Here are my top four, in no particular order.
Sriracha. I was very much anti-spicy foods for the majority of my life. It’s only in this past year that I’ve started—ahem—warming up to the hotness. And Sriracha? Truly a gateway drug!
Trader Joe’s garlic powder. Yes, TJ’s in specific. Why? Because where a comparable product from Kroger/Fred Meyer/QFC/Safeway/Walmart/etc. Is anywhere from $7-$12 depending on brand and *fanciness*, TJ sells their garlic powder for... One dollar!! And it’s much better than the *bargain* garlic powders (looking at you Kroger house brand. Yuck). I’m an admitted garlic-addict, and have zero issue spending half an hour mincing cloves, but a good garlic powder is a lifesaver, and TJ delivers. If you didn’t know, Trader Joe’s is a fantastic place to shop for spices in general. They’re cheaper across the board than anywhere else I’ve found, and the quality is there.
EAT barbecue The Most Powerful Stuff Purposeful Rub. That’s a mouthful. No idea how I found this stuff, but I loved it so much I set up reoccurring deliveries with Amazon to make sure I always have some. Fried eggs, sweet potato fries, chicken, asparagus... It can be a bit overpowering, do not reccomend with fish.
Sweet chili sauce. My first introduction to The Sauce was at a Japanese hole-in-the-wall diner. I bought karage (fried chicken), a bottle of sozu, and at the reccomendation of the server, a few sweet & spicy wings. Let’s just say that my love for Thai sweet chili sauce greatly influenced my decision to go to Thailand. Again, ordering these off Amazon because the local grocers didn’t carry big bottles, and I’d go through the small ones waaaaaay too fast.
Okay, that’s my four. Obviously salt & pepper get a lot of use, and there’s a fair bit of soy sauce used in this household. Brown sugar finds a way into quite a few dishes as well.
Oh and this stuff is fantastic on fish, pretty good with chicken, and just the slightest amount on a good steak... Hard to beat.