Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Korean Summer Sauce: A Tasty New Condiment

Are you familiar with Gochujang?

It is an important Korean condiment, commonly made from red chili, glutinous rice, soybeans and salt, and then fermented. Traditionally, it was fermented outside, in clay pots, but now many people use commercially produced gochujang. It is supposed to be savory and spicy, with a strong umami component.

A group of students from the Harvard Business School have created their own version of gochujang,which they have named Korean Summer Sauce. Their sauce is made from red pepper paste, honey, plum extract, sweet rice wine, garlic, sesame oil and soy. In general, they will be selling a 10 ounce bottle of their sauce for about $6, and it may only be available online currently. They are still a new company, so the availability of their sauce should grow in time.

I have little experience with gochujang so can't say whether the Korean Summer Sauce is similar or not. And I need to seek out some gochujang, to better explore this Korean condiment. However, I can speak on the taste of the Korean Summer Sauce. I was sent a media sample bottle and have since tried the sauce with several different dishes.

In short, I enjoyed the taste of this condiment, its savory flavors, with a mild spiciness, a hint of sweetness, and some umami goodness. It was an excellent topping for chicken lettuce wraps as well as a dipping sauce for fried chicken. It went well atop steak tips too. The others who tasted the sauce with me also enjoyed it very much. I think it is a versatile sauce, that can be used in many different ways with plenty of different foods. I wish it had more spicy heat, but that is more just a personal preference.  

If you get a chance, check it out. And if you have any recommendations for gochujang, please send them my way.

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