Every shop and every family in Taiwan has their own recipe. Regardless of the recipe, there is a single requirement that every sauce must have - and it isn’t heat.
It is aroma.
The Taiwanese love aromatic chili sauce that has a long finish but short burn. Yes, that’s right, heat is not the critical component. The Taiwanese place so much more value on the aroma and nose.
Food simply prepared and dressed with a Taiwanese chili sauce is transcendent. It emphasizes the freshness of the ingredients like thinly sliced cucumber or something I typically detest: poached chicken breast. If you give me chili sauce, then it becomes soul food for me.
If you are traveling through the region, don’t go just go hunting for xiao long baos. Taiwan has much more to offer your nose and palate. Chili sauce will wake up even the most boring of ingredients.
Here is a video clip of my friend mixing their own homemade chili sauce. It is different from the noodle shop from above, where rock sugar is used to add an interesting complexity to the flavor. Personally, I think the reason why he is such a popular Hollywood producer is partly because his chili sauce. It makes actors happy. In a few weeks, I’ll bring you video of Malaysian sambal being made, it is another chili sauce from Asia that you must have. Chili sauce is the spice of life. Enjoy!
Kent is a management consultant who has spent years traveling for work. His refuge is looking for the perfect meal so that he can reproduce it at home with his wife and friends.