This easy recipe makes the best homemade Sriracha sauce – fresher and brighter than the bottled sauce.
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I first discovered Sriracha sauce years ago when I worked in Thailand as an agricultural advisor. A popular sauce commonly available on every table in open air restaurants. A combination of many of the flavors you would want to add to dishes – sour, sweet, hot, salty. It is common to have all of these flavors at once in Thai food, and this sauce delivers them.
Sriracha sauce is a popular condiment known for its fiery heat and distinct flavor. It derives its name from a coastal city in Thailand called Si Racha, in Chonburi province where I lived for a while. The original recipe consisted of red chili peppers, garlic, sugar, salt, and vinegar, and it quickly gained popularity in Thai cuisine. The name Sriracha was adopted to identify the sauce’s birthplace and honor its origin.
Sriracha sauce has gained immense popularity worldwide, becoming a staple condiment in many households and restaurants. Its fiery flavor, coupled with its versatility, has made it a preferred choice for those seeking to add a kick to their meals. Sriracha has become so influential that it has spawned an entire industry of sriracha-infused products, such as chips, mayonnaise, and even ice cream. The sauce’s distinct red bottle adorned with the iconic green rooster logo is instantly recognizable and has become a symbol of heat and flavor for many spicy food enthusiasts.
Unfortunately, there is a shortage of Sriracha sauce. First, we noticed the price going up, then the shelves were empty, then the price online became ridiculous. So, we researched what was happening. Climate change has sadly contributed to a shortage of sriracha due to a decline in chilies used to produce the sauce. The warming temperatures, erratic rainfall patterns, and extreme weather events brought on by climate change have negatively impacted chili crop yields worldwide. As chilies are highly sensitive to temperature and water availability, their growth and development become increasingly challenging in these changing conditions. Consequently, farmers struggle to produce enough chilies to meet the growing demand for sriracha sauce, resulting in a shortage that disappoints many enthusiasts. This shortage of sriracha serves as a reminder of the far-reaching effects of climate change, threatening not only our food supplies but also the cultural and culinary experiences we hold dear.
Since we found plenty of peppers at our local farmers’ market, we decided to make it. And it turned out to be very easy and better freshly made.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BEST HOMEMADE SRIRACHA SAUCE RECIPE
Commercial sriracha sauce is made with red jalapeño peppers. The peppers are ground and mixed with garlic, sugar, salt, and vinegar. The mixture is then left to ferment for several days to develop its tangy and pungent flavor. The fermented mixture is subsequently strained to remove any solids, resulting in the signature smooth consistency of sriracha sauce.
Red jalapeño peppers are sometimes difficult to find, so we used red Fresno chilies and added a couple of habanero peppers to increase the heat. We skipped the fermentation and instead put it straight in the refrigerator. This made it brighter and fresher tasting, which we thought was better. It also made it easier.