Sriracha: The Incredible Edible Rooster Sauce
I didn’t always like Sriracha. Honestly, for a while I think I was scared of it. I mean, I love hot sauce, but…
Just look at it. Sriracha practically glows an eery incandescent red. There’s a strange white rooster on the front, and the bottle is topped with a green fluorescent spout.
Not exactly “normal,” if you know what I mean.
But then there’s the… taste. And the taste makes all the difference.
Huy Fong’s Most Popular Hot Sauce
“Sriracha is made from sun ripen chilies which are ground into a smooth paste along with garlic and packaged in a convenient squeeze bottle. It is excellent in soups, sauces, pastas, pizzas, hot dogs, hamburgers, chowmein or on anything else to give it a delicious, spicy taste. Like all our sauces, we use only the highest quality ingredients and never any artificial colors or flavorings.”
What??? NO artificial colorings??? How is that possible?!?
This stuff practically GLOWS, folks! I am amazed – and relieved – that there are no artificial colors in it. After all, Sriracha is the textbook definition of RED!
First created in the early 1980s by David Tran, Huy Fong’s Sriracha has steadily grown in popularity in the United States. Even though sriracha is technically a general term for hot sauce (like ketchup in English… there are many different brands of ketchup), when folksin the United States use the term sriracha they are specifically referring to Huy Fong’s version.
Today Sriracha enjoys what basically amounts to a cult following. Last year, Huy Fong sold 20 million bottles, and the company did so without advertising. It’s not on Facebook either. And the last time the website was updated was on May 10, 2004. That’s almost 9 years ago. And they still sold 20 million bottles last year.
What makes it so successful?
If you ask the fans, they would say the taste.
Sriracha Has Some Serious Fans
It only took tasting it for me to overcome my initial reservations. That was a number of years ago. I have been happily adding Sriracha to a wide variety of dishes ever since. As a matter of fact, I shared our recipe for Sriracha Eggs with you back in 2011.
But I am not the only fan of Sriracha. Not nearly.
- Bon Appetit Magazine named Sriracha the Ingredient of the Year for 2010.
- Sriracha has been featured many times in Bon Appetit Magazine. Check out these two stories published by Bon Appetit: 25 Ways to Use Sriracha (published in June of 2011) and 25 New Ways to Use Sriracha (published in February of 2013).
- Cooks Illustrated named it the best all-purpose hot sauce on the market last May. That’s right. It beat out all of my local favorites: Tabasco brand Pepper Sauce, Crystal Hot Sauce, and Louisiana Hot Sauce.
- Cookbooks are now available that feature the Rooster Sauce: The Sriracha Cookbook and The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook.
It’s Hot. But It’s Not Too Hot. It’s Also Affordable.
Sriracha definitely has a kick to it. But it is not too hot. Huy Fong’s Sriracha sauce ranks in the 1,000-2,500 heat units range on the Scoville scale. That puts it above banana peppers and below the Jalapeño pepper.
Sriracha is available in 17 oz. and 28 oz. bottles, and the 28 oz. bottle runs about $4.00, which makes it very affordable. As David Tran likes to say, “I make sauce good enough for the rich man that the poor man can still afford.”
We go through a lot of hot sauce in my house. Whether I’m making Red Beans & Rice, a Chicken & Andouille Gumbo, Jambalaya, or even just popcorn, you can be sure to find at least one bottle of hot sauce on the table. Sometimes three. More and more often, a bottle of Sriracha claims a spot among the other bottles, and some of that Sriracha finds its way into our cherished Cajun and Creole dishes. Why? Because it’s that good.
Do you have a favorite recipe that uses Sriracha?
I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below!