Three Tasting Notes to Look for in Good BBQ Sauce
There are three tasting notes that I look for, when I’m trying out new barbecue sauce, and Bibigo Go-Chu-Jang Hot & Sweet Sauce has them all.
The sauce has to be a little sweet, but not sugary. The purpose of the sweetness is to balance out the acidic tomato base. Too much sugar and you turn dinner into dessert. Not enough sugar and the sauce is too tart.
Bibigo uses a combination of brown and white sugar. That touch of molasses from the brown sugar helps the sauce meet my second requirement – umami.
Umami provides savory, meaty richness to dishes. The meat you grill will automatically have this flavor. When you can accentuate that natural goodness with an umami sauce, you’re in the bonus round.
This sauce is made with key umami ingredients like soy sauce, koji and a spike of salted sake. So far, it’s passed two of my tests.
Round three for sauce tasting is heat. I don’t care for sauces that are flat. I want them to bite back a little, but I don’t want them so bold that they burn out my taste buds and the flavor of my meat. The best heat is the spice that comes through at the end.
That’s where the power of Gochujang comes in. Go-chu what? I know. It’s that funny name again. Gochujang is simply a fermented red chili paste made popular in South Korea.
I lived in South Korea for a short time, so I became familiar with Gochujang years ago. I fell in love with it because it’s mild, earthy and blends well with so many other flavor profiles.
It’s kind of like the adobo sauce you find in a can of chipotles, but it’s not smoky. You get more of the pure chili flavor with a touch of that sweet umami.
Go-Chu-Jang Hot & Sweet Sauce rocks on all proteins and veggies
You can use it straight up, or you can blend it with other ingredients.
- For chicken, seafood and veggies, mix it with a little melted butter and use it as a baste.
- For pork, mix it with apple juice for a quick marinade.
- For ribs, just brush the sauce right on at the end of your grilling.
- For burgers, squeeze it on the bun instead of ketchup.
Or, combine it with some honey and mayo to make a dressing for a healthy grilled chicken salad. Here’s a recipe for Grilled Chicken Salad with Gochujang Honey Dressing to get you started.