Sometimes known stateside as “rooster sauce,” because of the iconic rooster on the bottle, Sriracha is among America’s most popular hot sauces. Fans put it in soup, french fries, ice cream (don’t believe me? see for yourself), shots, and just about everything else. But how much do you actually know about the condiment that 3 out of 10 co-workers are currently carrying around in their satchels?*
* Statistic unverified… but probably true
The Makings of a Miracle
Sriracha, most believe, originally comes from Thailand (it’s named after Sri Racha island in Thailand), though it is also common in Vietnamese cooking.
It combines chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt into a paste. The traditional Thai version of the sauce is runnier than the sauce commonly used in the US, but the basic flavor profile is the same. The spice is fairly moderate, and it’s subtle sweetness sets it apart from other hot sauces.
Sriracha As We Know It
“Rooster sauce,” was created in the early 80’s by Vietnamese-American David Tran, the founder of Huy Fong Foods. While sriracha is technically a kind of sauce, not a brand name, many Americans will only accept Huy Fong Foods Sriracha as the “real deal.” The sauce is incredibly versatile and is used in all kinds of ethnic cuisines, not just Thai or Vietnamese.
Tran only uses red peppers grown at Underwood Ranches in Ventura County, CA, which makes this particular rendition of the sauce uniquely American.
What is it Good For? Absolutely Everything. Say it again!
Spicy foods like sriracha trigger the release of endorphins–chemicals in the brain that make you feel happy. Spicy foods also speed up your metabolism and clear your sinuses; and with both bikini and allergy season on the way, who couldn’t the extra boost?
A Real Team Player
Sriracha gets along well in almost every style of cuisine and with almost any other ingredient. You can find it on tacos, in soup, in pasta sauce, as a dip or a glaze for hot wings, drizzled on a hamburger, mixed into a cream for a dressing or marinade… there really isn’t a way you can’t eat sriracha sauce.
Try It for Yourself
Or if you’ve already tried it, have some more. Because really, you can’t have enough sriracha in your life. This week, we’re marinated our flat-iron steak in it. And it’s even more heavenly than it sounds. We heart Sriracha at Home Chef, and you can try it this week in our Mango-Lime BBQ Tofu Kebabs, among other dishes.