Friday, August 6, 2010

Texan Sriracha

In my fiance's world of Viet cuisine there are 3 necessities: rice, soy sauce, and Sriracha.

Sriracha is actually a Thai sauce, named after the seaside village of Si Racha in Thailand.  It's main ingredient is Thai chilli peppers.  But the Sriracha sauce that you'd find on the shelves at Hong Kong Supermarket in the US, the Sriracha my fiance grew up loving, is a little different.  It was developed by a Chinese-Vietnamese farmer who fled after the war on a boat in the late 1970s (sound familiar?) and established Huy Fong Foods in California.  The sauce is made from fresh red jalapeño peppers. 1 2

My first exposure to Sriracha was seeing my fiance Thai squeeze a liberal amount into his phở bò.  After a few times witnessing this, I decided that I would try this "Sweet Rah-cha" sauce.  I squeezed a drop on my finger to test out the taste.  As it touched my tongue and began to burn, I wondered at the misleading name - There's nothing "sweet" about this!!

This summer, I discovered a recipe on Viet World Kitchen for Homemade Fermented Sriracha Sauce.  I wrote down the list of suggested peppers and went to see what I could find at the Farmer's Market.  This being Texas, I of course found a plethora of jalapeños.  Later, I tossed them into a blender with the other required ingredients, thinking only of how impressed Thai would be with my Sriracha-making skills.   It wasn't until my mixture reached "a texture like that of wet oatmeal," that I realized something was wrong.

It was GREEN.

Yes, green peppers create green sauce.  Surprise!  Toss in some brown sugar instead of Thai palm sugar, and you've got some Texas-ified Sriracha.  But Thai is Texan-Vietnamese, so I suppose it suits him!  The resulting sauce was even HOTTER than Huy Fong Sriracha.  And he absolutely loves it!  He said that he actually likes it better than the Viet red sauce!  

My green Sriracha in a Tostitos salsa jar.

Texan Sriracha (adapted from Homemade Fermented Sriracha Sauce)

¾ pounds green Jalapenos, snipped, halved lengthwise and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
Water, as needed

1. Combine jalapeños, garlic, salt, and sugar in blender and chop finely to a texture like that of wet oatmeal.
2. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl or jar and cover with plastic wrap. 
3. Set aside at room temperature for 4 days, until small bubbles have formed under the surface of the mixture (I didn't see bubbles?). If a little fuzzy mold forms, lift it off with a fork and discard (and don't tell anyone!). 
4. After 4 days, put the fermented mixture and vinegar into small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 5 minutes.

5. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a blender and puree for 3 minutes, until a smooth mixture forms. Add the water to facilitate the pureeing, if needed.

6. Let the flavor develop and bloom for a few hours before using.
7. Grab your Asian and let the judgement begin!

--- This post is my contribution to Delicious Vietnam #4, a monthly blogging event celebrating Vietnamese cuisine created by A Food Lovers Journey and Ravenous Couple! This month's host is Bonni_bella of Chrysanthemum. ---


  1. How interesting and simple too, will have to try this.

  2. Great contribution to Delicious Vietnam #4
    Wishing you a great week ♥