Recently, I have been obsessed with the combination of salty, sweet, and spicy flavors. Since I was lured by a Facebook advertisement selling chili-coated Sour Patch Kids (yes, those were amazing). I was thrilled when I found some gochujang, frozen pineapple, and cucumber at the back of the fridge. It tasted just like the chili gummies. It’s like candy but with natural fruit and vegetables. Haha! This Spicy Pineapple and Cucumber salad is sure to be a hit.

What is GOCHUJANG exactly?

This is a Korean chili paste that has been around for centuries. It’s made from chili peppers and rice. It’s got a salty, spicy-umami taste that reminds me a little of spicy miso. It’s so delicious and unique. I’m glad it is a popular product in the U.S. I’ve noticed that my local Kroger has at least five different brands of ice cream on the shelves!

P.S. Gochujang will last a long time in the refrigerator, so you don’t need to worry about using the entire container. If you’re looking for ideas, here are some other dishes I made with gochujang.


Fresh pineapple would also work, but I only had frozen on hand. Canned pineapple juice (not syrup) could work in a pinch, but the flavor could be more vibrant with fresh or frozen.


This particular flavor combination is very flexible, and there are many options for substitution. Here are some suggestions:

Mango, cantaloupe, or watermelon can be substituted for pineapple.

Cilantro – If you don’t like cilantro, try substituting green onions for a fresher taste.

Tajin is a good substitute if you are still looking for gochujang seasoning. It has a similar flavor profile of salty-spicy. Although it is a powder, not a paste like other spices, you can still add it to the dressing. Add Tajin to taste. Use approximately 1 tsp.


This salad is a delicious side dish for Coconut Chicken strips or Baked ginger salmon.


One cucumber, 3 cups chopped ($1.25)

1/2 lb. frozen pineapple chunks (2 cups) ($2.46)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro ($0.20)

1.5 tsp gochujang ($0.12)

3 Tbsp rice vinegar ($0.37)

1 Tbsp sugar ($0.01)


Chop the cucumber roughly into the same size pieces as the pineapple. Chop the cilantro roughly.

To prepare the dressing, whisk the rice vinegar, sugar, and gochujang until they dissolve.

Combine the pineapple, cucumber, cilantro, and dressing in a large bowl. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, stir the salad to redistribute any dressing.

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