Those little pots of chili paste in Vietnamese restaurants--love that stuff. It's loaded with pepper flavor and isn't too hot. Perfect for amping up the flavors in the sauteed eggplant and ground pork at Far East Vietnamese restaurant when it arrived without a sauce on the side.
Headed to K&S to buy some for the home kitchen. Or, even better, some of that dark, toasted chili flakes in oil found occasionally at Thai and Chinese restaurants.
Very quickly, the grocery outing became a scavenger hunt. Hmm. Must be here somewhere. Up the Korean aisle, the Japanese aisle. The Middle Eastern aisle. The Latino seasonings aisle, for Pete's sake. At the Chinese aisle, I settled on a product that looked the part--crushed chili in soya oil. Once opened, it was obvious that it's cooking sauce.
Back to square one. What the heck is that stuff? And where can it be purchased?