Traditional recipes

The 1 Condiment You Need from Trader Joe's RIGHT NOW

The 1 Condiment You Need from Trader Joe's RIGHT NOW

People of the world, spice up your life.

Like many people who try to cook deliciously—while minimizing my intake of too much sat fat, sodium, or anything with coconut oil—acid and heat are two of my favorite flavor profiles. What this amounts to is, unsurprisingly, an almost dogged devotion to hot sauce.

Gochujang, neon-green El Yucateca, classic Tabasco, Texas Pete, that weird Fire sauce from Taco Bell (#noshame), I love it all. So, on a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, which we all know is a wonderland for delicious items and ready-meals, I spied a row of small bottles and stopped to inspect them.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Put down whatever it is you’re doing (besides reading this), and get thee to a Trader Joe’s and sweep up all of the Yuzu Hot Sauce that you can find. It’s that good. I’m SERIOUS. Just don’t buy all of it if you happen to live near Birmingham, Alabama. Because I already did or will have by the time you read this.

A little Internet sleuthing taught me that I’m late to the TJ’s Yuzu Hot Sauce game (for those that don’t know, yuzu is a beautifully tart Asian citrus fruit). I don’t care. It’s the spicy, citrusy, kicky, tart, acidic, vinegary wonder ingredient that truly has bowled me over. I haven’t felt this way since I discovered cooking with miso.

To be more precise, there’s heat, yes, but that isn’t the first thing you notice—the first, overwhelming taste is of vinegar and fruit, and an abrupt sweetness. The spice comes along later. It’s subtle but interesting, like a polite dinner guest.

Put it on cold leftover pad Thai, and you’ll wish all pad Thai was cold and leftover. I had a cold the weekend, and I discovered this miracle sauce is delicious doused over chicken soup. Add it to a margarita for a spicy kick, or sprinkle a few drops on top of your avocado toast.

The options are truly endless: Brighten up salad dressings, shake over rice, whirl into mayo for a dipping sauce, or stir into ketchup for a kick. And for the record, this is the perfect hot sauce for oysters—the vinegar tang of an elegant mignonette combined with the heat of a peppery hot sauce will enhance anything from big ‘ol Gulf oysters to the more delicate beauties found in cooler waters.

Have I convinced you yet? (FYI Trader Joe’s isn’t paying me, I just really love this sauce). There’s one more major bonus for the hot sauce-obsessed: the bottle is small. It’s not pocket-sized small, but it’s purse- or backpack-sized small. Which, considering that it pairs well with pretty much any food, you’ll want to have a bottle on hand at all times. I’m keeping one bottle here, hidden away in my desk, and another next to my fridge at home. I’d advise you to do the same.


1 začimba, ki jo potrebujete od TRGOVCA Joe's Right Now - Cooking Light

1 začimba, ki jo potrebujete od TRGOVCA Joe's Right Now - Cooking Light Ljudje sveta, popestrite življenje.

Kot mnogi ljudje, ki se trudijo kuhati okusno - medtem ko zmanjšam vnos preveč nasičene maščobe, natrija ali česar koli, kar vsebuje kokosovo olje-kislina in toplota, sta moja najljubša profila okusa. Kar to pomeni, je presenetljivo skorajda pasja vdanost v vročo omako.

Gochujang, neonsko zelena El Yucateca, klasična Tabasco, Texas Pete, tista čudna Fire omaka iz Taco Bell (#noshame), vse mi je všeč. Na nedavnem izletu pri Traderju Joeju, za katerega vsi vemo, da je čudovita dežela in gotove jedi, sem pokukal v vrsto majhnih steklenic in se ustavil, da bi jih pregledal.

Odložite vse, kar počnete (poleg tega, da to preberete), in pojdite do trgovca Joe-ja in pometajte vso Yuzu vročo omako, ki jo najdete. Tako dobro. Resen sem. Samo ne kupujte vsega, če slučajno živite v bližini Birminghama, Alabama. Ker sem to že storila ali bom že prebrala.

Malo internetnega uspavanja me je naučilo, da zamujam s TJ-jevo igro Yuzu Hot Sauce (za tiste, ki tega ne veste, je yuzu čudovito azijski agrumi citrusov). Vseeno mi je. To je začinjena, citrusi, brbota, trpka, kisla sestavina kisa, ki me je resnično prikradla. Tega nisem čutila odkar sem odkrila kuhanje z misom.

Natančneje, vročina je, da, vendar to ni prva stvar, ki jo opazite - prvi, osupljiv okus je kis in sadje ter močna sladkoba. Začimba pride kasneje. Je subtilen, a zanimiv, kot vljuden gost večera.

WATCH: Preprost trik, ki olajša nakupovanje živil

Položite ga na hladilno ploščico za tajski trak in zaželeli bi si, da bi bila vsa podloga Tajska hladna in ostala. Vikend sem prehladil in odkril sem, da je ta čudežna omaka okusna, namazana s piščančjo juho. Za pikantno potico ga dodajte margariti ali nanj popršite nekaj kapljic.

Možnosti je res neskončno: posvetlite prelive za solato, pretresite riž, zavijte v majo za omako ali popecite v kečapu. In za zapis je to popolna vroča omaka za ostrige - kisa v elegantni mignoneti v kombinaciji z vročino paprične vroče omake bo izboljšala karkoli, od velikih 'ol zalivskih ostrig do občutljivejših lepot, ki jih najdemo v hladnejših vodah.

Sem te že prepričal? (FYI Trgovec Joe mi ne plačuje, preprosto obožujem to omako). Obstaja še en večji bonus za obsedene vroče omake: steklenica je majhna. Ni majhen žep, ampak je majhen v torbici ali nahrbtniku. Glede na to, da se dobro spopada s skoraj katero koli hrano, boste vedno imeli pri roki steklenico. Tukaj hranim eno steklenico, skrito v pisalni mizi, drugo pa poleg svojega hladilnika. Svetoval bi vam, da storite enako.


10 of the Best Summer Items at Trader Joe's, According to Employees

Dill Pickle Mustard

Calling all pickle lovers! "Dill Pickle Mustard couples the savory versatility of mustard with the snappy, herbaceous kick of a well-dilled pickle via the addition of natural pickle flavoring, dill weed, and actual diced-up pickle pieces. Together, these elements form a superbly summer-y sauce that&aposs even tastier than the sum of its parts," the Fearless Flyer writers say. Ideal atop burgers, hot dogs or sandwiches, or mixed into marinades, dressings, deviled eggs or potato salad, this new condiment is mixed up exclusively for Trader Joe&aposs by a fifth-generation mustard maker. ($1.69 per 9-ounce jar)

BBQ Pulled Chicken

Think of this as TJ&aposs shredded chicken 2.0! "We offered a BBQ Pulled Chicken in our refrigerators for many years, and while it had a loyal fan following, over time it became evident that there was room to improve this heat-and-eat favorite for our customers," they say in the Fearless Flyer. "And so, we did!" The new BBQ Pulled Chicken combines chicken breast and thigh meat, all tossed with "a tangy, tomato-based marinade that&aposs rounded out with molasses and vinegar, along with a host of savory spices and notes of hickory smoke." It&aposs oven-roasted, shredded, then covered in more sauce and cooked again via sous vide (temperature-controlled water bath) to lock in the juices. Tucked inside tortillas, sandwich buns or piled over lettuce, BBQ Pulled Chicken might just steal the potluck show𠅎ven if you don&apost have a grill or smoker handy. ($5.99 per 16-ounce container)

Tomato Ketchup with Black Summer Truffle

Truffle cheese, fries, pasta sauces and more have flown off shelves around the fall and winter holidays, the Trader Joe&aposs grocery buyer says, which brought her to ask, "Why must truffles be wintry? Why can&apost backyard barbecues, pool parties and picnics in the park be truffle-tasting occasions, too?" Enter: Tomato Ketchup with Black Summer Truffle, ideal for dunking fries, dressing hot dogs and more. Made in Italy with Italian tomatoes and tartufi neri estivi (AKA black summer truffles) from Italy and Eastern Europe, it packs a sweet, tart and umami punch in each spoonful. ($2.99 per 10.2-ounce jar)

Carne Asada Autentica

Whether you&aposre seeking a way to add some sizzle to a weeknight family dinner or hosting a crowd for a grill gathering, this pre-marinated beef sirloin can trim down on prep time while pumping up the flavor. The Carne Asada Authentica is vacuum-packed coated "in a classic, northern Mexico-inspired marinade of citrus and spice. The benefits to buying already-marinated meat? One, you&aposd have to plan way ahead to achieve this level of flavor infusion on your own. Two, because we&aposve done the trimming and cutting, there&aposs no waste when you make it for your family. And three, it cooks so fast you&aposll be dining in minutes," they say. We&aposre already dreaming about making fajitas, stuffed peppers and taco salads with this. ($9.99 per pound)

Lemony Arugula Basil Salad Kit

Speaking of salads, we&aposre craving one after all this meat and condiment buzz! This three-serving Lemony Arugula Basil Salad Kit with arugula, shaved Parmesan, carrot ribbons, roasted almonds and a "pesto-like" basil-lemon vinaigrette takes seconds to toss together, and can be enjoyed alone as a starter or topped with chicken, shrimp, fish or a big scoop of the vegan feast that&aposs up next. ($3.99 per 9.75-ounce bag)

Vegan Chickpea Masala Salad

Allow us to introduce that stellar salad-topping vegan treat we mentioned: Vegan Chickpea Masala Salad. It&aposs like a totally plant-based riff on tuna or chicken salad, that sounds dreamy over greens, as part of a naan sandwich or scooped up with crackers or crudites. "We&aposre thrilled to find it in the refrigerated case in our neighborhood Trader Joe&aposs—we shop there too, and we&aposve been anxiously awaiting this arrival," the Fearless Flyer contributors say. ($4.99 per 12-ounce container)

Chile Lime Mayonnaise

Chile Lime Seasoning is one of the longest-sold spice blends at Trader Joe&aposs, and the Chili Lime Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips consistently earn top ratings from customers. With that in mind, the brand&aposs buyer dreamed up a "Trader Joe&aposs exclusive, only-for-summer spread that celebrates the season&aposs hottest seasoning," they say. Featuring ancho chile pepper powder, chipotle pepper powder and a dash of lime juice concentrate, this Chile Lime Mayonnaise upgrades mayo with "extra tongue-tingling tanginess." Try it on burgers, in coleslaw or drizzled over fish tacos. ($2.99 per 12-ounce jar)

Sweet Corn, Burrata and Basil Ravioli

All it takes to make this two-serving Sweet Corn, Burrata and Basil Ravioli a meal? A drizzle of olive oil, a spoonful of basil pesto. ooh, or a handful of the season&aposs freshest cherry tomatoes! That&aposs because each pasta pillow is already loaded with summery goodness: kernels of sweet corn kernels, creamy burrata and ricotta cheese, Cheddar, Parmesan, bread crumbs and fresh basil. Each batch takes about 5 minutes to boil to al dente, and it&aposs perfect for enjoying alongside a glass of the next pick. ($3.69 per 8-ounce container)

Cecilia Beretta Prosecco Rosé

Few Trader Joe&aposs round-ups are complete without a nod to their incredible wine deals. "Crisp and bubbly with a hint of fruity sweetness, this show-stopping, Northern Italian sparkling wine stuns year-round. But when one of our winery partners had the idea to blend this Prosecco with a bit of rosé (the unofficial wine of summer), they truly captured lightning in a bottle," they say. This pretty-in-pink Cecilia Beretta Prosecco Rosé has a bit more body and structure thanks to some pinot noir grapes in the mix, making this ideal for sipping with a wide variety of plant-based, seafood and charcuterie creations. ($9.99 per 750-milliliter bottle)

Southern Peach Crisp Ice Cream

Ice cream is a year-round fan fave, but during summer, sales really take off, employees confirm. The new Southern Peach Crisp Ice Cream is designed with that in mind. "In addition to the dreamy, sweet cream ice cream base, our Georgia-based supplier also makes the inclusions in-house—specifically, swirls of luscious peach jam and chunks of buttery oat crisp imbued with hints of cinnamon and sugar," the Fearless Flyer writers say. It&aposs like peach crisp a la mode, all in the same pint. and we can&apost wait to spoon. ($2.99 per pint)


Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar Cheese

Another extremely popular item at Trader Joe's is their Unexpected Cheddar. This cheese is absolutely marvelous. Buy it once and you'll never be able to leave a Trader Joe's without it again. On your first bite, you'll be confused by Unexpected Cheddar's sorcery. It tastes like aged Cheddar in the first moments it's playing with your taste buds. But then, out of nowhere, you will swear that you're eating aged Parmesan. By the time you swallow, all you will be able to think about is the next bite, so that you can hop on the delicious roller coaster all over again.


15 Trader Joe's Products You Need This Summer

There’s only one thing more exciting than summer weather and that’s waiting to see which exciting and new Trader Joe’s products will drop for the new season. Every year, Trader Joe’s releases new, limited-edition products that are only around for the season. If the products are a hit, they may bring them back the following year or they may choose to try something else entirely. Either way, it’s an exciting time for us Trader Joe’s fans.

This year, Trader Joe’s June Fearless Flyer spotlights a slew of summer-friendly products — some brand-new to TJ’s, others making their triumphant return. Check out all of the new summertime faves that you should stock up on before they’re gone.

More from SheKnows

Organic Jalapeño Limeade

Trader Joe’s Instagram fan accounts can’t get enough of Trader Joe’s Organic Jalapeño Limeade. New to the store for $2.29 a bottle, this refreshing drink isn’t too spicy, but it’s spicy enough to liven up your margarita.

Watermelon Cucumber Cooler

Trader Joe’s Watermelon Cucumber Cooler, $3.49, is not only delicious, but it’s also incredibly versatile: Drink it straight, pour it into a blender with watermelon chunks and make slushies with it, add a splash of vodka and make a cocktail. Go crazy… we did.

Zhoug Sauce

Zhoug Sauce is back, baby. This cilantro-based sauce condiment pairs well with everything from eggs to ribeye steak. And for only $2.99 a tub, the options are virtually endless.

Dairy-Free Cheddar Style Slices

These dairy-free, “cultured-cashew ‘cheese‘” slices launched in May, and since, they’ve been all the rage. “This not only gives each Slice a moderately sharp, Cheddar-like flavor but mellows its texture to a degree where it melts nice and evenly,” TJ’s writes.

Lemon Chess pie

Brand-new to TJ’s, Lemon Chess Pie ($7.99) boasts a sweet-tart lemon custard in a rich shortbread crust. TJ’s recommends serving each slice with a dollop of whipped cream.

Patio Potato Chips

Your next backyard barbecue needs this rule-breaking bag of potato chips. You see, Patio Potato Chips ($2.29) isn’t your ordinary bag of chips this one’s comprised of four flavors: Sea Salt & Vinegar, Delicious Dill, Homestyle Ketchup, and Smokin’ Sweet BBQ.

Honey Aleppo Pepper Sauce

Trader Joe’s Honey Aleppo Sauce ($3.99) is described as a sweet, savory, tangy and “slightly spicy” all-purpose sauce.

Cold Pressed Pineapple Juice

What’s more refreshing than an ice-cold glass of cold-pressed pineapple juice during these sweltering-hot summer months?

Organic Sugar Cones

In Episode 26 of Trader Joe’s podcast, Inside Trader Joe’s, hosts Tara Miller and Matt Sloan revealed seven other new products already available on shelves, including these organic sugar cones.

At $3.99 a box, these cones are made with organic wheat flour, organic dark brown sugar, and organic coconut oil, and they pair great with TJ’s Ultra Chocolate Super Premium Ice Cream.

Turkeyless Protein Patty

Available in the refrigerated section is TJ’s new Turkeyless Protein Patty, which according to Miller, tastes just like a turkey burger. Or, you can pair the patty with another new item, the Lemony Arugula Basil Salad Kit.


It&rsquos snack time, baby. &ldquoTo-go snacks are so important in our house,&rdquo Thomas stresses. &ldquoThis pre-portioned blend has several nuts and seeds as well as dried cranberries that are omega-fortified with the oil extracted from their own tiny seeds. They&rsquore a total nutrition powerhouse.&rdquo

&ldquoWild blueberries are an excellent source of manganese (eight times more than regular blueberries),&rdquo Thomas tells us. She keeps them in her freezer for smoothies, but we also love the idea of sprinkling a few on top of our go-to oatmeal recipes.


Trader Joe’s Desserts

Behold, our favorite summer sweets from TJ’s.

Cheese-Less “Cheesecakes”

These vegan cheesecakes have a lot going for them: They’re creamy and custardy with a vanilla note they’re dairy-free so almost everyone can partake they’re no-bake (just thaw them for a couple hours) and they’re individually sized, so there’s no danger of polishing off an entire conventionally sized cheesecake before you even realize it. Top with the ripest summer fruit you can find for a truly special treat.

Chocolate Hummus

Dessert dip is never a bad idea, and dessert hummus has been around for a while, but now that it’s hit Trader Joe’s, it’s a capital-t Thing. And it’s delicious. A fantastic snack any time, it also doubles as an easy (and pretty healthy) party dessert ideal for dipping pretzels, graham crackers, and fresh or dried fruit. You will need a butter knife to spread it on softer fruit like strawberries, but no biggie. You might also need a spoon for when you inevitably decide to just take big bites of the chocolate hummus on its own.

Gone Bananas! & Gone Berry Crazy!

These dark chocolate-covered banana bites should be a permanent fixture in any freezer. Sweet, simple, and healthy(ish), they’re an ideal way to get a quick sugar fix. And one that isn’t ice cream. In fact, we may or may not take these over a pint of Halo Top. Yes, we went there. No, we’re not kidding. And the summer-edition cousin (Gone Berry Crazy!) that swaps in ripe strawberries under that dark chocolate coating, might be even better.


6. Spice up your next meal with this Creamy Jalapeño Sauce.

Made with real jalapeños, this creamy jalapeño sauce is going to be the perfect addition to any hot sauce lover&rsquos next meal. While Trader Joe&rsquos realizes people tend to stick with their hot sauce of choice, this one is considered to be one of the best Trader Joe&rsquos hot-sauce items that are making everyone step outside their comfort zone.


Are Trader Joe’s Cashiers Required to Comment on Your Purchase?

If you shop at Trader Joe’s with any regularity you’ve probably had a cashier comment on something you were buying. It doesn’t happen every time but I’m guessing you’ve heard “Ohhhh man, I love those” or “I’ve been meaning to try those” enough times to notice. TJ’s is famous for its friendly, smiling, and social employees but perhaps you still wondered if those comments are semi-scripted, or part of some company initiative to make us feel all warm and fuzzy. I mean, it’s not every day a stranger breaks eye contact with their tablet or smartphone to offer up real-life human interaction. So what gives?

You wouldn’t be the only person to wonder. A Reddit user that goes by the name u/Spinningimage5 sought to get to the bottom it, posing that very question in a recent Reddit thread entitled “Does every cashier at Trader Joe’s point out something you’re purchasing and say it’s so good? Are they required to say this to everyone?”

He or she was promptly met by a slew of comments from other TJ’s shoppers wondering the same thing, as well as answers from folks claiming to be current or former employees all spilling the tea on whether or not this “habit” is required of employees, completely organic, or (as I assumed) somewhere in between.

One user claiming to be an employee named genuinegrocer—which, if I’m being honest, sounds like an executive’s CEO’s phony profile—claims workers “are not told to say anything….it just comes out naturally because most of us love the products and we’re friendly people.” While another less suspiciously-named user skaev chimed in with “nope, we just genuinely enjoy our products and are happy when customers enjoy them too! I frequently tell customers when I don’t like something.”

The 'I Love Trader Joe's' Cookbook, $11.36 on Amazon

Recipes using TJ's products for the true blue Trader Joe's cult member only.

It’s hard to believe that there isn’t some level of encouragement, if not downright instruction, from higher-ups for checkout personnel to interact with customers, but it’s true that not all cashier commentary is in praise of the products, as evidenced by user KrisPBacon0905 who claims she was buying goat cheese once when a cashier exclaimed that he “hates goat cheese because it tastes like he’s licking a goat’s nipple.”

More evidence for it being an organic practice came in the form of comments from two other “former employees”—per one of them, workers are “constantly tasting the products so if someone is, say, buying the new chili onion crunch condiment, and I just tried it in the back…you better believe I’m going to mention how I thought it tasted.” Another user reminded us that “the crew gets a discount and probably shops there and uses the products at home.”

Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute, (pack of 3), $14.49 on Amazon

A spice mix definitely worth commenting on.

Some folks like user WhimsicalKoala didn’t really care whether the employee comments were real or fake, saying “I just love that they can chat while working! I go to most grocery stores and you can tell they are being treated like shelf-stocking robots.” While oldenuff2know said they “enjoy the chat, plus it seems like other shoppers tend to be a little kinder and gentler with each other and that’s nice, too!”

We reached out for comment on the policy from Trader Joe’s and at the time of posting had not heard back, though one user called somegummybears mentioned that Trader Joe’s had, in fact, addressed this subject briefly on their podcast to the tune of, “No, it’s not required!” Either way, Trader Joe’s continues to build a groundswell of consumer goodwill and almost cult-following with their innovative products at low prices, all served up by an uber-friendly staff, and frankly…we’re here for it.


15 New Trader Joe’s Products You Need This Summer

There’s only one thing more exciting than summer weather and that’s waiting to see which exciting and new Trader Joe’s products will drop for the new season. Every year, Trader Joe’s releases new, limited-edition products that are only around for the season. If the products are a hit, they may bring them back the following year or they may choose to try something else entirely. Either way, it’s an exciting time for us Trader Joe’s fans.

This year, Trader Joe’s June Fearless Flyer spotlights a slew of summer-friendly products &mdash some brand-new to TJ’s, others making their triumphant return. Check out all of the new summertime faves that you should stock up on before they’re gone.

Organic Jalapeño Limeade

Trader Joe’s Instagram fan accounts can’t get enough of Trader Joe&rsquos Organic Jalapeño Limeade. New to the store for $2.29 a bottle, this refreshing drink isn’t too spicy, but it’s spicy enough to liven up your margarita.

Watermelon Cucumber Cooler

Trader Joe&rsquos Watermelon Cucumber Cooler, $3.49, is not only delicious, but it’s also incredibly versatile: Drink it straight, pour it into a blender with watermelon chunks and make slushies with it, add a splash of vodka and make a cocktail. Go crazy… we did.

Zhoug Sauce

Zhoug Sauce is back, baby. This cilantro-based sauce condiment pairs well with everything from eggs to ribeye steak. And for only $2.99 a tub, the options are virtually endless.

Dairy-Free Cheddar Style Slices

These dairy-free, “cultured-cashew ‘cheese‘” slices launched in May, and since, they’ve been all the rage. “This not only gives each Slice a moderately sharp, Cheddar-like flavor but mellows its texture to a degree where it melts nice and evenly,” TJ’s writes.

Lemon Chess pie

Brand-new to TJ’s, Lemon Chess Pie ($7.99) boasts a sweet-tart lemon custard in a rich shortbread crust. TJ’s recommends serving each slice with a dollop of whipped cream.

Patio Potato Chips

Your next backyard barbecue needs this rule-breaking bag of potato chips. You see, Patio Potato Chips ($2.29) isn’t your ordinary bag of chips this one’s comprised of four flavors: Sea Salt & Vinegar, Delicious Dill, Homestyle Ketchup, and Smokin’ Sweet BBQ.

Honey Aleppo Pepper Sauce

Trader Joe&rsquos Honey Aleppo Sauce ($3.99) is described as a sweet, savory, tangy and “slightly spicy” all-purpose sauce.

Cold Pressed Pineapple Juice

What’s more refreshing than an ice-cold glass of cold-pressed pineapple juice during these sweltering-hot summer months?

Organic Sugar Cones

In Episode 26 of Trader Joe’s podcast, Inside Trader Joe’s, hosts Tara Miller and Matt Sloan revealed seven other new products already available on shelves, including these organic sugar cones.

At $3.99 a box, these cones are made with organic wheat flour, organic dark brown sugar, and organic coconut oil, and they pair great with TJ’s Ultra Chocolate Super Premium Ice Cream.

Turkeyless Protein Patty

Available in the refrigerated section is TJ’s new Turkeyless Protein Patty, which according to Miller, tastes just like a turkey burger. Or, you can pair the patty with another new item, the Lemony Arugula Basil Salad Kit.


Trader Joe's Gochujang

The pros: Trader Joe's Gochujang is new to store shelves and adds a completely different hot sauce that some might not be familiar with.

The cons: If you have never worked with this type of ingredient, then you might not appreciate it fully. This hot sauce has some funk to it which might not garner everyone's appreciation. It's best to try this with something and not on its own.

The verdict: I experienced Gochujang for the first time at Trader Joe's with their Gochujang Almonds. I had no idea what I had bought at the time. They were vinegary, funky, spicy, and just awesome for my palate. But they were a mixed decision in my household. There was something funky about them that my husband did not like. More for me.

Actually come to think of it, perhaps I had it in other ways and just did not realize it at the time. I remember trying Trader Joe's Bibimbap Bowl and remember that hot sauce. I only needed a few drops. I'm glad I did not just dump the sauce out.

I polished off the whole bag. Those almonds are still available on Trader Joe's shelves. Now, the funky sauce is on TJ's shelves too. Now, I always like to taste things on their own. This probably wasn't the best idea. You see Gochujang does have a bit of funkiness to it in a way that other hot sauces do not. This was medium heat, but I did not love the flavor on its own.

However, with the right pairing and recipe this can be very good. I used this instead as a base to a marinade to some steak. My husband even commented that it smelled good when I was cooking in the house. I asked if he would try some. He was a good sport about trying some. But he had pretty much the same reaction to this as the almonds. He responded with a quick "no" when I asked if he like this.

As for me, I like it. I didn't love it. But it was different from all the other marinades I had previously made. It added quite a bit of umami to the steak with a bit of heat and a touch of funk. I don't think this is a hot sauce that will have quite the appeal that sriracha has had. The heat also mellowed after cooking to a more mild heat.

For $3.99 this bottle will last quite a while. It's worth a try for the culinarily adventurous. Otherwise, this is best paired with some other flavors. In the case of my steak, the vinegar and onions paired well with this. If you are more experienced with Korean flavors than I am, I'd love to hear what you think. If you aren't experienced with this type of flavors, then check out Bon Appetit's article on 29 Gochujang Recipes to Give Your Food Some Sweet, Sweet Heat

Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:

The bottle of Trader Joe's Gochujang:

The nutritional information and the ingredients:

Used as a marinade for steak using this recipe from Bon Appetit:

Would I buy this again? I have a feeling Trader Joe's Gochujang is likely to last me a long time. If I need another one, I could easily get this item at Trader Joe's or at my local Asian grocery store.

Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.