Over the years, sauces and condiments are most people’s first introductions to spice on their tongue. They’re also perfect to take with you, to cook with or to have as a sauce. I’d like to recommend a few sauces that would be perfect for all three that you can use which are from different countries I’ve travelled to.
① Lao Gan Ma’s Chilli Oil
I only started using this chilli oil in the past year but it’s such a life changer with food. Except using it for my own Instant Ramen, it’s good to use for any recipe that needs more chilli to it. Even some of my recipes like Chilli Yakiudon, Spicy Bulgogi Beef Udon, Tofu Chilli Stir Fry or the Spicy Garlic Tofu benefit from using this condiment in these dishes.
② Dunn’s River Jerk Seasoning
Honestly, it’s one of the best marinade sauces most Jamaicans have used for Jerk Chicken and Jerk Pork and can be found in most households ready to make these dishes. Dunn’s River has a more thicker marinade to it than other sauces which makes it easier for me to cook Jerk Chicken with, whether it’s on a jerk pan or dare I say, in an oven.
③ NuPak Pepper Sauce
Jamaica has a range of hot pepper sauces like Encona and Grace but Nupak was one that had a nicer smell. I bought it from Browns Town but it can also be supermarkets around Jamaica. I’ve yet to make a recipe with these sauces but I highly recommend using it as a nice sauce to have with fast food such as chips, burgers and even on pizzas.
④ 닭복음탕양념 (Spicy Yangnyeom sauce for Braised Chicken)
Whenever I make Yangnyeom Chicken or have a sauce with some thin-sliced beef for BBQ (excluding ssamjang), this is the best option. It’s not too thick like gochujang and not as spicy like NuPak or Encona and it has a hint of sweetness to it that works nicely with meat.
⑤ Yuzu Kosho
Yuzu Kosho is one of my favourite chilli pastes to use for cooking dishes with a creamy or cheesy texture. Originally, it’s a condiment for miso soup or fish such as sashimi but I highly recommend dishes such as Chicken Alfredo, Macaroni Cheese and even my Octopus and Shrimp dish, would be perfect to use this spice for.
These are just five of many more that I use, but what sauces or condiments do you use in your cooking?