There’s a new condiment in our lives. Its dark, complex, slightly sweet, fiery as hell, and super versatile. It’s everything you have ever wanted in a condiment, and its been around a lot longer than ketchup, barbecue sauce and Sriracha. And I am so excited to introduce you to her.
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Last month my when my sister-in-law visited from South Korea, she brought a whole assortment of baggies and bottles with her. The most flavorful and intense Sesame oil I have ever tasted, hand pressed by neighbors. Kimchee made by her mother. And spices. Intense, flavorful, and amazing spices such as I had never seen or tasted before. But my favorite by far was Gochujang!
Korean Pepper Paste (also known as Gochujang) is a thick and sticky condiment made with special peppers whose flavor cannot be substituted. Its the perfect blend of spicy and sweet, as well as having a wonderful complex and pungent flavor, and super concentrated (meaning a little goes a long way!). I think its so cool that this sauce was originally created in South Korea in the 18th century. It is made by combining dried, fermented soybeans, red chilis, glutinous rice and salt. This mixture is then placed in an earthenware crock and allowed to sit in the sun, where the sauce ripens for about 3 years before it reaches its great texture and flavor! And, apparently also the hottest condiment for 2016! (Look at me, being cool! And I didn’t even know it!).
Head over to your local Asian Market and pick some up! You won’t regret it! You will find this in the refrigerated section, but it lasts for along time, so don’t be afraid to pick up a big container of it. And while you are there, make sure you pick up some Gochugaru (or Korean Red Pepper Powder). This differs from your average red chili powder in that it is coursley ground – kind of between a flake and a powder. It is made from sun-dried chili peppers, and has a hot, sweet, and slightly smokey flavor. Here you really want to buy the best you can!
These tacos are simply made, making them easy for a weeknight dinner. The sauce is sweet and smokey, flavorful and full of fire at the same time. A lot of times the heat of a dish tends to overtake the flavor, but here you get the perfect combination of heat and flavor. You will be sweating and wanting more at the same time.
Jenni lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her amazing husband, two girls, two dogs who think they are children, and a feisty cat. She is the creator of The Gingered Whisk, a recipe blog dedicated to finding easy, healthy-ish, and tasty weeknight meals that kids and adults alike will love. She is super passionate about helping every member of a family learn to love great food. When not cooking, eating, or thinking about food, she is often hiking around area parks, creating intricate legos castles with her girls, watching nerdy tv with her husband, or curled up in a corner somewhere reading a good book.