I first learned more about Chef Edward Lee from watching the PBS show “The Mind of a Chef”. Chef Lee is a Korean-American who grew up in Brooklyn but has a popular Southern-Asian-New York inspired restaurant in Lousiville, KY! An eclectic mix – which comes from his Asian heritage, New York experience, love for the American South, and ingredients from local farms.
Chef Lee just opened his first restaurant in the DC area with Succotash in the National Harbor. Chef Lee, while not in the kitchen, works on different collaborations from small batch bourbon to his latest venture – “gochujang” sauce with Korean company Chung Jung One.
I recently attended a dinner hosted by Chef Lee himself at Succotash, where he highlighted the various uses of his newly launched gochujang sauce. Many of the items I tried are on the menu at Succotash, and while I know it’s a bit of a schlep to get there, let me tell you that it is totally worth it!
What is gochujang?
Gochujang is a traditional Korean condiment that is widely used. It is a fermented hot sauce made from red chilies, rice, soybeans and salt. It is savory and spicy, and in my opinion, WAY better than Sriracha (which I am not a fan of). Chef Lee’s version is an organic sauce that can be used in a versatile manner, as demonstrated in the dishes I sampled at a recent dinner at Succotash.
Pro tip: The sauce is also vegan and gluten free!
Where can I find it?
Currently, the sauces can be found at Wegmans locations in Maryland and Virginia, and online at Amazon.
Throughout the country, the sauce is also on shelves at Lucky Supermarkets in the San Francisco Bay Area, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. throughout the North Eastern U.S., Jewel-Osco grocery stores in Illinois, Central Market grocery stores in Texas, Jungle Jim’s in Ohio, and select New York City retail stores.
For more information, check out the brand at their official website.
What can I use gochujang sauce for?
The Gochujang Korean Chili sauce can be used as a standalone dipping sauce, but also as an ingredient in recipes (Read on to see how this was used). The Gochujang Spicy ketchup is a tangy, spicy ketchup which can also be used either on its own or to add some heat to other recipes.
Drinks: A spiced up gochujang michelada. I love micheladas to begin with, but this was phenomenal!
Appetizers: Gochujang Pimento grilled cheese (brilliant!) and fried bibimbap balls with gochujang sauce. The grilled cheese was another of my favorites – the pimento and the hot sauce went perfectly, and I’m ready to recreate this at home!
Main courses: The meal started with a tuna poke salad with gochujang vinaigrette – the dressing did not overpower the tuna, but enhances the flavor ever so slightly. A salad dressing with the sauce is a great way to add huge flavor.
The star of the show was the gochujang fried chicken with blue cheese and nori chips. This was absolutely fantastic, with a savory spiciness to the crisp chicken, balanced by the salty from the cheese and the chips. This is definitely a star on the menu, and I highly recommend trying this at the restaurant, or to kick up your home made fried chicken a notch (or several!).
The sauce can even be used in dessert. The gochujang chocolate pot de crème served with a beignet was the perfect end to the meal, with an ever so slightly lingering heat that came after the chocolate sweetness at the beginning. Delicious.
All in all, I learned a couple of things from dinner at Succotash.
1. Gochujang sauce is incredibly versatile and it can be used in a multitude of ways with a bit of creativity. Look at the website for recipe ideas, if you need some inspiration.
2. Succotash is a delicious addition to the DC dining scene – the fried chicken itself is worth the trip to the National Harbor!