Cooking With Ian: Spicy Bacon

4 mins read

Editor’s Note: Ian posted this at his own site. You can leave comments for him here or there.

I don’t really consider this recommendation a proper recipe, but bacon is always the right decision no matter how you make it. But one thing that I’ve found to up my bacon game is gochujang. 

Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that you’ll either love or hate, depending on how spicy you like your life. It’s often used in making kimchi, which is also good and good for you. Keep it on hand. 

But gochujang alone isn’t quite enough—sure, it gets you the heat, but getting it to stick to frying bacon is a task without something else. Something sticky like maple syrup, or honey. I prefer honey, but either is good. 

And yes, you need bacon. Don’t skimp. Get thick cut. I wouldn’t recommend this with peppered bacon, but hickory or apple smoked work perfectly.

So, take either sticky substance, whichever you prefer, and mix equal parts gochujang and sweetening agent, dip bacon into this sauce, and fry to desired doneness. Me? I like my bacon crispy in the middle but with just a bit of what some folks consider to be underdone fat on the edges (although, frankly, I won’t turn down bacon in general. It’s bacon. It’s blasphemy to complain about bacon. All bacon is perfect bacon.)

You could do the same with sriracha or any hot-sauce, really, but gochujang has its own flavor that adds a dimension to your bacon-eating experience.

Oh, you don’t want to live on bacon alone? Let’s get more protein and round this out:

Scrambled eggs. Take 1-3 eggs depending on your appetite, break into a bowl. Throw in white pepper (you don’t use white pepper? Go forth and get some), black pepper, a bit of salt, and two scientifically measured large dashes of heavy whipping cream or half-and-half. Sure, a lot of people use milk, but heavy whipping cream is best, and half-and-half is second best. It fluffs up those eggs a lot. Whip together thoroughly. Fry in the gochujang-infused bacon-fat you’ve created above. Garnish with fresh scallions. You can also cook into an omelet with mushrooms, shallots, and bell pepper, and your favorite cheese if you tolerate it (I cannot eat cheese, which is why my recipes don’t contain it, but you do you.)

And being from The Deep South, I fully believe that wasting bacon-fat is a crime against humanity, but you probably don’t want to mix this leftover grease with the plain bacon fat you need to keep around for making biscuits and other delicious treats (yes, biscuit recipe will be out soon), but there is another use: avocado. While I might be a millennial, don’t fear, I’m not going soy on ya. 

See, I hate avocado with a passion. I don’t even like guacamole. I know, I’m a freak of nature. But drizzled with a couple teaspoons of this spice-infused bacon fat, turmeric, salt, and black pepper then mashed into a guac-like-substance? Amazing keto snack. The bacon fat fixes that weird “green” flavor that I and others don’t like from avocado.

Eat well, folks!

Ian McLeod is an author and entrepreneur from the humid depths of Dixie. His books include the pop-satire DARWINVERSE series, and three books of poetry--BILGE PUMP OF A TURGID MIND, VALVE COVER GASKET OF THE ENGINE OF DESPAIR, and LAUNCH EVERYTHING; LET GOD SORT IT OUT

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