All Posts By Esther Choi

Gochujang — The Next Best Thing You Never Ate

by in Food Network Chef, Product Reviews, September 26th, 2012

gochujang red pepper paste
What’s the next best thing you never ate?

The Food Network Kitchens staff might know. We see (taste and smell) ingredients and products just before they take their place in the national palate. Sometimes one of our on-air chefs bring them into our kitchen, sometimes we find them during restaurant dinners or in grocery stores, at home and away. Each month we’re going to share one with you, along with tips or recipes. And we know that many of you devote a good amount of time to exploring, tasting or just getting dinner on the table, so let us know what you find that might just be the next best thing we never ate.

There’s always room for more hot sauce, so say hello to a new friend: gochujang. The next best thing you may have never tasted was actually a part of my everyday meals growing up. Gochujang (a spicy, slightly sweet, beautiful dark red fermented chili paste) has been a staple ingredient in Korean households for hundreds of years. It’s used as an ingredient in stews and sauces, or simply as a dip for a snack. You may have seen it when you ordered bibimbap (mixed rice dish) at your favorite Korean restaurant. To see this special food from my childhood bloom into the next best thing — I embrace it. I see the popularity of gochujang as the first step to a greater awareness of Korean cuisine.

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