Sriracha in the United States
Sriracha sauce has been popularized in the United States by Huay Fong Foods famous rooster sauce which contains red jalapeno peppers (formerly they used serrano peppers). Huay Fong Foods was founded by a Vietnamese refugee of Chinese extraction in California in 1980. There is even a Sriracha Film made about the US sauce.
Sriracha in Thailand
Sriracha sauce in Thailand and is called ซอสศรีราชา (sauce sriracha) or น้ำพริกศรีราชา (nam prik sriracha, literally sri racha hot sauce). Sriracha is the name of the town Sriracha (ศรีราชา pronounced Siracha) in Thailand.
Sriracha in Thailand is generally runnier and spicier than the Huy Fong Foods sriracha sauce. It is also very common with nearly all restaurants having bottles of sauce prik on the tables. The most common dish to eat with Sriracha is kai jeaow (egg omelet) / kai jeaow moo saab (egg omelet with minced pork), which usually is served with steamed rice. However, this sauce can be used on anything, and is as common as ketchup in the United States.
Sriracha Recipe Options
There are several approaches for Sriracha sauce.
- Some have a process of fermentation then cooking
- Some ferment with seeds and pith and then strain, others remove seeds and pith first
- Some have virtually no cooking at all (except for the garlic) and rely only on fermentation, others cook before fermentation or simply cook without fermentation
- There are many different chilies used in various Sriracha recipes.
- Most recipes include garlic, salt, sugar, and vinegar.
Spur Chili Peppers (Prik Chee Fah)
The traditional Thai recipes generally use spur chili peppers (พริกชี้ฟ้า prik chee fah aka chili that points to the sky, as they grow with their pointed end pointing up). These are common red peppers that are not very spicy (nothing like the smaller red or the small green chili peppers). Dried spur chilis are the base for Thai red curry paste.
Outside of Thailand, there are various recipes with a variety of chili peppers, including: fresno, serrano, jalapeno, gusto, and some even add bell pepper to the mix.
Ingredients for Thai Sriracha Sauce
- 500g spur chilies, de-seeded and deveined, roughly chopped
- 50g garlic cloves, peeled
- 100g white vinegar
- 300g water
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
Procedure for Thai Sriracha Sauce
The simplest procedure is to chop and cook garlic and chilies in vinegar, then blend and strain out the pulp, returning the sauce to the saucepan to cook at medium heat until done (to taste).
Chilies can be de-veined and de-seeded before cooking, or after (by straining). The pith and seeds add bitterness and spiciness.
Use Gloves when handling Chilies
Note that when handling the chilies, use kitchen gloves, or your skin will get irritated. The new sriracha cook only handles the chilies one time without gloves, and from thereafter with gloves.
American Fermented Sriracha Sauce Option
A more complex procedure is to ferment the chilies by first rough mixing them with salt and possibly, sugar and/or water, and letting them ferment for several days to two weeks. After fermentation, one can cook or not, the chili sauce.
- This Thai Sriracha recipe is also included in the Minimal Cookbook