So I have kind of a love affair with condiments. I have about 17 hot sauces in my pantry, 11 mustards in the fridge, and a variety of random finds that “one day going to make something with,” (as inspired by visits to restaurants such as Hot Joy in San Antonio for their ultra delectable Crab Fat Chicken Wings). As my collection grows, my pantry clutters, my fridge overflows, but to me – condiments are somehow just worth it and as essential as any other ingredient in many a famous dish. Imagine a Chicago dog with out its signature bright green pickle relish, chicken wings without hot sauce, or (in my boyfriends self prescribed Hell) pretty much everything and anything without ketchup. Should I go on? And although I am a fan of the classics I’m always down to try the new stuff too; go down the route of the bottle less squeezed, or the pickle less spread. So in true pioneer fashion, here is my round up of my top 5 condiments, for condiment people.
This one has the umami obsessed totally swooning. A spicy fermented chili paste that basically makes everything good. You can do anything with it, put it on chicken, stir it into rice, mix it with honey and make a glaze. Its one of those versatile condiments that gives you major kitchen street cred. while totally making you look like you are better cook than you potentially are.
I’m a brit guys, so its kind of in my DNA to like this particular condiment. I am partial to the Haywards variety myself, but you can get your hands on many other kinds. A relish of mixed pickled veggies and spices, it’s a British take on an indian pickle of sorts. Its perfect on a sandwich, with a pork pie, or sometimes even right out of the jar!
I know, I know – its almost a cardinal sin to even consider anything other than Heinz, but trust me, you are going to want to give it a try.
A Paul Qui stable, which ensures ease of transition into my fridge. This mayonnaise is a staple in most Japanese kitchens. A more vinegary and creamy mayo, Kewpie adds an extra kick to things like chicken salad, deviled eggs, and even your average turkey sandwich. It’s rich, but not too rich, and if you are sucker for fun packaging like me – it really hits all the marks.
As i live in Austin, I am very lucky/eternally grateful to have foodie favorite Dai Dui in my backyard so believe me when i say, anytime I manage to get over there for brunch, I do. On one of my recent visits they slapped some of this on their cheeseburger to give it the perfect earthy balance.