Any of a variety of prepared pastes or sauces that are made from ground chiles, oil or vinegar and salt. The chile paste, which may also be referred to as a chile sauce, has a thick paste texture, unlike the thinner consistency of the chile sauces from the U.S. A typical Asian paste will be made of small bits of ground chiles and other whole or ground ingredients, such as soybeans, garlic and sesame or other seeds. Pastes from China and Korea are processed by fermenting the product and then packaging it, while pastes from Indonesia and Vietnam are typically made fresh and bottled immediately. An Asian chile paste or sauce can be added as a flavoring when the food is being prepared or can be served as a condiment to be added as a topping to foods. Check the intensity of this product before using, so that it does not create too much heat or spice if the paste and sauce are more intense than anticipated.

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