Nov. 5, 2013 at 7:48 AM ET
Sriracha is hot – both literally and figuratively. Even Subway is getting on the bandwagon with their Sriracha Chicken Melt and the Sriracha Steak Melt. Everyone knows about this thick, smooth, spicy Asian garlic chile sauce, right?
Everyone, that is, except our own Savannah Guthrie, who has just discovered the stuff.
Oh Savannah, get ready to take a long, winding road down a rabbit hole of deliciousness. It ends with your nose running and your breath smelling like fire, but it is one great trip.
Made from dried chiles, vinegar, garlic, salt and sugar, Sriracha is named after a city in Thailand. Most of what we eat here in the states is made in Huy Fong foods in California. And thanks to a recent court case, it will continue to be produced there.
Sriracha is, quite frankly, the most addictive legal substance on the planet. Sure, any hot sauce lover can top chili, tacos or eggs with a few drops. But if you want the real scoop on how to Sriracha-fy your universe, look no further. And, tell us your favorite use of Sriracha in the comments below or with #OrangeRoom.
Best of both worlds
If you add mayonnaise to something, it’s instantly going to get better. My Asian Steak Sandwiches use a very simple marinade, a good cut of meat, and some tangy Asian slaw to deliver on the flavor. But the key is the Sriracha mayonnaise. Just a few drops of the good stuff transforms mayo. It becomes pungent and bright, enlivening the meat while still providing that creaminess that you crave. This two-ingredient condiment is perfect for French fries, crudités, and so much more. Just try to get away with only eating a tablespoon of it. You are doomed to fail.
Most of us will be eating turkey in a few weeks, and although midnight sandwiches are universally loved, the truth is a lot of us just aren’t turkey fans. The bird tends to get dry and can be a little – dare we say it – flavorless. The best way to ensure a juicy bird is to brine it, and if you want to up the ante, Bon Appetit suggests that you add some Sriracha to your brine. That way, the turkey can pick up some gentle garlic and chile flavors that will add a special zing to your holiday meal.
Sweet n’ spicy
Main dishes can’t have all of the fun. Molly Wilkof of Quiche a Week gets her fix with some sweet and spicy Peanut Butter and Jelly and Sriracha Chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies utilize tahini and peanut butter to make them rich, jelly and chocolate chips for the sweetness, and just a dash of Sriracha to add that extra kick. Molly’s inspiration is the peanut butter, jelly and jalapeno sandwiches she ate in the South. “It’s an unlikely pairing and at first it sounds disgusting,” she writes. “Maybe even on second thought it does too. But you’re wrong.”
Sriracha is inexpensive but the taste is gourmet. That’s why it’s a natural partner for luxurious ingredients. In Mount Dora restaurant’s opulent uni shooter, the chef combinedfirm, briny sea urchin with the yolk of one quail egg, a hit of citrusy ponzu sauce, and a bit of Sriracha. The diner slurps it all back and the result is nothing less than elegant. The smooth, salty uni, the creamy egg yolk, the bright ponzu, and that peppery, spicy Sriracha all make for a taste sensation unlike any other. While the restaurant has closed, the recipe is preserved on Steamy Kitchen.
There is nothing that will make you want a drink more than a day with the family at that holiday cocktail party, am I right? For that, turn to Todd Richman, of Sidney Frank Imports. This renowned mixologist brings the flavors of Asia forefront with this herbaceous, bright cocktail that is sure to remind you why Sriracha is a staple of any foodie’s pantry:
The Spicy Farmer’s Paradise
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake well, strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice, and garnish with a lime wedge.
Spray it, don’t say it!
What could be better than a spray bottle full of the good stuff? Just attach a spray nozzle, as seen on The Sriracha Cookbook’s blog and Facebook page, and get ready to mist away at a tray of onion rings, devilled eggs or your mortal enemy. Or, just open your mouth and enjoy the good stuff au natural. It’s probably best to do this before you start drinking your Sriracha cocktails.