What’s the big deal about Sriracha?

Are you ever taken surprise by your significant others’ sudden acquisition of some previously unknown favorite?

It seems to me like there is something missing in the kitchen now, when I can’t find a bottle of Sriracha in the kitchen; the first time I ever heard of this stuff was from the Oatmeal, who seems to have an unnatural love for the stuff. In fact, I actually thought it was fictional! But it turns out that it’s quite real and readily available on grocery shelves – has to be, if I’m going to see it in North Dakota.

I don’t know why she first bought it, and don’t remember exactly when anymore, but now it seems as though Mme. Ross finds a reason to put Sriracha on everything, and my bottle of Frank’s Red Hot sauce tends to languish in the cupboard (I don’t really put that on everything!) So dear Sriracha: where do you hide your crack, and how many armed guards do you employ to protect it from the general population? My wife puts that stuff on mac and cheese, on ramen, on other stuff – where it took us like six months to get through a bottle of Frank’s, it took her less than a month to do a similar-sized bottle of Sriracha on her own . . . what gives?

A Google search for “Sriracha rehab” turns up this page on Bon Appetit called 25 Ways to use Sriracha, including Sriracha fudge pickles and bloody marys. Then there’s this page on Chow.com called 50 Things to Do with Sriracha. Need pretzel dip? Mix it with strawberry jam. Mix it with ketchup for your burger and fries. Add it to chocolate cake batter.

Okay, I actually googled “good things about Sriracha”. It turns out Mme Ross is the only one who can’t cook without it anymore; if it wasn’t for her, I think I might have missed the bus altogether!

(image credit: Matthew Inman @ The Oatmeal http://theoatmeal.com)

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39 thoughts on “What’s the big deal about Sriracha?”

  1. Hey Rob, I completely understand. I first learned about Sriracha when living in Singapore. There was no English on the label. We looked for the rooster. When we came back to the US we could only find it in Asian markets. Now it is mainstream. If you like Sriracha try some Nanami Togarashi (Shichimi) a mixed chili powder from Japan. Also quite tasty!

          1. Hey Rob,

            I tried a different brand of Sriracha at our local Asian market today– “Shark” brand. It doesn’t seem to use a tomato puree base like the Huy Fong Foods version– it’s runnier, much like Tabasco or the various Latin American-style hot sauces.

            If you want, I’ll snap a photo of it.

                1. Wow, sort of a ho-hum look, but more like Tabasco, you say? That seems more like what I’m used to. Does it have the plastic insert at the end of the bottle so you have to slap it to get it to come out?

                  1. Well, a lot of imported Asian goods really do have fairly ho-hum labels. And no, it doesn’t have an insert. I mean more that it’s not thick like rooster (Huy Fong) Sriracha. It’s much more liquid like many hot sauces you might find, not just Tabasco. It tastes about the same but the texture is different like that. Because it’s runnier, not in a squeezable plastic bottle with a nozzle, and no insert, I have to pour with a little more caution.

    1. I used some tonight on the stuffed peppers, which already had poblanos cut up in them. I was lacing over top of the stuff like it was ketchup and Mme. Ross goes, “that’s a lot.” “Then I guess I’m all set,” I said nonchalantly, wondering whether I was being a little more cavalier than I should. I mixed it in and went to town on the plate . . . it definitely added character to the flavor, and a little kick, but it wasn’t very spicy at all. In retrospect, I should have used more.

    1. Eejit: “Sriracha is a type of hot sauce made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. It is named after the coastal city of Si Racha, in the Chonburi Province of Eastern Thailand, where it was possibly first produced for dishes served at local seafood restaurants.” (from the Wikipedia article)

      The Huy Fong Foods version that most people are familiar with (with the rooster label) uses red jalapeños.

        1. Oh? You aren’t one for the spicy things in life, then?

          It is curious– at one time, people were putting ketchup on everything. Then it was salsa. Now, apparently, it’s Sriracha sauce?

          1. Not a huge lover of the spice no, but I mean I have never seen that sauce in the shops. Ketchup is still all the rage over here lol I’m pretty sure we do have hot sauces though, I shall have to make inquiries lol

            1. “I’m pretty sure we do have hot sauces though”

              Why wouldn’t you? The chilli, along with the potato, sweet potato, and maize (corn) is the Americas’ gift to the world. It has gone EVERYWHERE.

              Although chillis grow best in warmer climes, the pastes and sauces appear everywhere, and I am near certain some sort of it is available in your home area. I am guessing some part of Canada, and then I am even more certain you could find some sort of hot sauce in your neighborhood.

              THERE IS NO ESCAPE MUHAHAHAHA

                1. Oh see, I totally guessed wrong.

                  So the potato made it over from Peru, but the chilli did not? That can’t be… hasn’t there been enough immigration or foreign visitors that have brought some? Chatni/chutney at the very least?

                    1. Haha, well, I know, but I was just thinking maybe that hot sauce had spread to more of the British Isles. It would probably be easy enough to blame it as British influence, y’know?

        1. No, not yet. I’ve never seen it before, and just quickly searching on the Internet– it doesn’t appear to be widely available, and it’s imported from Thailand. Even the Amazon entries I look at are shipped from Germany (all from a seller called Vertical_FM), and the prices reflect that (9-17US$).

          I’ve started seeing sriracha sauce on the shelves from other distributors, but I can’t think of any names off the top of my head. The Huy Mong rooster label is still the dominant brand.

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