My grandma’s homemade hot sauce is the glue that holds all of her food together. I have searched high and low for a hot bean paste (doubanjiang) that rivals the one she spends days making. It’s a painstaking process and why most people would rather just go out purchase jarred hot sauce before trying to dry and ferment their own chilies and broad beans. Fuschia Dunlop calls doubanjiang the “essential flavorings of the Sichuanese kitchen.” Aspiring Sichuan cooks like myself can agree—it transforms a dish from just being good to mouthwateringly tasty. I use her hot sauce in everything—mapo tofu, cold noodles liang mian, beef noodle soup, stir fried anything, bang bang chicken, and more. This particular jar was sent to me via Fedex (Thanks Mom!) when I alerted the fam that I was running low. Stay tuned to see what I’ll be making with it!
Condiment Pairing: Smooth yet spicy, Chicago producer Juke Ellington’s “Love In Space” turns up the heat, just like grandma’s doubanjiang.