James Lahey introduced me to this wonderful creation. Trying to put my hand to a homemade version in the past, I ended up with rotted chili paste along with a swarm of fruit flies. Determined to make another try, this past week researched lactic acids. Then I found the basics at my local Korean grocery and returned home to process my chiles.
I included several drops of sourdough water, as well as garlic, salt and a pinch of sugar. The chilies responded well, with the kitchen air filling with spicy ferment. "It's alive," I thought. And indeed it came out very lively. In the best way.