Sriracha is more than just a condiment. Sriracha is one of those foods – like chocolate, bacon or avocados – that people fall in love with so deeply that it becomes part of who they are.
You don’t just carry sriracha with you on your key ring. You don’t just baste it with your favorite foods. Instead, you dress up as a sriracha for Halloween and listen to entire podcasts about it.
When Huy Fong Foods, the California brand behind America’s best-loved and most rooster-decorated sriracha, recently revealed an “unprecedented shortage,” the news wasn’t just an inconvenience. It was personal.
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With the maker citing “several spiraling events, including an unexpectedly poor spring chili crop” in northern Mexico, sriracha appears to be another victim of climate change. Consumers have reported seeing panic buying on social media, and restaurant owners have told NPR that prices per case have nearly doubled in recent weeks.
Instead of stocking up for the impending srirachapocalypse, why not make your own until the drought subsides? Chances are you already have almost all the ingredients on hand.
When I heard about the sriracha shortage, I immediately pulled out America’s Test Kitchen’s “DIY Cookbook: Can It, Cure It, Churn It, Brew It.” Some days I have to go far just to get excited about ready-made macaroni and cheese. Other days, I think, “Yeah, I’d like to make duck prosciutto. This is the cookbook for that. While many recipes take more commitment than earning my doctorate, several others require little more than a food processor and a few minutes of active work.
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Test Kitchen’s sriracha recipe creates a beautiful, incredibly spicy–sweet hot sauce. While not a clone of the classic Huy Fong, it’s an intriguing take on it. If you’re the type to pour hot honey over your pizza, you’ll love it.
I cut the amount in half, but if you’re a weekly bottle sriracha user, I recommend doubling the recipe. Couldn’t find red jalapeños so opted for Fresno peppers instead. (Fresnos are a very good pepper, don’t sleep on it.) I also used malt vinegar instead of white vinegar, which is unauthentic but also what I had in my pantry.
With a new batch in hand, I found myself dipping this sauce on my salad at lunch, then leveling my sliders at dinner. Basically, this recipe belongs to everything but cake. I will always be loyal to Huy Fong, but this thing can proudly sit next to it on your shelf.
Recipe: Spicy Sweet Sriracha
Inspired by America’s Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook: Can It, Cure It, Churn It, Brew It.
- 3/4 pounds Fresno peppers, stemmed and chopped, seeds reserved
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup of water
- 6 tablespoons malt vinegar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
- Place chiles, garlic, water, malt vinegar and reserved peppercorns (at desired heat level) in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan, then add the sugar and sea salt.
- Boil mixture over high heat, then reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally and skimming off the gloopy foam, until sauce is thickened and reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Return the mixture to your blender or food processor and blend again until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
- Pour the mixture into a jar or squeeze bottle and refrigerate it for at least 1 day. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy for up to 3 weeks.
I recommend starting with about 1/2 tbsp pepper seeds.
For a less sweet sauce, reduce the amount of sugar to 3 or 4 tablespoons.
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