onions over top, then serve.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
These bowls are actually a loose vegetarian interpretation of a Bulgogi bowl, but I felt I strayed too much from actual bulgogi to call them that. But if you’re a fan of bulgogi bowls, you might like these Gochujang Mushroom Bowls!
How to Make Gochujang Mushroom Bowls – Step by Step Photos
Begin with the quick pickled cucumbers so they have some time to marinate and soften. In a medium bowl, stir together 3 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt. Thinly slice a cucumber then toss the cucumbers in the vinegar dressing. Let them marinate, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the rest of the recipe. They will soften and release water as they marinate.
Next, make the gochujang marinade. Stir together 1 Tbsp gochujang, 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp water, 1.5 Tbsp brown sugar, and 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar until the gochujang and brown sugar are dissolved.
This is the gochujang that I bought and I was able to find this at Kroger. In fact, they had at least three brands, so hopefully you’ll be able to find some at your grocery store as well.
Clean any dirt or debris off of two portobello mushrooms. Cut each one in half, then slice crosswise into thin strips.
Place the mushroom slices in a shallow dish and pour the gochujang marinade over top. Stir carefully to coat the mushrooms in the marinade.
Let them marinate for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the mushrooms are marinating, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Shred one carrot (I used a cheese grater), thinly slice one small yellow onion, and slice two green onions.
Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add the sliced yellow onion and sauté for about two minutes, or just until the onions begin to soften, then add the marinated mushrooms and ALL of the marinade from the dish.
Continue to cook the mushrooms and onions over medium until the mushrooms are fully softened and the liquid in the skillet has reduced to a slightly thickened sauce (about 8 minutes).
To build the Gochujang Mushroom Bowls, start with 1 cup cooked jasmine rice, then top with 1/4 of the gochujang mushrooms, 1/4 of the quick pickled cucumbers, and 1/4 of the shredded carrots.
Top with a few sliced green onions, then serve!
Can I leave the mushroom to marinate overnight, or will they get…well, mushy? No pun intended haha. I started the recipe then realized I don’t actually have time to cook tonight.
I’ve never actually tried to marinate mushrooms that long, but I would think they would be okay because this marinade isn’t too acidic. They’ll get soft when you cook them anyway, but I don’t think they’ll actually break down with this marinade. :)
I made this with half a block of frozen then thawed tofu instead of the mushrooms! It was delicious and I really enjoyed it. I served it with some sriracha since it wasn’t spicy enough for me. Thank you Beth!
I love this dish! It’s easy, delicious, and the leftovers keep well. After reading the comments, I decided to double the mushrooms. No regrets there! I also make an extra batch of the sauce and cook some tempeh in it.
Hi I used the sauce for my tofu, bellpepper, and shiitake mushroom. It was so delicious! I wanted to utilize the gochujang sauce somehow and this was the perfect sauce ingredient list!
This was so good! I roughly doubled the mushrooms/sauce and added some bell pepper strips to the saute stage. I spent the rest of the week experimenting with fun ways to use the leftover mushrooms and pickled cucumbers – they were AMAZING in a quesadilla with some shredded cheddar + kimchi sour cream dipping sauce and as taco filling mixed with some leftover rice and black beans. Thank you for the great base recipe, this will definitely be in my regular rotation!
This was great! Thanks so much for the recipe.
Delicious! Can’t wait to use the gochujang with more stuff!
I picked up some king mushrooms when I was at the Asian grocery near me looking for the gochujang. Highly recommend if you can get your hands on them! Also priced at 1.25/lb, which gets you a lot of mushrooms for your buck.
Ooh I’ve never tried those! I’m definitely going to be on the lookout.
Hi, the step-by-step instructions and the ingredients list disagree about how much soy sauce to use for the mushrooms.
Great spice level with 2tbsp!
Really good! Only recommendation is to double there mushroom mixture!! So good!
Ha good to know Leanne!
My absolute favorite comfort food right now is a hot stone bowl of tofu bulgogi at the Burning Rice restaurant near me. It is So. Good. I would eat it every day if I could, but a health condition won’t let me. But this was excellent and so customizable for my needs! I made it last night served over oven roasted cauliflower rice. I subbed zucchini for the cucumbers and added an extra mushroom. I used 1 tbsp low sodium tamari instead of soy and subbed veggie stock for the remaining tbsp of soy sauce. The mushroom were awesome, so meaty and flavorful! I also added edamame and purple cabbage. I am planning to make it again this week with ume plum vinegar, which I love. Thanks for the great recipe.
Yum! Thanks Jack!