Quick Gochujang Seafood Pasta
This quick gochujang seafood pasta is easy to make and rich in flavor. Spaghetti noodles are tossed in a spicy red sauce that gets its deep umami and heat from the Korean chili paste and fried garlic. You also get juicy, tender bites of shrimp that give this dish its fresh seafood taste.
This quick gochujang seafood pasta is easy to make and packed with spicy umami. The sauce admittedly has more of a thinner, soup-like consistency. However, it is just thick enough for some perfectly slurpy, saucy noodles.
Another Korean fusion pasta dish you might enjoy is my Korean Doenjang Risotto.
Spicy Red Sauce
What is Tomato Passata?
It is similar to tomato purée, the main difference being that tomato passata is made with puréed and strained fresh tomatoes. Tomato purée, on the other hand, is made with cooked tomatoes, which have reduced water content (giving it its thicker consistency) and are also a bit sweeter.
You could use either one for this recipe. I like using tomato passata for its brighter and fresher tomato flavor.
Some red sauce recipes also like to add tomato paste for its intense tomato flavor and as a thickening agent. I, instead, decided to add gochujang (고추장), a Korean chili paste.
Gochujang has a similar pasty consistency and savory umami. Gochujang, however, is particularly spicy (it’s made with dried Korean red chili pepper flakes) and has a richer, deeper umami.
It’s also convenient to use because I always have a jar of gochujang in my fridge.
I’d highly recommend you have one ready to go in your pantry or fridge for my other recipes. I get mine from Kim C Market, but you can also get it online here or at your local Asian grocery store (e.g., H-mart, Trader Joe’s).
This quick gochujang seafood pasta recipe is adapted from Easy Chan. While I made significant tweaks to build more flavor, I also tried to keep the ingredient list as simple as possible.
The recipe starts by frying thinly sliced garlic in extra virgin olive oil. I add no onions, no shallots, just garlic for its spicy and nutty flavor.
I also like to add a good amount of dry white wine for the sauce base. It eventually cooks down and leaves the sauce with a crisp yet floral acidity that enhances the dish’s umami. You could also enjoy a glass of any leftover white wine with your meal.
Chicken broth and fish sauce are added to enhance the sauce’s rich and savory flavor. I find that they also perfectly season the sauce. However, you could always add salt to taste. The fish sauce is also great for intensifying the shrimp’s seafood flavor.
The Korean chili paste does give the sauce a spicy kick. However, the real kick comes from the thinly sliced serrano pepper. Its bright green hue also adds a nice pop of color to this dish.
Shrimp or Clams?
I use fresh, peeled, and deveined shrimp in this recipe to create that fresh seafood flavor.
I’ve tried clams (the original Easy Chan recipe uses both clams and shrimp). However, I found that using shrimp alone gives the dish enough flavor. Shrimp is also a lot easier to clean and prepare. To prepare clams, you need to let them soak in salt water for hours to remove the sand and then scrub the shells.
I want this dish to be quick and simple with minimal ingredients that still pack a punch in flavor.
With this recipe, you’ll get perfectly cooked, juicy, tender shrimp doused in that rich and spicy gochujang sauce. We definitely want to avoid having over-cooked, rubbery shrimp.
Other quick recipes:
Mise en place
If you make this Quick Gochujang Seafood Pasta, I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave a comment and/or recipe rating at the bottom of this page. And if you have a photo of your food, be sure to tag @chrisseenplace on Instagram!
Quick Gochujang Seafood Pasta
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 10 raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
- ½ cup dry white wine (pinot grigio)
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1½ cup chicken broth
- 1½ cup tomato passata
- 1½ tbsp gochujang
- 1⅓ tbsp fish sauce
- 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
- 10 oz dried spaghetti
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add and cook the dried spaghetti according to package instructions or until al dente. (Go on to the next steps as the noodles are cooking)
- Heat the EVOO in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add the sliced garlic, stir, and let it cook for about 1 minute or until lightly browned.
- Add the crushed garlic and shrimp. Let it cook for about 1 minute, flipping the shrimp halfway through.
- Add the white wine and bay leaf, and let it come to a simmer.
- Stir in the chicken broth, tomato passata, fish sauce, gochujang, and sliced serrano pepper and let it come to a simmer.
- Stir in the cooked spaghetti and let it cook for another minute.
- Serve immediately.