The Sauce David Chang Loves To Add To Cheesy Dishes

Given the numerous James Beard Awards and Michelin stars to his name, it's safe to say that you can trust David Chang's expertise on any recipe tips for home chefs — no matter how unconventional they may seem. In one Instagram post, for example, Chang presents Worcester sauce as the perfect condiment for cheesy dishes; the viral video depicts him adding a generous splash of Worcester sauce to a creamy pot of macaroni and cheese. He alludes to Worcester sauce as "umami water," praising its sumptuous combination with the savory, salty, and creamy cheeses he uses in his bubbling pot of macaroni. 

That complex taste makes Worcester sauce perfect for savory meat dishes and steak marinades, so it's not much of a stretch to see where Chang might have gotten the idea to add it to a cheesy dish instead. "I wonder if people know it's made [of] fermented anchovies and tamarind," Chang writes in the video's caption — and that's not all, as Worcester sauce also contains ingredients such as vinegar, sugar, and aromatics. Such a diverse set of ingredients lends to a highly complex taste that encompasses nearly all of the five designated flavor profiles: You get a sour tang from the vinegar and tamarind, sweetness from sugar and molasses, and intense salty and umami flavors from the fermented anchovies. Since cheese is arguably one of the most savory foods on earth, adding Worcester sauce to cheesy dishes upgrades its savoriness with a balance of tang, sweetness, and umami.

What kind of cheesy dishes work best with Worcester sauce?

In his viral Instagram post, David Chang also mentions rarebit — calling out the one served at the London-based restaurant St. John — as an example of how Worcester sauce works well with cheese. Rarebit is a Welsh twist on cheese over toast that creates a creamy cheese sauce with spices and Worcester sauce, melted over thick-cut toasted bread — and the dish is often finished with an extra dousing of Worcester for good measure.

Both rarebit and macaroni and cheese melt different types of cheese into a velvety, rich sauce, so it's safe to say Worcester sauce would be a great addition to nearly any type of creamy cheese sauce, whether it's Alfredo sauce, parmesan-laden Caesar salad dressing, or a cheesy potato au gratin. It would also taste delicious in an extravagant grilled cheese with melted gruyere and cheddar.

Because it's a liquid ingredient, Worcester sauce will disperse more easily into a creamy liquid cheese sauce. That said, it'll still infiltrate melted cheese, so you can still drizzle it over cheese toast or pizza. Worcester sauce's complexity makes it versatile enough to complement sharp cheeses like cheddar, rich savory cheeses like gruyere or brie, and salty cheeses like parmesan — so take notes from Chang and see how it can give your next cheese-heavy dish an extra kick of flavor.