How Chefs Use Gochujang Korean Hot Sauce

Give Sriracha the night off to try this Korean condiment

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I love Sriracha as much as the next person. In fact, I currently have two bottles on my desk, along with a nearly empty bottle of Red Clay and a mini Tabasco.

But as every hot sauce enthusiast knows, there's always room for one more, especially when it comes to gochujang, the Korean blend made from red chile and fermented soybeans. Now, gochujang itself isn't anything new: We've been spiking meatballs with it, adding it to our seafood hot pot and caramelizing kimchi with it for hot dog-studded fried rice (trust). But what is new is gochujang in sauce form—not just spoonable paste.

So when an invite to a dinner by chefs Edward Lee and Jamie Bissonnette centered on the sweet, spicy and slightly funky condiment arrived in my inbox, you can bet my RSVP was instantaneous.

Naturally, my first thought was that my bodega egg sandwiches and banh mi lunches are about to get a little more interesting. But, of course, Lee and Bissonnette had grander plans, mixing gochujang with aioli for a kicky fried oyster topping (pictured above), turning it into a braising liquid for pork in an otherwise traditional paella dish and adding it to romesco to use as unexpected finishing sauce for steak and grilled cheese.

Your move, Sriracha.