Recipe: Susan Volland’s Sweet Potatoes and Korean Chile Paste Sauce

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(Clockwise from top left) Chile sauces: Homemade Sriracha; Tomato & Chile Momo Dunk;  Sweet Garlic & Pickled Chile Dipping Sauce; Harissa; All-Purpose Hot Sauce; Fuschia Dunlop’s Chinese Chile Oil. (Photos by Angie Norwood Browne)

In her cookbook, “Mastering Sauces: The Home Cook’s Guide to New Techniques for Fresh Flavors,” author Susan Volland offers up more than 150 recipes for beginning and experienced sauciers alike. Volland says any sauce can be customized to suit your taste through following three fundamental principles: “maximize flavor, manipulate texture and season confidently.”

The key to creating fresh, homemade sauces without added thickeners is to use mock stocks or infusions that allow you to adjust consistency without losing the flavor. In this “Korean Chile Paste Sauce” recipe, depending upon your preference, Susan suggests using either chicken stock, vegetable stock or a barley tea infusion to dilute the gochujang fermented chile paste.

This chile sauce’s sweet, salty and spicy notes will perk up grilled meats, fish, tofu, meaty mushrooms or sautéed greens. You can find gochujang for sale in tubs or tubes at your local Asian grocer or at any good supermarket.