The heat is on, friends.
These guys named it the ingredient of the year. LA’s most popular food trucksplashes it into their top sellers. The rooster brand, brewed and manufactured in Rosemead, CA (home of the best Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles, btw), has its own cookbookand like good LA divas, has a movie in the works.
Many hot sauces are just that – heat – something to scorch your mouth or mask bad food. Sriracha gives a rounded out flavor with hints of sweet, savory & smoky goodness flanking the heat. Sriracha provides zing that elevates pedestrian foods – hello cauliflower – and enlivens bland edibles – I’m talking to you eggplant. And then there are Bloody’s, mayos, omelettes, marinades, soups, spreads, pastas – you get the picture.
So, we were all happy with our rooster booster, then Gwyneth came along with hercookbook denouncing the chemicals in processed brands and I was all come on Gwyn, do we really need to cook our own batch? And she was all, Sher, what would Walter White do?
I got busy whipping up a batch of the orange heat, street name – lava – in my own trailer kitchen. I was wearing nothing but my clothes and protective reading glasses, while my protege Pepper Pinkman watched & learned. While it seems like an ambitious feat, making your own sriracha is not difficult and it’s ever so rewarding, perhaps addictive, perhaps bad.
It all starts with red jalapeños. These babies were nearly hand selected for me by the sweetest girl, Stephanie, from Peacock Family Farms set up at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market . She is the anti-Lydia, who remembered me and asked about the sriracha today – bff.
Ingredients are simple and yet socked with flavor – garlic, brown rice syrup, rice wine vinegar, arrowroot for thickening, salt, fish sauce (soy sauce or tamari are good substitutes).
Slicing peppers goes fast. Removing the capsaicin pepper oil from hands does not. Either wear latex gloves (or plastic bags, the poor man’s gloves) or scrub your hands with something to cut the oil – dish soap, 409, crystal meth, etc. Capsaicin is the healthy heat-producing element that causes the body to release endorphins that fight many illnesses. Chemical reactions.
Peeling the garlic is therapeutic and stinky in a good garlicky kind of way.
Blanching the garlic, twice, removes pungency.
Just, simmer peppers and garlic and let rest.
Blend & return to pot. You will be skimming the foam from the top layer.
At first, I loaded my homemade sriracha into those homemade looking jars that say I make everything from scratch. Yeah, it was cumbersome removing clips, lids and then using a spoon for servings. I switched to a squeeze bottle and now can’t stop squirting dabs into everything I make – how’s your breakfast Pepper? For you family members reading this…this will not be your Christmas gift.
preptime 30 minutes makes 2.5 cups
inactive cooktime 90 minutes
2/3 c peeled garlic cloves
8 oz. red jalapeños, stemmed & sliced (for a milder sauce remove some seeds – I removed seeds from every third pepper and I think it’s enough heat, but not unbearable)
1 1/8 c rice wine vinegar
1/8 c brown rice syrup
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp arrowroot
1 Tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce or tamari)
- Blanch the garlic cloves in a medium pan with just enough water to cover them. High heat just to boil then immediately drain and cool under running water. Repeat the process.
- Thinly slice the blanched garlic and put it back into the pan with the sliced peppers and vinegar. Bring to a boil, cook for 3 minutes and remove from heat.
- Add the brown rice syrup and salt to the pot and let the mixture sit for 1 hour to steep and cool.
- Puree the mixture in a powerful blender until smooth but not quite pulverizing all the seeds.
- Return the blended mixture to the pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Here’s where you’ll skim off any foam from the top layer.
- In a smallish bowl, combine arrowroot with 1 Tbsp lukewarm water. Whisk this mixture into the simmering sauce in the pot and let it cook for 2 more minutes until the arrowroot blend slightly thickens the sauce.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and let cool.
- Store in a jar (it’s pretty) or more practically, store in a squeeze bottle. I found it cumbersome opening jars and spooning sauce rather than a little squirt from a bottle.
cruchtimewarp: buy the damn bottle of sriracha with the rooster on the front.
recipe from f.o.g. (friend of gwyneth) lee gross, modified slightly by your friends at cruchtimefood.com