Image: Sauteed Green Beans with Gochujang Sauce by cHow Divine
It used to be that Sriracha ruled the global condiment stage. I still love it, and find myself adding it to scrambled eggs and avocado toast in the morning and using it frequently at dinner -- in everything from sauces and soups to whole-grain salads and stir-fries. This beloved Thai chili sauce has officially gone mainstream, showing up on menus at Subway and Taco Bell, and flavoring frozen entrees, prepared hummus, potato chips, popcorn and even ketchup. But now Sriracha has some competition with a new crop of exotic spicy sauces from Asia and North Africa coming on to the scene.
The trend was recently explored in Beyond Dipping: The International Sauce Explosion in the Wall Street Journal and Sriracha Has Moved into the American Mainstream: What Hot Asian Ingredents are Next? in the Kansas City Star. McCormick & Co., a client of mine, recently released its Flavor Forecast report for 2015, which also predicted the rise of Asian and Middle Eastern spice blends. Our palates are increasingly demanding bolder, stronger flavors -- and that's especially true for Millennials who are embracing global cuisines.
Here's a guide to the new global flavors you need to get to know, along with some inspiration from Healthy Aperture bloggers.
Gochujang: a fermented Korean chili sauce that is often featured in Korean bbq dishes and the increasingly popular mixed rice and vegetable dish that is often topped with a fried egg called bibimbap (which is also trending up, you'll find 20+ recipes for bibimbap on Healthy Aperture)
Harissa: a North African chili paste
Sambal: a Southeast Asian chili paste
Shichimi togarashi: Japanese 7-spice blend that combines chilies, sesame, orange zest, seaweed and more
Shawarma spice blend: a Middle Eastern staple that's a mixture of cumin, cinnamon, black pepper and more
Za'atar: A Middle Eastern spice blend of dried thyme, sesame seeds, salt and often sumac and other spices
Take a look at some of these tasty ways you can start cooking with these global flavors:
Colorful Bibimbap by The Chick Who Eats
Pork Lychee Salad with Shichimi Togarashi by Healthy Recipes Ecstasy
Grilled Chicken Shawarma Salad by Feasting at Home
Za'atar Flatbread by Home Sweet Jones