Sriracha sauce: what is it and how many scovilles are in it, as well as a recipe for sauce at home.

Thai Sriracha sauce

From this article you will learn everything about the Thai sauce Sriracha (Sriracha, Shirachi, Sriracha), as soon as it is not called. We will give you 3 step-by-step recipes and tell you about the taste and spiciness of the sauce.

What is sriracha sauce

The spicy, aromatic sriracha sauce was invented by a resident of the seaside town of Si Racha in the resort province of Chonburi in Thailand (where the famous resort of Pattaya is located).

The housewife composed it from spices that well hid the musty smell of stale seafood. And the base was made from chili pepper paste, which gave the sauce the spiciness that Thais love.

The first tasters found the sauce so successful that they advised the inventor to offer its recipe to local businessmen.

In 1984, the Thai company Thai Theparos began producing a sauce in the name of which the first syllable of the city’s name was replaced with “Sri” – an epithet of the goddess of love, royal power, luck and prosperity, Lakshmi.

It turned out “Sriracha” (pronounced “sriracha”, less commonly spelled “sriracha”). A few years later, bottles labeled “sriracha” appeared in all supermarkets in Southeast Asia and even on the tables of American restaurants.

What is the most common

The two most popular Sriracha sauces

Sriracha came to the West Coast of the United States thanks to Chinese-Vietnamese emigrant David Tran, who used it as a bargaining chip in competition with neighboring Oriental and Mexican restaurants.

He took the Thai recipe, but made the sauce spicier, attracting fans of  jalapeño – a variety of chili peppers beloved in Mexico and California, famous with its sharpness. Today, sriracha exists in two versions: the original Thai and American.

In the USA, Huy Fong Foods, owned by D. Tran, who has already become a billionaire, produces bottles with a rooster on the label. It produces regular hot sauces (Hot chilli sauce) and less spicy, sweetish Sweet chilli sauce, similar to the Thai version.

American competitors produce spicy versions of Sriracha with an eagle on the bottle, which are also very popular.

Often sauces that are similar in composition are simply called chilli sauce. But the real American versions of sriracha are bottles with images of a rooster or an eagle.

What does the sauce look like, taste and smell like?

What does sriracha look like without a bottle?

In the bottle, sriracha resembles ordinary ketchup in color. But it is not tomato paste that gives it its rich red color, but chili pepper. The consistency of the sauce is quite thick and puree-like.

American hot sauce sriracha is thicker than Thai sauce; you literally have to shake it out of the bottle, risking overdoing it with the fiery seasoning.

The aroma of sriracha is calm, spicy-garlic, with a slight fermentative sourness. The taste of the contents of the bottle labeled Sweet chilli sauce is sweet and sour with moderate pungency, with a distinct taste of garlic.

Thai producers use quite a lot of spices. In the spicy American version (with eagle or rooster) described by Hot chilli sauce, at first all other flavors are drowned out by the spiciness.

But, once you get used to it, you can discern the characteristic sourness and presence of garlic in the spicy sauce.

How many Scovilles

Scoville scale

The pungency (hotness) of pepper is classified on the Scoville scale, the unit of measurement is “tic”. The share of hot chili pepper in sriracha does not exceed 50 – 56% (this figure is indicated on the label), the rest comes from other ingredients.

Accordingly, on the Scoville scale, the heat of the sauce cannot exceed 2500 tic, but does not fall below 1000 tic, even in Sweet chilli sauce. Even at the upper limit of its heat, sriracha is by no means the hottest chili pepper seasoning and is inferior to the famous fiery Chile tabasco and Chile habanero sauces.

Beneficial features

The set of useful substances is determined by the chili pepper and garlic that make up the base of the sauce. Both plants are rich in vitamins and microelements.

Hot peppers enrich the product with potassium and magnesium, which are extremely beneficial for the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. Garlic contains zinc, selenium, manganese, and fluorine.

The sauce contains many antioxidants that bind free radicals and prevent aging processes at the cellular level. Scientists also determined the presence in its composition of B vitamins, retinol, ascorbic acid, phylloquinone, tocopherol, niacin; omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids; digestible carbohydrates; amino acids.

Of course, all these products enter the body with the sauce only in very small quantities. The main benefit of sriracha is that it makes food more attractive, increases salivation and the production of gastric juice – all this improves the absorption of food, especially proteins.

Contraindications

Scientists have found that capsaicin, the substance responsible for the hotness of peppers, does not pose a great danger to the gastrointestinal tract.

The main effect of its irritating effect on the taste buds is reflected in the brain; it has a much lesser effect on the mucous membrane of the larynx and gastrointestinal tract. Mirin vinegar and garlic paste can cause more problems for a sore stomach.

Sriracha sauce is especially dangerous for obese people, causing them to consume too large portions of food flavored with delicious gravy.

Also, patients with diabetes of any type should take into account that sriracha sauce contains a significant amount of sugar (both added and as part of the pepper paste). We must not forget about possible allergic reactions to the components of the sauce.

How to make sriracha sauce

The task that the Thai inventor of the sauce solved was simple: to hide the errors of the original products in a bright, aromatic sauce. In hot climates, seafood quickly loses its freshness and acquires a musty iodine smell (this does not mean that it has gone bad!).

The strong aroma of garlic perfectly hid this deficiency, and hot pepper, rice vinegar and sugar formed the pungent sweet and sour taste familiar to South Asian gourmets.

Classic recipe

Of the particularly spicy varieties, the easiest to find are jalapeno (from which excellent jalapeno sauce is made) or serrano. To best match the classic recipe, it is better to take ripe red pods (they are also more pungent than green ones).

Classic composition:

  • Chili peppers – 0.5 kg
  • Garlic – 1 head
  • Rice vinegar (3%) – 6 tbsp. l.
  • Brown sugar – 2 tbsp. l.
  • Sol – 2 h. l. 

How to do:

  1. Beat the peppers, seeds and garlic in a blender or grind through a meat grinder.
  2. Add salt and sugar and beat again until smooth.
  3. We transfer everything into a clean jar and cover it lightly with a lid, send it to a dark, warm place for about 10 days.
  4. On the eighth day, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar (without stirring) and another 2 tablespoons on subsequent days.
  5. After 10 days, beat again with an immersion blender and rub through a sieve.
  6. Next, you need to evaporate the sauce over low heat until it reaches the point of ketchup, and then pour it into a sterilized container and close it.
  7. Sriracha sauce according to the classic recipe is ready!

You will get approximately 200 ml of sauce, which will need to be left to stand for about 10 more days. During this time, it will thicken further and it will turn out to be a kind of dip sauce.

And after this time, eat it. Of course, you can use regular sugar, just like vinegar. But adjust the amount of vinegar depending on what percentage you have.

Use gloves when handling peppers to prevent your fingers from getting dirty and you won’t accidentally scratch your eyes.

Homemade Sriracha

We want to give you a quick homemade sriracha sauce recipe. It is quick compared to the original recipe, but it will also take time to evaporate.

We will need:

  • Hot pepper – 0.5 kg
  • Garlic – 6 cloves
  • Table vinegar 9% – 20 ml.
  • Starch – 1 h. l.
  • Sugar – 1 h. l.
  • Sol – 1 h. l.
  • Water – 100 ml

Cooking process:

  1. Peel the peppers and garlic, then grind them in a blender.
  2. Place the resulting mass with salt, sugar and vinegar on the fire and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  3. At this time, dilute the starch in water and add a little at a time to the sauce until the desired consistency.
  4. Sriracha is ready to whip up!

Sriracha with bell pepper

Once you know the basic ingredients, you can make sriracha sauce using ingredients from your convenience store. The role of the jalapeno will be played by a regular red bell pepper.

Since it is quite sweet, there is no need to add sugar. Red pepper powder will add spiciness to it.

But it’s better to use any fresh hot red pepper or grind dried ones in a coffee grinder. The remaining ingredients in this version of sriracha are the same as in the classic recipe.

For 500 ml of sauce, we will need:

  • Red bell pepper – 400 gr.
  • Garlic – 80 gr.
  • Vinegar (rice, apple or grape) – 20 ml
  • Ground hot red pepper – 1 tbsp. l.
  • Sol — 1 h. l.
  • Sugar — 2 h. l.

Step by step recipe:

  1. Peel fresh peppers and grind them together with peeled garlic in a blender.
  2. Add vinegar, salt and ground pepper, blend well again.
  3. Place the resulting mass on the fire and slowly begin to evaporate.
  4. Then rub through a sieve and bring to a boil again.

You can also put the resulting puree of pepper and garlic in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 hours. In the settled puree, some of the juice will collect at the top and can be drained. Or, as usual, use starch to thicken.

Where can I add

In Thailand, this sauce is used to season cooked seafood. Since it is thick enough, you can dip whole shrimp or cut up pieces of sea creatures into it. In America, it immediately joined the ranks of hot sauces for meat, displacing Mexican inventions.

Given its fairly straightforward taste, sriracha is added to other sauces to make them spicier, such as mayonnaise or ketchup. One of the most radical uses is to add it to a Bloody Mary instead of Tabasco.

What to replace

In principle, sriracha can be replaced with any hot sauce, for example, adjika. But it is too salty and goes better with meat dishes than with seafood delicacies.

It’s easier to add a good portion of Tabasco or a spoonful of ground red hot pepper, as well as a spoonful of sugar, to thick ketchup (1 glass).

How to choose and where to buy sriracha sauce

There is no copyright on this very simple sauce. Thai producers and D. Tran have the rights to use the name “Sriracha”. Many companies reproduce the recipe by simply calling the resulting product “Hot Chili Sauce” or “Sweet Chili Sauce.”

High-quality hot sauces are produced by well-known companies Heinz and Tabasco. For seafood dishes, the best options are from Kikkoman and Lee Kum Kee. The products of all these companies are sold in large supermarkets.

When choosing, it is better to focus on the company name, composition (including an indication of the amount of pepper in the sauce) and the words Hot chilli sauce or Sweet chilli sauce.

How to store

After production, factory-produced sauce is pasteurized, which removes any microflora from it. A sufficient amount of natural preservatives in the sauce allows manufacturers to confidently set a shelf life of 3 years.

The presence of capsaicin, vinegar, salt and sugar, the absence of fat and protein preserve all the qualities of the sauce for a long time. But it must be tightly closed and located in a dark place so that oxidation processes do not occur due to exposure to air and sunlight.

Homemade sauce with fermented peppers is best kept in the refrigerator for up to six months. In well sterilized containers.

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