I thought I grew up with lots of food diversity, eating food from around the globe as our standard dinner fare. And in a sense, I did eat much more varied diet than the standard American, but there were still some cuisines that were foreign to me, some dishes and foods that I never tasted.
Sriracha sauce is one of them.
It's my mom's "fault", most likely.
She hates spice. Loves flavor, but has a strong aversion to feeling her tongue burning the way many people enjoy.
My sister, Violet, inherited my mom's dislike of hot pepper, but I'm of a different breed. I take after my dad, with my love of salsa, red pepper, and pickled peppers.
Well, since "spicy is bad" mom was the one doing most of the cooking in our house, I never had the chance to taste Sriacha sauce. Since I've been married and exploring all sorts of cuisines, with an emphasis on Asian cuisine, I've seen more and more recipes calling for Sriracha sauce. Now that I'm aware of its existence, I keep on noticing bottles of Sriracha sauce being sold all over the place. Only the price is pretty outrageous, in my opinion- over 6 dollars for a pretty small bottle, so I've never bought any. On top of that, one of the first ingredients in it is sugar, and since we're avoiding refined sugar in this house, I didn't want to spend that much money on something that wasn't even healthy.
So I've never tasted real Sriracha sauce.
But someone challenged me to make and post my own Sriracha recipe, and on top of that, I wanted Sriracha of my own to use in my Asian cooking.
A bit of a challenge to make something after never having tasted the real deal, but hey, I did that with my homemade fish sauce, so why not do it with Sriracha?
In order to make my own Sriracha, I first looked at the list of ingredients in the packaged version. The ingredient order tells you which ingredients there are more of, and which are less.
I also looked up a bunch of Sriracha recipes on the net.
After that, I polled my friends who have eaten and used Sriracha to ask them the predominant flavor in Sriracha sauce, whether it was spicier, more sour, more sweet, or more garlicky. (According to my friends, each brand tastes somewhat different, some sweeter, some spicier, some more garlicky, etc... So that wasn't such a help.)
Based on all my research, this is the recipe I came up with. Its without refined sugar, chemicals, or synthetic vinegar. I also used dehydrated hot peppers for this, because my supermarket doesn't sell a variety of fresh hot peppers. To be honest, I'm not even sure what type of hot peppers they are, so I included a picture of them so you can see/guess for yourself. I am pretty sure that the type of hot pepper used in this recipe doesn't make the hugest difference in the world, so just replace with whatever type of dried hot peppers you have available.
If you want to make this as cheap as possible, replace the honey with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water, and replace the apple cider vinegar with plain old white vinegar.
Homemade Sriracha Sauce Recipe- Sugar FreeIngredients:
3/4 cup or 17 grams dehydrated hot peppers
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 + 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
3 large cloves garlic
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon tapioca, potato, or corn starch
2. Put the peppers, vinegar, 1 cup of water, garlic, salt, and honey into a non reactive pot (not aluminum, not cast iron) and bring to a boil.
3. Simmer covered for approximately 20 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and the hot peppers have rehydrated and plumped up. I'll warn you- your kitchen's air itself will feel spicy, you might burn your throat a little bit when walking around the room, so either stay out of the room as much as possible or just keep away kids or any other person who is sensitive. (I highly doubt this is dangerous, this is just about comfort.)
4. Blend up the mixture. If you really want to, you can push it through a seive to take out any solid parts that remain, but I didn't bother.
5. Mix the starch with 1/2 cup water, then add to the mixture and mix well. Heat until thickened.
6. Let cool, then move to a bottle with a small opening in it so that you can make sure too much sriracha doesn't come out at once- you'll only want a few drops at a time of this stuff- it's very hot. I used an old sesame oil bottle with a small opening.
Are you a fan of spice? Were your parents?
Have you ever used Sriracha before? What is your favorite use for it? How much does Sriracha cost locally? Do you like it more or less than other types of hot sauce, like Tabasco?
Anyone know what type of hot peppers I used?
Does this look like something you'd try at home?