New Condiments = New Dishes

February 19, 2018

 It's easy to get caught up in a condiment routine. Salt, pepper, Sriracha, soy sauce, Tobasco, and olive oil are solid staple condiments in my pantry. We all have a varied list of 'the regulars'. Sometimes it's nice to shake up some classic meals with atypical condiments.


The condiments depicted at the left are great to add onto food all by themselves or can contribute complexity of flavor to other recipes. I'll explain what each tastes like and some foods they compliment.


1. Jack Hua Co., Ltd. (brand) - Crushed Roasted Thai Red Pepper


Flavor: Smokey large flakes with medium to high heat.


Applications: Sprinkled on congee, sprinkled on various noodles (pho, chow mein, pad kee mao, pad thai, spaghetti aglio e oglio, ramen, etc.), sprinkled on avocado toast, sprinkled on pizza, sprinkled on fried rice, and sautéed with vegetable or peanut oil to make chili oil.


Sold by: Yim's Asian Supermarket


2. Savor (brand) - Calamansi


Flavor: Citric soy sauce; salty, umami, tang; the product name comes from the calamansi fruit which is a little sweet and a little sour.


Applications: On eggs, on various noodles, on rice, on stir-fried vegetables, and in soups.


Sold by: Manila Hongkong Store & Kitchen; 2352 Oddie Blvd, Sparks, NV 89431


3. El Yucateco (brand) - Caribbean 


Flavor: High heat salsa / hot sauce with distinct habanero and tropical notes.


Applications: On eggs with charred tortillas, on nachos, as fish marinade, and dolloped into yellow curry.


Sold by: Marketón


4. Dynasty (brand) - Sesame Oil


Flavor: toasted, nutty, sesame


Applications: In ramen, on glass noodles, on soba noodles hot or cold with avocado and tomatoes, as a dipping sauce with salt and pepper for grilled beef (this one is so good), and used to fry garlic and ginger for stir-fries.


Sold by: Yim's Asian Supermarket and most grocery stores


5. Chinese Five Spice


Flavor: Spans the five basic flavors - sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. Common ingredients are star anise, cloves, cinnamon, sichuan pepper, and fennel.


Applications: Sprinkled on fries, sprinkled on chicken tenders or nuggets, sprinkled on sautéed vegetables with rice vinegar, sprinkled on vegetables before roasting, and in a rub for roasted duck + roasted pork butt + roasted chicken thighs.


Sold by: Make at home with the ground spices above or can be purchased at most grocery stores


6. Dragonfly (brand) - Hot Chili Oil


Flavor: soybean oil infused with red pepper, smooth with medium heat


Applications: In ramen or in soups, in spaghetti aglio e olio, used for sautéing whole garlic, and used for sautéing minced garlic for dumpling dipping (add scallions for garnish).


Sold by: Yim's Asian Supermarket 


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