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What NEW condiment should I try ... or not?

This topic talks about the condiments people use the most.


Pretty much sriracha chili sauce, dijon mustard, Tabasco and salt and pepper lead the pack.

But what condiment do you love that is different?

Also, have you bought anything you regretted?

Recent topics about pommegranite molasses have made me a fan. I use this more than anything lately.

On the other hand the bottles of four kinds of piri-piri sauce have been in my fridge over a year. My s/o who likes hot sauce won't touch it either.

Then there was that regretable lavendar salt that I bought. It was fine, but there is only so much you can do with lavendar salt.

I'm contemplating a set of Brazilian oils and condiments. If I buy them I'll report back.

So what are your condiment hits and misses? I'm looking forward to trying something new.

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  1. rworange -- I like yuzu paste. It gives a Japanese citrus zest to salad dressings, marinades, and sandwich spreads. I am always looking for food-stuffs that offer a lot of flavor without a lot of calories. Additionally, you can mix yuzu paste with a multitude of ingredients: balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, orange or other citrus juices, yogurt.

    6 Replies
    1. re: liu

      On the tamer side, I also like Robert Lambert's White Grapefruit Syrup (robertlambert.com from Marin County, CA). This is a syrup -- I am reading from the label -- that is made from the peel and juice, and it is honey-like, but with a sharp citrus flavor. It can be used in teas (hot or cold), in sparkling water, on cheeses, with fruit or ice cream, on toast, in yogurt, in salad dressings, on rice, over fish or steamed veggies. I like its tang, and it can go sweet or savory.

      1. re: liu

        Thank you for posting this web address. The site has the most luscious sounding products.

        Have you tried any of his other items? The Preserved Meyer Lemons sound wonderful.

      2. re: liu

        I also crave Yuzu Chili Paste (officially "Yuzu Kosho" I think) which I was introduce to at a high end Sushi Restaurant where it is excellent on any white fish or grilled mushrooms. Unfortunately not all Sushi restaurants or Japanese markets carry it; but it is definitely worth the effort to seek out as its taste is "Uniquely Wonderful"!

        1. re: JBC

          JBC, quick note: Nijiya Market on Sawtelle carries several different kinds of "Yuzu Kosho." Most are in the $3-$5 range.

        2. re: liu

          Where can I find yuzu "paste?" juice and powder is no problem any help would be appreciated, Thx!

          1. re: liu

            where do you buy your yuzu paste?

          2. On a recent trip to Penzey's I picked up some "Szechuan Pepper-Salt Roasted" - this is good sprinkled on stuff such as cold roast chicken, but it is fairly salty. The package says, "The peppercorns are roasted and ground with flake salt to a fine powder." It's definitely tingly.

            1. 1. Indian hot lime pickle. There are a few Indian brands, and it is very tasty with Indian dishes or pappadom crackers, and I sometimes use it on the side with lentil soup, too.

              2. All sorts of chutneys/pickles. In the UK I've discovered the magic of cheese and pickle: sharp cheddar and brown vegetable pickle (Branston's is the popular brand), on a sandwich or with bread or crackers. Now I eat cheese with all sorts of spicy pickles and chutneys: tomato, apple, etc. Currently I'm plowing through a jar of delicious tomato/chilli jam that I found in a farmers' market.

              3. I love preserved lemons too. Started making my own and they're gorgeous in Claudia Roden's Moroccan lemon chicken, and I'm experimenting with them in other things too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kagey

                Along the lines of the chtneys- in the past year or two I have gone through numerous jars of that tamarind/date chutney used for making bhel puri. I have glazed a smoked duck with it, mixed it with mango and black beans for a delicious salsa, and just schmeared liberally it on papadum, among other things. It is versatile, wonderful stuff.

              2. I just bought some Korean Chili Paste. Not sure on the exact name, haven't even used it yet, but I'm hoping it is similar to the chili paste they give you with bibimbop. It has a different flavor then sriracha, more earthy imho, but I'm sure you could use it everywhere you'd use sriracha.

                1 Reply
                1. re: michele cindy

                  gochujang or kochujang...im a huge fan too. you describe it perfectly...it is defintely earthy.

                2. Somewhere in the back of our refrigerator is a jar of olive jam that I bought at TJ's around a year ago. Man, that stuff was strange. Black olives in a sweet, jam-y consistency. I thought it must be an acquired taste but it seemed like too much work to acquire. Others must have agreed with me, because TJ's is no longer selling it.

                  1. Has anyone seen the chili sauce/paste from china that has walnuts mixed into it? I have seen it at the asian market but have never tried it? Also is that Vietnamese fish sauce considered a condiment?what does that taste like?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: beer786

                      Vietnamese fish sauce -- the kind purchased in a Vietnamese Market (I have only seen very large bottles)rather than the popular small-bottle brand on the shelf at your local grocer -- is very concentrated and very strong in both flavor and odor. However, it seems to transform when used in cooking; it loses its "fishiness" and adds deliciousness to most sauces, dressings and marinades -- if used sparingly or as designated by a recipe. I would suggest not using any additional salt with it because it is very salty by itself.

                      1. re: liu

                        I loved fish sauce and keep several different varieties on hand both Thai and Vietnamese. I really like one from Three Crabs that is flavored with crab.

                        1. re: Candy

                          The Three Crabs fish sauce...is that Thai or Vietnamese? I am asking so that I can search the appropriate market.

                      2. re: beer786

                        Muhammara - It's roasted red peppers+hot peppers etc with walnuts!! So delicious. It's available at Arabic grocers or you can make it: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...
                        Makes a super sandwich spread!

                      3. Pickapepper. Its kind of like a bolder version of wostershire....thicker too.....

                        1. I bought a bottle of banana sauce quite awhile ago when I was at a big international market. It's sitting on the shelf because I haven't a clue what to do with it. Or even what it has to do with bananas-- it is reddish-- do I put it on bananas? Or is it made from bananas? (If I were at home I could check if there is an ingredient list... perhaps there isn't or I would already have done this...)

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Anne H

                            You caught my attention ... although everything in this thread is on my future grocery list ... I just had a good catsup experince, so I'm thinking banana sauce/catsup might be next.

                            I remember it being discussed in the past on Chowhound. Here are two of those posts

                            Has anyone heard of banana ketchup? What is it used for?

                            - It's like a much milder, thicker Sriracha
                            - Killer on poultry, especially grilled.


                            Banana Sauce

                            - put it over an omelete or some steamed rice and veggies. It's quite versatile. I've seen some brands advise to use it over ice cream.
                            - Great with pan-fried or deep-fried sweet-potatoes
                            - Filipino spaghetti sauce (complete with cut up hotdogs!)
                            - Mom uses it to make a mean BBQ sauce and cocktail sauce. She told me it's uses it like a ketchup replacement


                            1. re: Anne H

                              Not too long ago I also bought Banana Sauce labeled-"Jufran" in a filipino market that I was doing business. I also picked up a bottle of Palm vinegar for - adobo. With regards to the b. sauce, I was told it is spicy and to use it on everything from the lumpia to noodles.
                              ewww..I looked at the ingredients. water sugar, banana, salt, modified starch, spices,0.1 sodium benzoate, yellow #5, red#40, titanium dioxide ??/ -and Banana Flavor.
                              40 calories -2 tbls.

                            2. Banana Ketchup? Its a spicy filipino ketchup...dunno why the "banana" is in there.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Xericx

                                Because it's actually made with Bananas... not tomatoes! :)


                              2. Star anise powder.

                                Goes well with oatmeal, congee (w/dried, shredded pork), and all things ramen.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Ipse--this is an question born of ignorance, not sarcasm.

                                  Is it licorice-y? When I think "anise" I think anisette, so I can't mentally "taste" it on oatmeal or ramen, say. I trust your opinion. Is there anything that star anise is "close" to tasting like, or will I just have to buy some?

                                  1. re: thegolferbitch

                                    It's more like a bitter pungent saltiness. Hard to describe the flavor, but it does have overtones of licorice, although that is definitely not the overriding or dominant flavor.

                                2. Definitely Three Crabs fish sauce. I also picked up some XO Sauce at my local Asian market after having it on a few dishes in Hong Kong last year. Just a little adds a nice zing to stir-fry or seafood.

                                  Also, a dash or four of Sansho pepper adds a nice spiciness to lots of dishes. There are lots of different versions in the markets.

                                  1. After reading some high profile blog postings I bought some smoked sweet Spanish paprika ("the thing for authentic Spanish cooking"), well I can only take so much of the smoked chili flavor so I expect to use it rarely. It's much like the southwestern smoked poblano (?) chilis - which I can also only take in small amounts.

                                    I bought some D'Artagnan porcini flour a few months ago, there's only so much of that you can use.

                                    I use up things like pickled ginger and mirin very quickly, I constantly run out of black pepper and thyme and ground cumin, I like salted capers (esp. pan fried) but go through these relatively slowly

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: steinpilz

                                      You have mentioned some of my favorites! I like the smoked paprika, but I really like the sweet paprika from Penzey's; the fragrance is wonderful!
                                      Fresh ginger in the fridge at all times is a must! And I will use mirin in anything: salad dressings and marinades. Finally, I also love the salted capers that you mentioned, but if I am going to use them in a salad, I must rinse them first.

                                      1. re: liu

                                        How do you use those condiments, lui?

                                        I picked up the banana catsup today (haven't tried it yet), so the yuzu paste is the next on my list to find. Sort of a Chowhound scavenger hunt for me. The Lutenitsa that Divamac mentions is sounding interesting. Next time I'm in a place selling Greek things.

                                        1. re: rworange

                                          Hi, rworange! This is a very fun post!

                                          There's nothing too ingenious here with me -- salads, salads, salads, and salad dressings! For me to do it, the actual DOING must be easy. This is why I search for interesting tastes, because my technique is non-existent!

                                          The sweet paprika from Penzey's is terrific in any red sauces or as a visual finishing topping on anything (perhaps not ice cream!). Mirin is really good in salad dressings; it gives it a sweet depth..."ooooooh, what is that sweet, deep flavor that I can't identify?" you will say! Also, try mirin next time you grill; add a little to BBQ sauce or teriyaki, and paint your meat or veggies.

                                          My favorite: yuzu paste on everything!!! Try it on a sandwich to save calories, instead of mayo. Perhaps you will want to cut it with yogurt. It is also great on fish; we had it last night atop some wild salmon! (It makes sense with fish because it IS a citrus.)

                                          rworange -- your turn...how do YOU do it? And please do let me know about the bananananana catsup!

                                      2. re: steinpilz

                                        The smoked Spanish paprika is fantastic in mashed potatoes. A little goes a long way. Even better are those same potatoes the next day, made into patties and fried in schmaltz.

                                        1. re: steinpilz

                                          steinpilz - where did you get the porcini flour from? Is it cheaper than dried porcini? I love porcini, but it's breaking my budget.

                                          BTW: your smoked paprika can make a great spice rub! Just blend it with brown sugar, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, a bit of salt, cocoa and espresso powders and you're in business. The strong chili flavor will mellow out after cooking. I have to make jars of it for my friends, who always ask for more.

                                        2. Lutenitsa, a traditional Bulgarian spread (can be made with tomotoes or roasted red peppers) and is fantastic just spread on bread with or without Bulgarian feta. Yummy!

                                          You can get it in some supermarkets (in the international food isle, mixed in with the Greek things) and in international markets. The Zergut brand makes 2 jarred versions of it: lutenitsa (the tomato-based version) and Peppetizer (the pepper version). Both have roasted eggplant and chile as well. I made a Bulgarian dinner for my inlaws a couple of months ago and made a huge batch of homemade lutenitsa (I'd never had it before) and I became instantly addicted. My version was much better than the jarred version, but it also took a long time to make, so I eat the jarred version regularly. I am seriously addicted!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Divamac

                                            that sounds soooo good, i need to find myself a jar.

                                            1. re: beer786

                                              Lutenitsa is also really good mixed with scrambled eggs and some veg (like grilled mushrooms!) and topped with either cheese or a balkan yogurt

                                            2. re: Divamac

                                              This sounds like ajar (avjar or any number of other variations of spelling) which you can get hot or mild. You can usually find jars of it around. Great stuff. My wife uses it instead of mayonnaise in sandwiches or tosses it with pasta for a quick dinner. Never lasts long in our house.

                                            3. I'm big into chipotle mayonaise these days.
                                              I make my own and love it.


                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                Oh, yes! For me, though, it's the wasabi mayo. That and grated parmigian.

                                              2. I've been using a jar of Green Tomato jam I got at H├ędiard a lot lately.

                                                At first I was just putting it on fried chicken. (Made it seem like you were having fried chicken, fried green tomatoes and a biscuit with honey in every bite!)

                                                Then it spread to using it on buttered toast (not original but I didn't think I'd like the flavor too much just plain).

                                                Then I tried it as a dipping sauce mixed with a little Dijon.
                                                (Worked really well with fried zucchini.)

                                                Most recently I used it as a glaze for steak (helps to use a little jalapeno and lemon). I even added it to a fettucine dish I made with fresh ricotta, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

                                                The jar's getting empty though. Fortunately there's a jar of watermelon/geranium jam (also from Hediard) waiting for me. Visions of watermelon pasta are dancing in my head already... (wait, is that weird?)

                                                1. Lee Kum Kee brand XO Sauce, or you can make your own. Adding this to any thing makes it a mouth party. It is a blend of dried scallops and shrimp, garlic, chili paste and oyster extract among other things. Stir fried fresh pea sprouts tossed with a few tablespoons of XO is quick and wonderful!

                                                  1. I am getting some yuzu paste. Has anyone heard of tobassco soy sauce? I saw some wasabi soy sauce at the store.

                                                    1. We had an Indonesian friend who passed away some years ago. He made a paste called "Bali Chow" (sp?), and when he did, he passed around small jars of it: very little was needed - a tiny dab was put on a plate of even the hottest or sweetest curry, and then "referred to" with a single tine of a fork - dip the tine, then pick some curry or whatever else onto the fork.

                                                      The ingredients were: chili oil; chili seeds; and dried, smoked shrimp. This was all ground together, but I don't know in what proportions or if anything else was added. It was absolutely the hottest, most concentrated and flavourful thing imaginable. The heat amplified the intense, smokey shrimp taste and the taste of anything else on the fork.

                                                      For whatever reason the recipe is not available. Is anyone else familiar with this condiment? I've spelled it phonetically, not properly. Is a recipe available? Is there a good commercial product available?

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: DockPotato

                                                        its probably sambal belacan - thats a chile paste with dried fermented fish/shrimp in it eaten allover that area. Its great stuff.

                                                      2. In Austria, I got hooked on pumpkin seed oil (kurbiskernol). YOu drizzle it over salads or soups for a marvelous subtle yet distinctive note....kind of earthy. YOu can find it at specialty shops and German delis.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: mothrpoet

                                                          My son, who lives in Austria gave me a bottle of kubiskernol for Xmas. We drizzled it on our squash soup. It was unbelievably good. What other ways have you used it?

                                                        2. not super new but maybe new to you- wickles.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                            1. re: alex8alot

                                                              google wickles :) they are a type of pickle that is kind of sweet, kind of hot, so tasty.

                                                          1. Brown sauce, the kind they have on every table in the UK. I love it with fries. I'm trying to find other clever ways to use it (since I bought quite a few bottles last time I was in the UK).

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: AmblerGirl

                                                              heheheheheeh. I just noticed you post on Brown Sauce. You might like the okonomi sauce I mention in the following post. It is Japanese, but VERY similar to HP fruity sauce.

                                                              hey... btw. I have looked all over for a sauce by HP called "Yummy Sauce" that I saw in an asian store one time. Ever heard of it?

                                                              1. re: krushdnasty

                                                                No but I'll keep an eye open for it! With a name like yummy sauce ... it must be good :)

                                                            2. Kecap manis: indonesian soy sauce with dark molasses and spices (supposedly this is the origin of our ketchup).

                                                              Okonomi sauce: like a thick worcestire with dried fruit, scallop/seafood, meat extract.

                                                              1. On the what condiments do you have in your refrig thread, I neglected to mention the jar of israeli/yemeni Schug that I bought recently. What a terrific condiment for, say, leftover turkey or lamb! I highly recommend trying this if you can find it (or a recipe to make it).

                                                                I forgot to consider my spillover refrig in the cellar where less popular substances languish! Down there is a big jar of amba, also a yemenite condiment, I think its primary ingredients are mango (maybe dried ground mango/amchur), fenugreek seed and salt; its overwhelmingly salty and fenugreeky. I cant see using it as a table condiment, unlike the schug - maybe a seasoning for meat prior to roasting? How do any of you use amba?

                                                                1. So many great-sounding ideas here! I'll add two that I discovered at the Fiery Foods Show last year.

                                                                  -- Wine conserves. These are like jams made with wine, just a little sweet, but no added sugar. They really taste winey! Very nice with cheese and fruit on crackers, or even in a sandwich. Nice if you don't have or want to open a full bottle, or if you want something with less alcohol for some reason. In a pinch, I've even used it in place of wine when making a sauce. Couldn't tell the difference. There are several flavors, and I've enjoyed all the ones I've tried. Mine are from http://leaningoaksvineyard.com/

                                                                  -- Garlic chipotle spread from http://www.joyofgarlic.com/
                                                                  Smooth, creamy, buttery, rich, sharp, spicy, smoky. I'm addicted to this stuff on Triscuits, but have also mixed it into burger patties, added it to vinaigrette, etc. There are only a few ingredients, so my mom and I tried to mimic it. We're pretty close, but ours was waaaayyy too sharp on the garlic. It was HOT! We're going to try to find a very mild garlic for the next time we try.

                                                                  1. on Dec 06, 2006 risandov replied to liu

                                                                    Where can I find yuzu "paste?" juice and powder is no problem any help would be appreciated, Thx!

                                                                    on Dec 06, 2006 jen kalb replied to liu

                                                                    where do you buy your yuzu paste?


                                                                    Any Japanese market should have it. Unlike some other Japanese products, I've not seen this one in generic/pan Asian grocery stores though. There are two versions - one made with ripe yuzu and chiles, the other with unripe, green yuzu and chiles. The boxes look different but there's no distinction made in the English language text on the labels, at least brand I have:

                                                                    Orange box + red/orange sauce = ripe
                                                                    Green box + green sauce = unripe

                                                                    1. I took a tube of anchovy paste with me on a cross-country trip to cook for friends in North Carolina and Boston, and my Boston friend made me leave it with her. I snuck it into steamed potatoes, sauteed Portobellos and broccoli and didn't reveal it until after the raves died down.

                                                                      It elicited several comments from the security people at the airports, though, as it sat in my baggie with my toothpaste.

                                                                      1. Mae ploy - Thai sweet chili sauce. In addition to its traditional uses, very good on roast chicken with rice.