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- Louie Preciado
3. Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce
We head to Korea for your next favorite chile paste. Championed by chef Edward Lee, a former contestant on Top Chef, Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce is a vegan, gluten-free fermented batch made with red peppers, rice flour and sea salt. Available now at Central Market stores throughout Texas, the paste is savory and spicy and has just the teensiest bit of sweetness.
It's gaining traction around certain chef-y circles and hot eateries, including Austin's East Side King (a certain little eatery owned by Esquire magazine's Chef of the Year and Top Chef: Texas winner Paul Qui), Houston's Underbelly and Brennan's of Houston, and Dallas' Chino Chinatown (where it's served in ramen with barbacoa topped with Gochujang marrow butter).
You can find chef Jason Dady using the sauce at two of his eateries around town. Gochujang adds extra smokiness to his brisket rub at B&D Ice House. The brisket made a cameo during Umai Mi's ramen week where Dady also added heat to a classic dessert by drizzling sweet and spicy Gochujang syrup over a Nutella flourless torte.
Find these flavors at Umai Mi, 555 W Bitters, (210) 496-0555; B&D Ice House, 1004 S Alamo, (210) 225-9801; H-E-B Central Market, 4821 Broadway, (210) 368-8600.