Chef Edward Lee is master of umami, adding Korean pantry staple gochujang sauce to a hearty beef chili simmered in smoky chipotle peppers and beer, which blankets a base of tortilla chips. The author of Smoke & Pickles then tops it all off with a sharp cheddar cheese, serrano pepper, and a gochujang-spiked sour cream for an addictive combination of heat, tang, and a touch of sweetness.
“I want that stick-to-your-teeth texture that only gochujang can deliver in a sauce. It isn’t just spice for the sake of heat. It is nuanced and layered. It has a sweetness to it and umami, lots of umami,” says Lee.
Use leftover chili for an additional batch of nachos, top baked potatoes with it or thin it with beef broth to serve as a soup.
More of Edward Lee’s party food, you say? Dig into these Gochujang Chicken Wings With White BBQ Sauce.
Texas-style gochujang chili
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons Chung Jung One Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce
- 2 ounces chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 12-ounce bottle dark beer
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
Gochujang sour cream
- 4 ounces sour cream
- 2 teaspoons Chung Jung One Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce
- 8 ounces yellow and blue tortilla chips
- 2 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 Serrano pepper, thinly sliced
For the chili
In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Working in batches, brown the meat and transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and jalapeño pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes until wilted.
Add Gochujang Sauce, chipotle peppers, brown sugar, cumin, coriander and salt. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Then add beer, beef broth and the diced tomatoes.
Simmer for about 2 hours, or until meat is very tender. Let cool to room temperature and adjust seasoning with additional salt as needed.
Serve right away, or for best results, let cool in the refrigerator overnight and reheat the next day.
For the sour cream
Mix gochujang sauce and sour cream together in a bowl and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
For the nachos
Lay out the tortilla chips on a plate. Ladle about a quarter of the chili over chips. Sprinkle cheese over chili while still warm, so that the cheese begins to melt.
Dollop sour cream over the cheese and garnish with serrano peppers. Serve immediately.