Tag Archives: bbq az

Premium Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Item of the day is Premium Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste.  I first discovered Gochujang (pronounced “go che jang”) when I found a TV show called Korean Food Made Simple by a chef named Judy Joo. While I didn’t become a massive fan of the chef or the show it did expose me to some unique ingredients and methods of cooking.  Likely the biggest win from this show was finding Gochujang, or simply fermented Korean chili paste.

I went with this brand because most commercial products have corn syrup in them.  Traditional Gochujang is made with rice, chilis and fermented soy beans and salt.  That is what is in this version, it costs a bit more but it is worth it.  Besides while not blow you brains out hot, this stuff is hot and brings a ton of flavor to the party, so a 1.1 pound tub lasts a long time.

So how do you use this stuff, man there are a ton of ways but let me give you one example of how we use it.  We make fried Japanese sweet potatoes.  They have purple skin and snow white flesh.  They are about half way between a typical potato and a orange sweet potato in taste.  We twice fry them, into a wok with peanut oil, fry until almost done, remove and drain, let cool 10 minutes and return to the oil for another few minutes to puff and crisp up.

Next mix the gochujang at a ratio of 1 part gochujang to 3 parts mayo, (commercial is fine home made is better), let it sit for about 10 minutes to bind and blend, then serve the potatoes with this on the side.  It is sort of like a suracha may many are familiar with but on a whole new level.

I also made some burgers with this stuff, just a table spoon of this into a pound of venison and feral hog mixed ground, a bit of salt and pepper, bit of dehydrated garlic, table spoon of black bean paste and let sit for about 15 minutes to bind and blend, grill as normal.  Of course a bit of that gouchang mayo on it is sublime.  We also process fish skin and head on, slit the skin and rub this stuff on the outside and inside of the fish and grill whole on the grill, it is amazing.

So check this stuff out, add it to your pantry and start experimenting.  Oh and since it is a fermented paste product it stores very well long term, so it is an awesome pantry staple for preppers.  One way or another give Premium Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste a shot and I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Lastly I do want to say I do consider this product fine for people on any sort of low carb diet.  Yes it includes rice syrup and some soy paste, but the amount used is so low relative to the entire meal that I can’t see it effecting blood sugar in any meaningful way.   I am also opposed to large amount of soy in the diet, least you become a soy boy, but again the amount used here is tiny and all the ingredients are fermented as well.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.


STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder.  I spent a lot of time in 2017 deciding on what meat grinder I wanted to buy.  I was pretty much in love with the Cabela’s Carnivore but had a real hard time paying 400-500 dollars for a grinder.  Specifically since I use on heavily 2-3 times a year during hunting season, then only about 1-2 times a month for small amounts throughout the year.

So I looked at a lot of options but came down on the STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder because I firmly believe it is the best value under 300 dollars on the market.  First it is a size 12, in other words big, it has great capacity.  It also has two speeds and a reverse setting, which at times can be important.

It comes with three blades, most only come with one and while such blades are a standard product in all grinders they usually cost 12-20 bucks a piece to replace.  It is also powerful.  The first weekend I had it,I put 20lbs of deer and pork though it in about 15 minutes and it worked flawlessly.  One day I had a beef roast that I wasn’t thrilled with as a roast, so I picked up some pork and ground up both with the wagon wheel for chili meat.  It took longer to take it out than it did to put 10 lbs of meat though it.

After months of research, using several different grinders and finally buying and using this one I have found THE GRINDER I recommend.  I can promise you that you will not be disappointed with this one.

On another note we made about 20 lbs of sausage with this grinder using the sausage stuffer attachment.  Dorothy and I ended up getting pretty good at it, but it will be the last time I use a grinder, any grinder to stuff sausage.  I have now added the LEM 5 pound stuffer to our pantry.  The grinder worked fine but likely it took 2-4 times as long as using a dedicated stuffer.

It also makes keeping meat more chunky if that is what you are looking for in a sausage impossible.  Even if you grind your meat chunky, that second time around the screw breaks it down a lot more even without the cutting blades involved.   A stuffer simply pushes the meat into the casing with no screw or friction, so it is a better tool for the job.  Yes it is a unitasker, but for some tasks a unitasker is the right fit.

But for grinding you just can’t beat the STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder unless you spend hundreds of dollars more, and then, you don’t beat it by that much.  So if you need a grinder in your kitchen, I can’t recommend this highly neough.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 P.S.  – Here are a few videos I posted to facebook using this grinder.

Even though these videos are on facebook, you should be able to see them even if you don’t have a facebook account as they are publicly posted.

Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s item of the day is Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, I prefer the Hot and Spicy but you can also get it in Mild or in a Pack with One Each.  I like heat, but I don’t like mental crazy heat and to me anyway, the hot and spicy is fairly mild.

This is another one of my “cooking cheat codes” building on Friday’s review of Doenjang Paste.  I have always loved Jamaican food, especially the star of the show, jerk chicken.  So long ago I taught myself to make it from scratch.  When I met my former business partner and fellow foodie Neil Franklin, he told me about this stuff, and said, “just try it mate, you’ll never do it from scratch again“.

Neil was spot on, and a look at the ingredients shows you why, no junk and the core of solid jerk seasoning, scallions, scotch bonnet peppers, salt, black pepper, all spice, nutmeg, citric acid, cane sugar, thyme leaves.

Not far off what I used to make from scratch.  And a hell of a lot easier and faster!

It is so easy to use, rub it all over chicken, put chicken in a zip top bag and let it sit over night in the fridge.  You can then bake at 350 till done, kick the broiler on and crisp the skin.  Oh and save that juice, add that to a bit of rice and it is hard to not eat until you think you are going to explode.

My favorite way to use it though is grilled, low and slow over indirect heat.  If you want the juice put a drip pan under it, then give the drippings a quick simmer over direct heat to be safe.  And guess what I just found out, you can buy pimiento wood chips.  In Jamaica real jerk chicken is cooked over pimento wood.  So just make up a foil pouch of chips and poke some holes in it and bring that final bit of flavor to the party.

So that is main reason why this stuff exists, making jerk chicken and if that was all it did, it would be enough.  Remember though, this is a Spirko cheat code, so you know I have more to add.  Rub large shrimp with it, dust them with a bit of lime zest, bacon wrap and grill on skewers.  The shrimp, the bacon grease, the lime, the jerk, yes it is all very, very good.  Make a sauce from rum with pineapple for these and you may think you died and went food heaven.

Spirko Hack – When bacon wrapping shrimp it is hard to get bacon crisp without over cooking the shrimp.  Step one, par cook the bacon, to where it renders about 1/3rd of the fat but will still wrap easily.  Step two, put a cast iron skillet on the grill or a side burner, put each skewer on the cast iron for 15-20 seconds per side at finish.

How about jerked baby back ribs, really easy ones that are almost no work!  Rub your ribs well and marinate over night.  Sacrifice a beer into your pressure cooker, put in steaming rack, then add ribs, pressure cook for 40-50 minutes.  Take out ribs and make a base from the stuff in the bottom of the cooker 50-50 with your favorite BBQ sauce.  To do this simmer it to reduce by half and blend in about the same amount of BBQ sauce, after the reduction.  Baste top of ribs and finish on grill or under broiler.  Save some of the baste for dipping.  Just cook long enough to dry out the baste and firm up the ribs, about 10-15 minutes.

Jamaican meat balls, there is no such thing.  Oh but there can be!  Finely chop one 12-16 ounce pack of bacon (oh you thought I was just going to mix this and hamburger didn’t you?), now add one pound of ground beef and one pound of pork and the bacon to a bowl.  Chop up a bunch of green onions and a few cloves of garlic.  Use about 1-2 tablespoons of Walkerswood seasoning, I do this by eye.  Add one egg and half a cup of panko bread crumbs to bind.

Mix well and this is important, let it sit for an hour at least, over night is better.  Bake in a 400-425 degree oven until done.  I like to bake them on a rack so the drippings fall away and they crisp a bit with the convection roast setting, save those drippings though, use foil for easy cleaning.  Why does it have to sit before cooking, those wonderful panko crumbs suck up all that seasoning and hold onto it, that is why.

Frankly you can jerk up just about any meat and even some veggies with this stuff, so give Walkerswood Hot and Spicy, Mild or Variety Pack a try today.  It doesn’t just make great chicken, it makes great everything.

One last hack you say?  Okay, next time you are hungry for burgers, mix some into your meat.  Also coat one side of some bacon with it, grill your burgers and bacon, also slice an apple into about 1/4 inch slices, (trust me), grill the apple till just done and grill some chili peppers, seeded jalapeno is good.  Now assemble the burger with peppers and apple where say lettuce and tomato would normally go.  Of course cheese is optional but highly encouraged on this, pepper jack is my preference.  Toast your bun of course with a brushing of garlic butter.  So now you are hungry right?  So you know what to do, get some Walkerswood Today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com

P.S. – It seems that this seasoning and chicken thighs will be featured on a new episode of Biltong for Breakfast soon, something about a salad with jerk chicken or something like that!

P.S.S.  – The mild version is the exact same ingredients, just less scotch bonnet peppers.

Bristle Free Grill Brush by Gven – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Bristle Free Grill Brush by Gven.  Guys and gals this one is important, it may actually save your life or at least from a painful trip to the ER and surgery to go along with it and no I am not kidding.

Finding this started a couple years ago for me, I went to get some stuff at a box store and needed a new cleaning brush for my grill.  There were no wire bristle ones, all were that poly plastic nylon crap!  I was dismayed, finding one of these had never been a problem.  Later that week Dorothy was watching a show called “Untold Stories of the ER” and I sat down to watch with her.

In this episode a kid was having a ton of abdominal pain.  They ended up doing an scan and found a tiny piece of metal had gotten into his intestines, it pierced the walls and had tangled the intestines together in a knot!  As soon as the father saw the scan he knew what it was, a bristle from a grilling brush.  It clicked, clearly this had become an issue and that is why none were in the store.

The problem for me was, nothing really works as good as a metal bristle brush for cleaning a grill.  As usual the free market really is a wonderful thing that responds to demand.  These types of spiral form brushes started to show up.  They have no bristles an the wire is thicker, running in one continuous piece.  Nothing to get left behind and end up in your burger or chop, that may later end up in you.

This one made by Gven is the best of them I have tried.  It is built solid with heavy materials.  It has almost 200 reviews with a 4.5 star rating and unlike many impostors it has a grade of an A at Fakespot.com.  The twin heads are staggered and do a great job cleaning off your grill.

My procedure is simple, as soon as I am done cooking while the grill is still  hot, I hit it with my brush until it is clean enough for me, done.  Rinse brush in hot water and hang up to dry.

So give the Gven Bristle Free Cleaning Brush a shot if you don’t have something like this already.  And if you have one of those old style brushes, frankly get rid of it.  Sure the risk is low but the risk is also real.  See the video below of one study from just one ER, over 18 months they had 6 injuries related to this.  Again that is one ER, so extrapolate that across the country.  Again the risk is real.

Now here is what I think happened, given we used these brushes for 40 years and this problem is kind of new.  Over the last 15 years the quality of all goods has slipped, when it slipped on this type of product, bad things happened.  That said why risk it, the brush in this article works fantastically, it is safe for all grill surfaces and you can be sure your family and friends won’t end up in the ER on what should have been a wonderful day.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – I noticed some reviews on Amazon that said this brush did not work well.  Well, some people really just don’t know how to take care of or clean a grill.  It is really quite simple, but I decided to add this video showing the brush in action with a few simple tips on grill maintenance.



Additionally I wanted to include this video with Dr. Grand of Rhode Island Hospital and how many of these instances of this they have seen in only one hospital.




Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer – Item of the Day

Special Notice – These have always cost 22 dollars, and I found them a great deal at that price.  They have been dropped down for now anyway, to 12.99, they are a steal at that price.  I also don’t know how long they will stay at this price.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer.  This isn’t a hard item to figure out but there is a big misconception about the most valuable thing it does for you.

Many people feel that a meat thermometer is so you don’t under cook meat.  I refer to these people as “the people who ruin meat and are not worthy of a cows sacrifice to create a steak”.

Now don’t get me wrong there are minimum temps different meats should be cooked to, but very few people would actually eat and under cooked piece of chicken.  The problem tehre is you take the poor bird out before it is done, cut into it and ruin that wonderful roasting you had going as now it must go back in cut open.

So yes, a meat thermometer can help you make sure meat is done, but that is its second greatest use.  Its higher use is to ensure meat is not over cooked.  And that is why you need one of these.  I have gotten pretty good at doing steaks by eye, no matter how, frying pan, broiler, gas grill, charcoal, you name it I can nail it by eye and touch.

Well that is until I am trying to make 4 steaks and they have been requested to be 1 rare, 2 medium rare and 1 medium well (which I call almost ruined).  With a thermometer you remove each steak at just the right time, every time.   What you want your steak “well done”, okay you will have to do it yourself, I don’t ruin meat.  Perhaps I can interest you in say a pot roast

Seriously though, every good cook should have a good instant read meat thermometer.   And the Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer is the best one I have found under 25 bucks, hell it is the best one I have found under 50 bucks but it is only 22 dollars.  There are two things you need in a tool like this, first speed and the second is accuracy.

This one gives you a reading within one degree of accuracy in about 5 seconds or less.  It will change the way you look at your grill because now you will know you can nail the internal temp you are looking for every time.  It will also please your guest and in spite of my humor above, even the ones that insist on a “well done steak” even if you and I never understand their thinking.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – This item ships free on any order over 25 bucks, they likely did that since they knocked it down in price by 50%.  So if you don’t have a set of the Zicome Set of 4 Basting Brushes I recommend for 8.99, you may as well add them to your order.  They are simply the best BBQ brushes I have found, they can’t fail since they are molded from a single piece of Zicome.

At about 2.24 a piece they are cheap for something you will use often and that will last for years.  I have yet to wear one out.  But you know what, even with that you are still under 25 bucks, so add in a couple packs of my favorite Thai Dried Chilies which are stupid cheap considering they come strait from Thailand.

With that for under 28 bucks, you get the thermometer, the chilies, the basting brushes, all for not much more than the thermometer used to sell for alone.

Chef Paul’s Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Item of the day is Chef Paul’s Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning.  Seldom do I get this excited about a seasoning blend, but this one is amazing.  I remember Chef Paul on PBS as a kid, when PBS was one of only 4-6 channels that came in on our TV.  If everything was right you could get two more on the UHF dial you know.

I had forgotten all about him, but recently on a fishing trip with my guide buddy Omar Cotter and two good friends we really got into the striped bass, as the photo at the end shows.  I was talking to Patrick and Thad about how to make the striped bass fillets and Omar popped up with use Chef Paul’s Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning.  Now I have like 50 great ways to do fish but when a man that catches fish for a living says to try something, I have learned friken try it.

So I ordered up some of this stuff, when it came and I realized how big the 24 ounce can really was, I was like, “man I hope this as good as Omar says”.  I popped it open and was instantly impressed.  Most mass produced seasonings are powdered crap and lots of salt.  The second I opened this I knew it was different.  Two keys were appearance and smell.  It reminded me of something I would mix up myself.

Then I tasted it, look, seriously I could eat this stuff by the pinch out of the container.  No I ain’t kidding!  Omar had suggested grilling the fillets skin side down and just putting some butter or oil on top and coating with this, cook till almost done all the way though and flip to finish.  We do this with sand bass all the time with just say salt, pepper and garlic.  We call it “sand bass on the half shell”.

But I could not get out of my head that the creator of this spice mix, Paul Prudhomme had almost single handily taken Redfish from being considered a “trash fish” to damn near extinction by making “Blackened Redfish” so popular.  I realized for all my bad ass cooking I had literally never “blackened” anything, on purpose anyway.  So I looked up how to do it, stupid simple!  And you know that is almost always a recipe for awesome food.

The basics are coat the fish in butter, cover one side with seasoning and let it sit a bit.  Now heat up butter in a pan till it is just starting to smoke.  Lay the fish seasoning side down in the pan, coat the other side with butter and seasoning and cook until about 2/3rds done.  Flip it and spoon some of the butter over the top and cook until finished.

Being my first time I wanted to try two different fish.  So I took out one striper fillet and some snapper I had as well.   I cut the damn near steak sized striper fillet in half, one for Dorothy and one for me.  The snapper fillets were much smaller and thinner so I had one of those for each of us.  I followed the procedure for both.  Of course the snapper cooked much faster.

You know what, when we sat down to eat my world view of cooking fish changed just a little bit.  How much did we like it?  The next morning I took out some catfish fillets and blacked them that night.  Here is the verdict on all three species….

  1.  In the words of Dorothy, they are “effing delicious”!  And yes she used the real “f word”.
  2. It is best to cook this outside you get a lot of smoke but I did it both inside and outside and it wasn’t that bad, but it did smoke up the kitchen.  If you were cooking for a big group, I would not even consider doing it inside.  My Ranger II Blind Stove did a great job on it outside.
  3. I think this works for any fish but the  more “meaty” the better.  The striper and snapper were both perfection.  Amazing flavor but also perfectly moist, perfectly done and perfect texture.  The catfish was good but being a little more delicate it lost a bit of texture.

While I have not done it yet, I think the perfect fish for this stuff isn’t Redfish (which we all know is amazing).  No, I think Mahi Mahi is the perfect fish for this, and luckily it is available at most stores.  I am also going to give catfish another go, I am thinking whole skinned with cuts in the sides will do best.  I am definitely going to try supposedly “boring” tilapia”, skin on and scored with this.

Some other fish I know would do well with this method are cobia, as it is so steak like, swordfish and salmon.  I am sure ahi tuna would be amazing too, but I have a very hard time cooking tuna, knowing that its highest purpose involves simply proper slicing and some wasabi, soy and ginger.

I am hard pressed to say what this stuff would not season well!  The day it showed up all the fish was frozen and I made steak.  While I used some of my own seasoning for the steaks, I roasted baby carrots in the oven.  I hit them simply with olive oil and sprinkled this on them to give it a shot, amazing flavor.  I also can’t wait to try this on seared scallops and shrimp, both should be fantastic.

Yes this technique will be coming to Biltong for Breakfast soon, but again the technique is so simple.  Tune in today and I will give the low down on doing it right in audio in our closing segment.  But man if you love fish, give Chef Paul’s Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning a shot.  You can get the big 24 ounce can for the best value or get two 2 ounce bottles if you want to try a smaller amount first.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – If you are in the DFW Region give Luck O’ The Irish Fishing Guide Service a try.  Below is me with Captain Omar Cotter.  As you guys know fishing is a passion of mine, I have fished all over the country alone and with dozens of guides.  Omar is one of the best and I am grateful to have him in my own backyard.

Check out the results below, Omar took myself, Patrick of MT Knives and my buddy Thad out for a day.  We managed 12 stripers, 2 hybrid stripers, 48 white bass, a blue cat and a crappie.  We did this all before 10 AM.

P.S.S. – Thanks to an Amazon reviewer I do have the base recipe for Chef Paul’s redfish seasoning.  He apparently published it in a book from 1984.  I think it must be Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen because it is the only book by Chef Paul from that year.  I am going to pick up a copy because this guy was honestly way ahead of his time.

He was teaching young deer hunting red necks like myself how to cook in the days of rabbit ear television.  Long before all these non reality TV shows with competitions and fake drama built into them.  Anyway here is that recipe if you want to try rolling your own, thanks to Amazon reviewer  Kabol, Johnathan N. for posting it.

  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 3/4 tsp white pepper
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp fennel — or seeds crushed

Tasting the current mix I think this is a good base to work from and work up your own version, though I am about 100% sure changes have been made since 84.  I may give it a try but honestly it will be hard to beat the pre packaged mix and I don’t think you can do it for less money.  Again 24 ounces is a LOT of this stuff.  Now what do I blacken next?  Perhaps chicken?

Sadly Chef Paul left us in 2015, but somewhere I think his spirit is smiling knowing that still today people are discovering or in my case rediscovering this awesome guy.  A man that made southern cooking into simply American cooking over many awesome decades of his life.  May we all leave such a legacy.

King Kooker 12-Slot Leg and Wing Grill Rack – Item of the Day

wingrackEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the King Kooker 12-Slot Leg and Wing Grill Rack.  Oh you out door cooking types are going to love this, though it works quite well in the oven too!  Since I first reviewed this item the price has gone up to 16 bucks but the good news is it is no longer an “add on item” so you can buy one alone if you want to.

There is so much I love about these things, first they hold either 12 wings or 12 legs and they do it in about 1/4th of the space that you’d normally need.  Next is that they end up with perfectly crisped and seasoned skin.  Since they never touch the grill rack and you never have to turn them.

I generally cook my chicken on a low temperature on indirect or very low direct heat until almost done.  Then bring up the temp at the end to crisp up the skin.  It also makes sense to set these in a small pan or toss away aluminum pan to minimize flare ups when cooking over direct coals or flame.

Again they work great in the oven as well, cook until almost done at say 350 then pop up to 425 for a bit to crisp up the skin, want a recipe, tune into today’s show for one!  You cans see in the above photo how the wings are hung from the rack by the tips and in the photo below how the legs hang and are held by the knuckle.

Let me tell you try the King Kooker 12-Slot Leg and Wing Grill Rack and you will never loose that crispy skin off a drum stick ever again.


Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – Here is a cook I did with these was indoors and let me give you the skinny.  I coated the wings in my famous “chili garlic pepper oil” and then dusted them with a mix of chili powder, smoked salt, garlic, cumin, paprika, onion and black pepper, all about equal amounts ground in a Mr. Coffee Grinder. (FYI this is my everything seasoning mix)

I used the “convection roast” setting in my oven, ran them at 425 for 45 minutes, they were beyond fantastic.

To do this without creating a grease fire or lots of smoke take a large aluminum foil ban like for baking a turkey, put this rack inside it and put about 3 inches of water in it.  This will catch dripping fat and the water won’t let it scorch on the pan when it gets caught.  The extra humidity will be good for keeping them juicy.

On this latest run I got 15 wings on the rack with a bit of fiddling, which is 30 pieces.  The only down side is you can only fit one of these in a standard oven.

P.S.S. – We also featured this item on Episode Three of Biltong For Breakfast – Jerk Bird Salad.  I did some wings on the grill using it that were rubbed with Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning.   These are my new favorite wings though I recommend the mild version of Walkerswood for them.

Sempio Doenjang – Fermented Soybean Paste – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s item of the day is the Sempio Doenjang – Fermented Soybean Paste.  Doenjang along with some other stuff like Gochujang, Curry Pastes, etc. makes up a group of stuff I call my “cooking cheat codes”, hey that sounds like it should be a show some day.

In any event what I mean by cheat codes is sure you can use them in the classic dishes they are intended for, and I do.  However, where they come into a world all their own is in incorporating them into places you’d not expect to find them.

Here is an example, many times when making up a basting sauce to finish things on the grill with, especially chicken and pork, I will include this stuff.  A couple three teaspoons depending on how much I am making.  Make up a baste for instance with your favorite BBQ sauce, some soy, some beer, some copped chilopolte in adobo (another cheat code), a splash of really top shelf fish sauce (another cheat code) and enough Doenjang to thicken it.

Baste this onto any chicken or pork dish where you want a bit of “heat and sweet” and it will just blow your mind.  If no one told you what was in there unless you’d had it before you could never put your finger on it.  It adds depth and that funky umami flavor that is just awesome with a bit of heat and sweet along side it. When I made this to baste pork for Biltong for Breakfast, my buddy David kept eating it like fricken salsa on corn chips!  Okay I will admit it, I did too.

Here is another use, I have been told tilapia are bland fish, oh really?  Clean the tilapia head on and just gutted.  Get them very dried off, cut a few slits in the skin on both sides.   Now take Doenjang and Gochujang in about equal amounts and mix them together.  Chop up about one clove of garlic and an equal size piece of ginger very fine, or you can use garlic ginger paste (another cheat code) and mix it into the paste.

Now this is the critical part, if you slather this paste on as it, it will BURN and that in the words of Alton Brown, “is not good eats”.  Using a high temp cooking oil like peanut oil or similar, drizzle it onto the paste and mix until you end up with a “thick oil” something that is paste like but thin enough to just pour.

Rub the outside and inside of the fish with this oil/paste, really work it into the slits in the skin, into the flesh.  Slice up a few stems of green onion and ginger like big match stick size and put them in the fishes belly.  Add some kefir lime leaf or lime zest inside the belly too.  Keep the coating on the outer skin light, go heavy again in the slits and in the body cavity.

Grill these fish over high heat until just done and skin is crisp, translation don’t close your grill down, or you will over cook your fish.  Enjoy and DO NOT discard that skin, it is the best part.  And if you think this fish is “bland” you need a tongue transplant or something.

You can also pan fry these fish in enough oil to cover about 50% of their thickness, if you do that the tail is so crisp it is like a delicacy with all that flavor.

I have also used this alone and mixed with other pastes to rub down red meat (beef and venison) and let it sit in the fridge at least 24 hours.  Wipe off the excess and add some S&P and just grill.  It can be that simple, the fermented components help tenderize the meat and that unique flavor finds its way in.  Again wipe off the excess, if you apply heat to a layer of this paste it quickly burns, so does Gochujang.

So give this stuff a try, you will find yourself mixing it into marinades, bastes and doing all kinds of stuff with it, hmm, I wonder what it would do on a Sous Vide steak?  I am not sure, but I am gonna find out!

On my brand of choice, I have tried many and Sempio Doenjang – Fermented Soybean Paste is simply the best I have found.  First it is supposed to be “fermented soy bean paste” and crazy as it sounds that pretty much means just soy and salt and some starter.  Well here is the full list of ingredients for Sempio Doenjang, (soybean, salt, distilled alcohol, water, koji starter).  Next notice the ingredient is “soybean” not “soybean powder”.

The big thing is there is no wheat, other grains, MSG, etc.  Every other version I have check out is full of wheat and other ingredients with no business being in this stuff.  In Korea this stuff is made by many still in their homes, they just add some koji, salt and water to soybeans and ferment it.  They don’t use soy powder, it is supposed to be chunky.  I feel Sempio is closest thing to Korean House Wife Made Doenjang you are going to find for sale in the US.

It is important to me that we are actually talking about FERMENTED soybeans here.  I am personally not a huge fan of soy from a health aspect, way to high in phyto estrogen, however all things in moderation.  A two pound tub of this stuff will last for months on end, it is used to flavor things not to be eaten on a spoon and a little goes a long way, so don’t worry it won’t turn you into a soy boy or anything like that.

Anyway give Sempio Doenjang – Fermented Soybean Paste and I think you will be adding it permanently to your list of cooking cheat codes.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Bar Keepers Friend Cleaner & Polish – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Bar Keepers Friend Cleaner & Polish in a four pack but you can also get it in a single pack or even in a six pack.  The four pack is a much better deal then the single can though.

The six price is the best price per ounce but six of these is a LOT of it.  So I think most people will do best with the four pack at $12.92 or only $3.23 a can.

I first discovered how great this stuff was when a listener called in about it.  We actually had some that a house sitter had brought with her during one of our vacations.  So I gave the test of tests at our place, washing a simple glass.

You see our water is hard, really hard, washing a glass makes it get hazy, the more you wash it the worse it gets.  We tried everything, washing glasses on hot water, using vinegar or special rinse enhancers in the dish washer.

Hell I even got desperate enough to try grain alcohol.  Nothing worked!

It got so bad I refused to buy new glassware, prompting a buddy to declare that I was, “Too cheap to own a decent martini glass”.  The nerve of some people!

Anyway I got one of my worst high ball glasses out and gave it a quick scrub and it looked good but I was skeptical, they always look good wet, they haze over as they dry.  But after drying the glass it was still crystal clear.

Since I have tried it on faucets, stained sink drains, etc. and it works wonderfully for all of them.  Check out this video of one of our hazy glasses being restored right here.

In any event consider adding this stuff to your homestead.  I can see why they call it “Barkeeper’s Friend” but I really see it as home owners friend.  It doesn’t do everything but it does somethings better than anything else.  So consider picking up a six pack, four pack or at least a single can today.  If you give this stuff a try it will earn a full time place in your cleaning supplies.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Cholula Hot Sauce – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Cholula Hot Sauce.  Yesterday I was eating some left over wings and I grabbed my always handy bottle of Cholula and thought, huh, I guess I have never put this out as an item of the day.  I really should have done this long ago, this is a product I use over and over every week, in cooking and just on food.

I used to be a Tabasco man, and I still like it, but not as much as Cholula.  To me this is the perfect hot sauce.  And folks you can keep your Ass in the Tub style nuclear sauces.  The thing I love about Cholula is that it isn’t too damn hot.  Heat wise it is just a bit milder than Tabasco, and to me it has much more interesting flavors.

Flavor is important in a hot sauce to me, if I just want to burn my mouth I could just spray my food with my pepper spray!  Cholula has a range of flavors that make it a great addition to food and recipes.  I make wing sauce from this and it is simple, 1 part sauce to one part butter and melt.  Toss in a pinch of dehydrated garlic and a crank of black pepper and every other “Buffalo Sauce” can head the heck back to the north in my view.

My favorite is the plain old original.  Those who have been to a TSP workshop know there is always a big bottle of this stuff out for use on food at the serving table.   I first found this sauce at a Don Pablo’s restaurant, many years ago.  I was instantly hooked on it.  It has now been my go to for about 20 years.

If you want some variety or just to try a few different flavors and find your own personal favorite consider the Cholula Hot Sauce Variety Pack with 5 different flavors including

  • Original
  • Chili Garlic
  • Chili Lime
  • Chipolte and
  • Green Chili

Of those I am most found of of course the original and the chipolte and green chili.  I can add lime or garlic myself, but chipolte gives that smokey hotness and you just can’t turn a red sauce into a green one in any way I am aware of.  FWIW the chipolte is a little hotter than the original but not by much, it still isn’t one of those sauces that sets your face on fire and makes you feel like you have been sprayed with mace or anything like that.

The variety pack comes in 5 ounce bottles, the twin pack of originals comes with two 12 ounce bottles, I always order that because I consume this stuff in “mass quantities“.   The Five Pack would make a great gift for any hot sauce enthusiast and you can see everything the good people at Cholula Make Here.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.