What is better than a BLT sandwich for lunch?
A perfectly assembled BLT with Gochujang aioli! Gochujang aioli is velvety and creamy and coats this sandwich with the right touch of smokey heat.
This gochujang aioli plays an important supporting role, but it’s not all about this aioli today. It’s really about the perfect BLT. So let me obsess over each component for a bit.
Black Forest Bacon is my go to for a classic BLT. The spiced rub creates a dark, smokey char when fried which goes perfectly with the smokey gochujang aioli! Save the clarified bacon fat for toasting your bread.
I’m not a huge fan of iceberg so I choose Bibb. Bibb lettuce has a buttery leaf and a crispy stem. Rinse well and pat very dry before stacking.
I choose ripe Roma tomatoes for my BLT. I find one deep red in color and slightly firm to touch. Slice 1/4 inch thick and remove and discard the seeds and the wet flesh. This step is easily overlooked but super critical! The seeds and flesh add flavorless wetness and who likes a soggy sandwich? Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Get good quality bread that will carry equally good ingredients. Sourdough is crusty on the outside and spongy soft on the inside. I buy it whole and cut it into thick slices. Butter the pan (add some bacon fat for added flavor and richness) and toast both sides evenly for a crunchy bite.
Any good aioli takes a little time and patience. The oil needs to be incorporated suuuuper slowly into the egg. Otherwise, the emulsion will break and it will never thicken. I start droplet by droplet and then slowly increase to a thin stream over my food processor. I add a spoonful of gochujang at the end to give it a smokey sweetness. This aioli is creamy with a hint of lingering heat. It’s awesome on this BLT but it’s also a great dip for fries or on a burger!
BLT sandwiches are part of my real life love story. I know, it’s a bit cheesy…but it is (almost) Valentine’s Day after all, right? Greg and I got married in a Brooklyn courthouse on a spontaneous March morning. Afterwards, we walked over to our favorite (and now closed) Cobble Hill sandwich shop and ate our first meal together as husband and wife – BLT sandwiches and hushpuppies! What a great memory!
This BLT with gochujang aioli is full of love and I hope you can taste it with your first bite. If you make it for lunch today, let me know what you think! As always, please leave me a comment and tell me if you have a similar story! Happy Valentine’s Day!
- 1 garlic grated or mashed
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¾ cup oil - see note below
- 3-4 tsp gochujang
- Add grated garlic, lemon juice, salt, egg, and egg yolk to food processor
- Turn on to medium speed setting to mix above ingredients
- Slowly add oil through feeding tube droplet by droplet using teaspoon
- After ¼ cup of oil has been added by droplets, add remaining oil through feeding tube in slow thin stream
- Once the aioli thickens, open lid and add gochujang and mix for several seconds to incorporate
- season with additional salt to your liking
I like to use a mixture of olive oil and grapeseed oil - ¼ cup of good quality olive oil and ½ cup grapeseed oil
The grapeseed oil has a clean light taste so it won't overpower the gochujang!