Sriracha sauce, a spicy Thai-style hot chili sauce is so hot the city of Irwindale, California attempted to halt production of the condiment over complaints that fumes from the makers, Fong Foods factory, leave neighbors with irritated eyes, throats and headaches.
According to Jeanette Settembre with the New York Daily News, a judge ruled that the factory can stay open, but another hearing on November 22 could cease bottling.
Jeanette notes Huy Fong Foods founder David Tran developed America’s most famous sriracha in the early 1980s and in the years since, Jeanette claims it moved up the ranks, rivaling soy sauce as the nation’s favorite Asian-influenced condiment.
“Lay’s debuted sriracha potato chips, Jack Link’s Beef Jerky has a sriracha hot chili sauce flavor and Subway launched a Fiery Footlong menu this month featuring sriracha chicken and sriracha steak melts.”
But the rooster-logoed bottle of Tuong Ot Sriracha isn’t the only sriracha, and the Huy Fong Foods’ sauce, which includes red jalapeño peppers, sugar, salt and vinegar, isn’t even traditional, according to chef Pichet Ong of Qi Esarn Thai Kitchen, who co-created the menu at Qi Esarn Thai Kitchen in Union Square, Times Square and Williamsburg.
“Sriracha, culturally speaking, is more of a street food condiment you see in fast food or casual concept restaurants like ketchup,” says Ong, who recommends pairing the spicy sauce with easy eats like omelettes or stir-fried glass noodles. “It’s not something you typically see served in nice restaurants.”
Ong insists home chefs go with a more authentic Thai approach by using Thai chili peppers instead of jalapeños, and even provides readers his own recipe.
PICHET ONG’S SRIRACHA RECIPE
Qi Esarn Thai Kitchen
1 1/4 cups fresh red long hot pepper, stemmed, seeded, sliced thinly (about 5 4-inch peppers)
3 tablespoons red Thai chilis, stemmed, seeded, thinly sliced. (6 chilis, 2 inches long)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh garlic (3 cloves)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce (Red Boat or Megachef brand preferably)
2 tablespoons canola oil
Water to thin (1-2 tablespoons), optional
1. In a blender, place garlic, peppers and Thai chilis.
2. Add rest of ingredients and blend until smooth. (If you don’t have a blender, use a food processor.)
3. Taste and add more seasoning to your preference. Thin out with water if you desire.
4. Serve it with a traditional Thai omelet with oysters or mussels, called hoi tod.