Ah yes, Sriracha. I know folks who even dip into their Pho without adding it....though I've always wondered how they intuitively knew how much of the stuff to dump in their broth having not even tasted it! Ditto Hoisin sauce.
Sriracha has been everywhere over the last couple of years, you could say it's become a staple. Most of us are most familiar with the ubiquitous Huy Fong Foods brand.....aka "Rooster" brand. Though most don't even know that Sriracha is named after the town of Si Racha in Thailand. The Sriracha that Huy Fong Food produces has the kind of branding folks dream of; it has been ingrained in the eating consciousness of many folks I know. When the Sriracha factory in Irwindale was shut down.....Google sriracha crises and see all the links that pop up.....Huffington Post? Washington Post? The Boston Globe? You could actually read about the possible shutdown on your favorite news site, right under "Dow gains 500 points"? Ok, enough of that, but if you're still interested and have an extra five bucks you can download Sriracha, the Movie, here.
I was actually toying with making my own Sriracha, since the Rooster brand was originally made with serranos, and we were growing some in the back yard. Unfortunately, I could never get the quantity that I wanted, about 500 grams, at one time. A week ago, I saw red jalapenos on sale at Zion Market.....3 pounds for 99 cents! I understand that Huy Fong Foods made a switch over to red jalapenos a while back...so why not....for 35 cents or so????
I wanted to use what I had at home, while still sticking to the five ingredients in classic Sriracha - peppers, garlic, salt, sugar, and vinegar. There were two basic different ways I'd read about with regards to making the sauce; the fresh, and the fermented methods. Well, you know which one I picked, right? I put the jar of the stuff right alongside our next batch of Suan Cai fermenting in the hallway. Overall, the ingredients for this small batch of Sriracha costs less than a buck....really!
450-500 grams red jalapenos
20 grams turbinado sugar
4 grams Kosher salt
20 grams garlic
1/3 cup White Distilled Vinegar
- Stem the peppers, slice in half and remove seeds.
- Place peppers, sugar, salt, and garlic in a food processor and process until very finely chopped.
- Pour into a sterilized jar and cover, but not too tightly. Sit in a dark area at room temperature.
- You'll notice that the solids will separate from he liquids daily....you'll also notice the wonderful smell of garlic dancing around the area you ferment the chilies. Don't worry, it's worth it.
- I believe you can leave out for a week, stirring daily, but after four days, it seemed that the sauce had started developing some nice flavors and was actually starting to mellow. The fermentation also provided a nice mild pickled flavor.
- I know we lose the benefit of fermentation when we cook something, but I poured into a pan, added the vinegar, and reduced over medium high heat for about 5-6 minutes. At this point, you can taste and adjust salt and even sugar.
- I poured the contents into a blender and buzzed it for about 3-4 minutes.
- Strain the contents, there will be a tablespoon or two of pulp that just won't make it. You can discard it...or even better reserve and use it for a stir fry!
That's the last of my Ghost Pepper Louisiana Style Hot Sauce on the left; the Sriracha on the right. Some of the folks I gave the hot sauce to last year are asking for more....it'll probably be a couple of months at least.
As for the Sriracha, I thought I added a good amount of garlic, as it teeters on the edge for me. The Missus thinks it needs more. We'll see when I fry up some chicken this weekend!