Hot & Spicy 3.0
Balance and dimension are the next big thing in hot and spicy food—call it Hot & Spicy 3.0—and they’re easy to achieve with the help of Kikkoman sauces.
“Hot and spicy is more than just a trend; it’s part of who we are and what we eat today,” says Andrew Hunter, Kikkoman Foodservice and Industrial corporate chef. “Americans have grown to love hot and spicy food. Ingredients that were once considered cutting-edge and daring, like chipotle chiles (let’s call them Hot & Spicy 1.0) and Sriracha hot sauce (Hot & Spicy 2.0), are woven into our diets and our recipes. They’re an expected part of today’s flavor pantry.”
The key now is to use heat like any other flavor to create balance and dimension in recipes, says Hunter. That’s Hot & Spicy 3.0. “It’s not just about throwing ghost chiles into a recipe and watching customers singe their hair off,” he continues. “It’s about achieving a nuanced balance of sweetness, acidity, salt and spice to make food taste more delicious and leave a memorable impression.”
Kikkoman has many useful tools in its spicy arsenal, including Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, Thai Style Chili Sauce and Wasabi Sauce, each of which contributes a different type of savory, well-rounded heat. Other Kikkoman products that bring depth of flavor and dimension to spicy food include Kotteri and Salted Mirin, Ponzu Citrus Seasoned Dressing & Sauce and Rice Vinegar.
“Kikkoman Soy Sauce is another wonderful tool,” adds the chef, “contributing key notes of umami and salinity to round out the flavor experience.”
Chef Hunter provides some specific tips and techniques for creating balance and complexity when integrating heat into menu items: