When Huy Fong Foods, the California brand behind the most beloved, most rooster-festooned sriracha in America, recently revealed an "unprecedented shortage," the news wasn't just an inconvenience. It felt personal.
With the manufacturer citing "several spiraling events, including unexpected crop failure from the spring chile harvest" in northern Mexico, sriracha appears to be yet another victim of climate change. Consumers reported sightings of panic buying on social media, and restaurant owners told NPR that the prices per case had almost doubled in recent weeks.
Instead of stockpiling for the looming srirachapocalypse, why not make your own until the drought subsides? It's likely that you already have almost all of the ingredients on hand.
When I heard about the sriracha shortage, I immediately pulled out America's Test Kitchen's "DIY Cookbook: Can It, Cure It, Churn It, Brew It." Some days, I have to reach deep just to muster enthusiasm for mac and cheese out of the box. Other days, I think, "Yeah, I would like to make duck prosciutto." This is the cookbook for that. While many of the recipes ask for more commitment than getting my doctoral degree, several others require little more than a food processor and a few minutes of active work.
The Test Kitchen sriracha recipe creates a beautiful, incredibly spicy-sweet hot sauce. While not a clone of the classic Huy Fong, it's an intriguing interpretation of it. If you're the sort of person who drips hot honey on your pizza, you're going to love it.
I cut the quantity in half, but if you're a bottle-a-week sriracha user, I recommend doubling the recipe. I couldn't find red jalapeños, so I reached for Fresno chiles instead. (Fresnos are a very good pepper; don't sleep on them.) I also used malt vinegar instead of white vinegar, which is inauthentic but also what I had in my pantry.
With a fresh batch in hand, I found myself drenching this sauce on my salad at lunch, then leveling up my sliders at dinner. Basically, this recipe belongs on everything but cake. I'll always be loyal to Huy Fong, but this stuff can proudly sit beside it on your shelf.
Recipe: Spicy Sweet Sriracha
Inspired by America's Test Kitchen's "DIY Cookbook: Can It, Cure It, Churn It, Brew It"
- 3/4 pounds Fresno chiles, stemmed and cut, seeds reserved
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 tablespoons malt vinegar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
- Place the chiles, garlic, water, malt vinegar and reserved pepper seeds (to your desired heat level) in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan, then add the sugar and sea salt.
- Boil the mixture over high heat, then lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally and skimming the gloopy foam, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Return the mixture to your blender or food processor and blend again until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
- Pour the mixture into a jar or squeeze bottle and refrigerate it for at least 1 day. Keep in the fridge and enjoy for up to 3 weeks.
I recommend starting with about 1/2 tablespoon of pepper seeds.
For a less sweet sauce, dial back the amount of sugar to 3 or 4 tablespoons.
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