Twitter got me into some big trouble. Last week, I innocently twittered a photograph of some Vietnamese condiments for a Viet Nhậu (tapas) party we were having for one of our Supper Club Dinners. In that picture, there were some yummy, traditional Vietnamese toppings of scallion oil confit, fried crispy shallots and many more goodies I prepared for the evenings feast. But I never thought a simple Twitter mention of “homemade sriracha hot sauce” would cause such a commotion, create incessant demands for the recipe, and getting all the love and attention over the other toppings. I knew Sriracha style hot sauce was popular, but a cult following? Never.
So yes, that’s what I’ll call it from now on, Cult Sriracha.
When I first made this sauce a while back, I asked myself: What makes Huy Fong’s Sriracha, this ubiquitous Asian, cock-labeled chili sauce so popular? It’s just a chili condiment in a squirt bottle for god sakes and there’s a gazillion different brands out there on the market. But I myself, can confess to squeezing the dickens out of this bottle of orange/reddish gold goodness. It’s like a prized commodity when it hits the palate and gives incredible sensations of heat, sweet and tang. Sriracha has the perfect balance of all flavors: delicate spice combined with sweet and garlicky tangy undertones that make it perfect in almost any dish.
Huy Fong’s Sriracha isn’t too spicy to where it will cause beads of sweat to roll down one’s face, nor is it claiming to be “hotter than a motha” and attempt to cause a brain concussion. Neither is it trying to break records with the million scoville scale mark, nor is it trying to keep you on the toilet for the entire morning after.
Being the fresh sauce addict that I am and loving to create outside the bottle, I wanted to re-create the theme of Sriracha in my own kitchen and customize the spice/sweet/tang layers to my own preferences. I can take a little more heat than most and I wanted to raise the spicy bar in the sauce to accommodate not just my own taste buds, but also for my chili loving friends. Give me more spice in my hot sauce and I’ll be a very, very good girl.
YOU MUST MAKE THIS!! This is not only so easy, it’s so fresh tasting from all the fresh chilies! I was able to find the right balance of the sugar, vinegar and spice, all blended together to get the smooth, hot sauce consistency. Unlike some other chili sauces with the seeds and peels still coarsely evident, I used tomato sauce as the base to help blend the sauce together and keep it more like the Sriracha consistency.
It’s smooth, pretty and delicious. This homemade chili sauce sings sweet and spicy songs in your mouth, while being kind to your body with the perfect amount of heat.
As with any recipe, you can tailor this to your own palate to create your own version of the sauce. I know some folks like their hot sauce to counter balance the heat with a little more sugar and some like more of the vinegary tang. Go for it and customize all those balancing elements to your body’s tolerance. Personally, I’ve added a touch (just a slight “Diane spicy style” touch) to my version for that extra little kick of heat.
Last but not least, please don’t skimp out on any of the ingredients, especially the fish sauce. The fish sauce adds the savory, salty and umami depth to this recipe. With out the fish sauce, this chili hot sauce doesn’t have the exciting umami layer of flavor that I can taste in the original Sriracha. For vegetarians, you can replace the fish sauce with a soy sauce.
All of the listed ingredients come together beautifully to harmonize the flavor and texture of this hot sauce and without them, I wouldn’t dare call it “Sriracha style”.
Hope this rocks your spicy hot sauce world!
Sriracha Recipe - Homemade Chili Sriracha Hot Sauce
Yield: @ 1 cup
Total Time: 20 min
This recipe all varies depending on the chili's (red jalapenos, habanero's, etc...). Every chili pepper has a different heat level, so you must be the judge of the amount of spice you prefer. Start your first batch with smaller chili pepper quantities to familiarize yourself with the heat level of your chili peppers.
- 1 cup thai red chili peppers (@ 100g). *Start with less (about half) if you want a more mild, gentle hot sauce
- 4-5 medium cloves of Garlic, crushed or minced
- 2 medium Shallots, minced
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 2 - 8 ounce (or 1- 15 oz.) cans Tomato Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce (don't skimp out on this!) or use Soy Sauce, if you can, try to use the Fish Sauce.
- 3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- 3 T Sugar
- Remove stems of chili peppers, rinse clean. Blot dry with paper towel. Wearing rubber gloves, mince the chili peppers. The smaller the cut, the smoother your final sauce will be.
- In sauce pan, heat oil then add minced garlic and shallots. Over medium-high heat saute for a about 1 minute or until light brown and fragrant. (don't burn your garlic!)
- Add tomato sauce and minced chili peppers. Let sauce come to a simmer then lower heat to keep at a low simmer. Add fish sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Mix well.
- Continue simmering sauce for about 5 minutes. This will break down the chili peppers and soften them to create the smooth consistency.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- Transfer sauce to blender and blend till smooth or until most of the chili pepper skin and seeds break down- preferably on the "liquefy" mode.
- Taste the hot sauce. Further customize the hot sauce to your liking: add more sugar, vinegar or water. Blend one last time till smooth. Pour into clean, air tight jar and refrigerate. Use within about 1 week.