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For the rooster in your kitchen
October 12, 2011 3:23 PM   Subscribe

Metafilter (rightfully) loves sriracha. Now the folks at America's Test Kitchen have obsessed over how to make it at home so you don't have to.

I like sriracha, but actually prefer sambal oelek. Here's how to make that spicy condiment.
posted by mudpuppie (146 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't wanna ruin it for you Metafilter, but it's just ketchup with the tomato replaced with hot pepper and garlic.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:26 PM on October 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


rice with olive oil, parmesan cheese and sriracha is absolutely delicious.

but I buy any brand - not just the rooster one.

I don't wanna ruin it for you Metafilter, but it's just ketchup with the tomato replaced with hot pepper and garlic.

What's your point?
posted by jb at 3:28 PM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


So grateful for this link.

I love Sriracha - until I developed an allergy to sulfites. Sriracha, at least the cock brand that is ubiquitous, has sulfites. (And this isn't a 'my face gets mildly flushed for a few minutes' allergy, it's a 'my lungs try to shut down to prevent the poison from seeping in' allergy.) So, I've been missing this sauce something fierce.
posted by spinifex23 at 3:28 PM on October 12, 2011


A recipe with a bit more authenticity
posted by jgaiser at 3:29 PM on October 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


My question: Why has sriracha gotten so big over the past few years?
posted by dunkadunc at 3:31 PM on October 12, 2011


I just this minute finished a bowl of tuna with sriracha on rice.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 3:31 PM on October 12, 2011


It was more like a bowl of sriracha with tuna and rice, come to think of it.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 3:31 PM on October 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also, what I really want to get my hands on is a can of Shitto.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:33 PM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


So it's not like ketchup at all!
posted by solmyjuice at 3:33 PM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Love it too! I made the kale wrapped Salmon off this list recently...pretty good recipes!
posted by Capricorn13 at 3:36 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, I never thought I'd want to eat something called Shitto, but that looks pretty good.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 3:38 PM on October 12, 2011


My question: Why has sriracha gotten so big over the past few years?

Why has the... rooster gotten so big over the past few years? Must be because we love it so much?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:38 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every morning: scrambled egg whites and sriracha. Puts hair on the chest.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:38 PM on October 12, 2011


I wonder how this would taste on a big ol' basket of Gallic fries.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 3:38 PM on October 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Sriracha is a fiery-red Thai-American hot sauce fondly known by its loyal followers as rooster sauce
Huh, I fondly know is as cock sauce.
posted by matt_od at 3:38 PM on October 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I love the cock.
posted by hellphish at 3:39 PM on October 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


I wouldn't advise you to put it on your cock.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:40 PM on October 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't wanna ruin it for you Metafilter, but it's just ketchup with the tomato replaced with hot pepper and garlic.

So... the French banned this too? ;)

Seriously though, i love me some sriracha, addicted to it i'd say. :)
posted by usagizero at 3:41 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who the hell calls it rooster sauce? Its cock sauce fools!
posted by real_paris at 3:41 PM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


After you’ve stemmed and seeded all of the chilies, cut them in half lengthwise

Are you all sure this isn't a troll?

If you're going to slice the chillis lengthwise (indeed, if you're going to blend them), why would you deseed them first?
posted by pompomtom at 3:43 PM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wonder how this would taste on a big ol' basket of Gallic fries.

With Gallic fries some chicken salt and a bit of tomato sauce makes for right good tucker, mate.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 3:45 PM on October 12, 2011


A recipe with a bit more authenticity

There's nothing inauthentic about the kind that comes from Southern California, it's just not very much like the other stuff.
posted by kenko at 3:45 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The first time I moved out of my mom's place, I was constantly broke and Sriracha on toast was a regular lunchfood. My stomach can't do peppers anymore, but that sauce made life a little more bearable.
posted by griphus at 3:47 PM on October 12, 2011


Sriracha and honey, mixed 50/50.

Drizzle on fried chicken.

Thank me later.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:50 PM on October 12, 2011 [37 favorites]


Gallic fries? I suppose they were cool before Postumus' was killed...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:53 PM on October 12, 2011


Why would I want to make sriracha? I pay other people to make my hot sauces so that I don't have to remember to buy gloves and to wash my hands afterward.
posted by madcaptenor at 3:57 PM on October 12, 2011 [12 favorites]


I love that they found out how to do this, but honestly (and I am someone who LOVES to cook) I am okay with buying it.
posted by Kitteh at 4:01 PM on October 12, 2011


Sambal oelek > sriracha
posted by Trurl at 4:01 PM on October 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


I don't wanna ruin it for you Metafilter, but it's just ketchup with the tomato replaced with hot pepper and garlic.

You know that "ketchup" did not originally have tomatoes in it, and kecap is the Indonesian catch-all term for fermented sauces?

In other words, you're both right!
posted by ambrosia at 4:02 PM on October 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


I love that they found out how to do this, but honestly (and I am someone who LOVES to cook) I am okay with buying it.

The fun would be in modifying it a bit. If I never post here again, it will be because the Habanero sriracha drove me insane.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:04 PM on October 12, 2011


What did the mother tomato say to the baby tomato?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:04 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I did not know ATK had a blog now. This is great! And they have vintage Jell-O molds revamped to not taste like crap! My favorite! (see my love of stained glass cake)
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:06 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


'Stemmed' is a verb now? Why didn't anybody tell me this years ago?
posted by box at 4:08 PM on October 12, 2011


Sambal oelek

Indeed.
posted by ob at 4:08 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


People like sriracha because it's the right level of heat but mostly because of the sugar. Many people, myself included, are basically addicted to sugar and will find any novel way to consume it in meals that otherwise do not warrant sugar. Ketchup, BBQ sauce, salad dressing, American-style mayonnaise, relish, duck sauce, sweet and sour sauce, plum sauce, and spaghetti sauce are just some of the common ways of incorporating a surprising amount of sweet in your savory dinner. As an example: There is no food at McDonald's that does not contain added sugar or sugar-substitutes, including the french fries.

There's also a class thing going on. I suspect many Americans would smother their food in ketchup in public if it were not considered lower class. You eat your french fries, there's a little ketchup left on the plate, you dip your tuna melt. Covering your take-out pad thai in sriracha is very similar, as furiousxgeorge says, but instead of telling others how tasteless and low class you are, you're signaling that your tastes skew slightly exotic and that you can handle the (mild) heat.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:09 PM on October 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


The NYT on the origin of sriracha
posted by GuyZero at 4:13 PM on October 12, 2011


I just buy the bottle that doesn't have the preservatives?
posted by wierdo at 4:14 PM on October 12, 2011


Don't tell the people in this thread, but I like to mix sriracha and ranch dressing and dip my pizza in it. Also, sriracha mayo on burgers or fries = heaven.
posted by padraigin at 4:15 PM on October 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


This sauce is good gear. You can get like six litres of it for a fistful of change at any reputable Asian grocer, and for the budget-conscious it easily replaces barbeque sauce, tomato sauce, and Tabasco sauce in your pantry. It's amazing on everything, all the time. If you're not getting through a bottle of sriracha every couple of weeks you aren't living to your full maximum potential as a human being.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:16 PM on October 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


I like to mix sriracha and ranch dressing and dip my pizza in it

I could have forgiven you for almost anything but the ranch dressing. You are a bad, bad person.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:17 PM on October 12, 2011


Although, perhaps there's irony in the fact that I love cock sauce but hate ranch dressing....
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:18 PM on October 12, 2011


This stuff, Tương Ớt Tỏi, which is very similar to sambal oelek, is superior to sriracha because it's much spicier. The addition of the seeds seems to be the key. Mixed with Japanese mayo and ponzu to make a runny sauce, then poured on grilled salmon, makes a wonderful treat.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 4:19 PM on October 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


Oh hell yes.

Sambal oelek is good, but it ain't sriracha.

We were early adopters of sriracha, at least for midwesterners. (Rooster sauce? Cock sauce? Never. Always, always have called it sriracha.) My husband was introduced to it in 2002, while visiting his sister in Alaska. It was, inauthentic or no, a staple on the table of their favorite Thai restaurant. He brought some home. When we adopted a friend of mine during our second year of marriage, she became so addicted to sriracha that kept a bottle in her car so she could put it on food if she was eating out. When my cousin visited us here three years ago, she took a bottle home to her family in Florida, where they all loved it so much that everyone got a bottle in their Christmas stocking.

Best use for sriracha: mac and cheese. A bit in the cheese sauce, then some more on the finished product. Mmmm.
posted by Leta at 4:20 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I suspect many Americans would smother their food in ketchup in public if it were not considered lower class

Now that it's come up in both of today's bottled sauces threads I have to say that this is not a stereotype I was ever familiar with before today. I like to think I keep company with all sorts but I don't think I ever see anyone using ketchup on anything other than hamburgers (as god intended) or hot dogs (not so much). Oh and macaroni and cheese.

On preview: Metafilter: perhaps there's irony in the fact that I love cock sauce
posted by villanelles at dawn at 4:21 PM on October 12, 2011


... sriracha mayo on burgers or fries = heaven.

sriracha mayo on ANYTHING = heaven.

Also, anyone who thinks ketchup and sriracha have anything at all in common is ... well, many words come to mind, none of them polite.

Ketchup, as it is produced and consumed in America, is a hideously sweet, cloying condiment best suited for finicky children. The Rooster is a lovely, sweet/hot/garlicky miracle. And since I consume it entirely in my home, issues of "class" or "exotica" don't enter into it. I'm not trying to impress anyone when I use The Rooster.
posted by ronofthedead at 4:23 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


HERE IS SOME INFO
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:25 PM on October 12, 2011


Purposeful Grimace: Yes! My old roomie and I used to smother that stuff all over our pizzas. So tasty.
posted by KGMoney at 4:25 PM on October 12, 2011


i love ketchup. i'd totally smother food with it in public! (never thought of it in classy/unclassy terms either)
posted by fuzzypantalones at 4:26 PM on October 12, 2011


Also, I still use ridiculous amounts of ketchup, and we're solidly upper-middle class. I doubt that's really a "thing" in most areas...
posted by KGMoney at 4:28 PM on October 12, 2011


Sriracha is a fiery-red Thai-American hot sauce fondly known by its loyal followers as rooster sauce
Huh, I fondly know is as cock sauce.


I'd always heard sriracha or rooster sauce. The first time I heard it called cock sauce was in grad school, when I was living and sharing a pantry with several other graduate students. One of my housemates added "Cock sauce" to the communal shopping list, prompting another housemate (also unfamiliar with that name for sriracha) to scrawl in response, "What kind of sick fuck are you?"
posted by JiBB at 4:32 PM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's a new thing in the shops in Oz at the moment called "burger sauce". I'm not sure what it is. It's right alongside the tomato sauce and bbq sauce and the like. But it's just "burger sauce". I don't understand. I am not willing to try it. Can anybody say what's going on?
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:32 PM on October 12, 2011


Also, anyone who thinks ketchup and sriracha have anything at all in common is ... well, many words come to mind, none of them polite.

Chili, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled Vinegar, potassium sorbate, contains sodium bisulfite as preservatives, and xantham gum.

Tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, sugar, salt, onion powder, spice, natural flavoring.

Pepper/Tomato, vinegar, salt, spices. I'm not saying they taste the same, obviously peppers and tomatoes taste different and there is a different combinations of spices but in the end you are eating the same type of thing. I just find it amusing one food product attracts the sugar freakout anti-obesity crowd and one tends not to.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:33 PM on October 12, 2011


Is it anything like fry sauce?
posted by mudpuppie at 4:34 PM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


serendipitous i just downloaded this background.
posted by nadawi at 4:34 PM on October 12, 2011


Also, I still use ridiculous amounts of ketchup, and we're solidly upper-middle class.

And one again Americans totally confuse class with income.

If you're Elmer J Fudd, millionaire (and own a mansion and a yacht) and have a bottle of ketchup on your table, it's lower class behaviour. There have been jokes about lower-class English punters travelling on the continent taking their bottle of "brown sauce" with them to make food palatable (to them).

The idea is that "fine dining" food comes ready to eat as-is. if you've been served food that needs embellishment, you're not eating at a "proper" restaurant.

I don't actually care if you eat ketchup on everything, but this is the stereotype.
posted by GuyZero at 4:34 PM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's even a Cajun-themed variant: "SLAP YA MAMA"
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:36 PM on October 12, 2011


i am the sort of low class gal that puts ketchup on everything i can manage - eggs, anything with potatoes, reheated spaghetti, mac&cheese, american cheese ketchup and white bread sandwiches. my husband laughs and teases me, but i don't care.

i also put grape jelly on scrambled eggs (it is DELICIOUS).

and i love, love, love the cock sauce.
posted by nadawi at 4:36 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm with Purposeful Grimace on the superiority of Tương Ớt Tỏi, which gets put on everything all the time in my house (or gets mixed into things that go on everything all the time. One of my favorites: Mix it into avocado and use in place of mayo on sandwiches). I like sriracha too, but I find it less versatile in some ways.

I actually need to buy a new jar ... I don't know how I've lived without it for a while.
posted by darksong at 4:38 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


mudpuppie: No, I don't think so, the picture on the bottle portrays it as a much darker...fluid...than fry sauce.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:39 PM on October 12, 2011


I call it napalm sauce.
posted by lathrop at 4:40 PM on October 12, 2011


Life is better with Sriracha. My wife, who used to claim 'not to like hot things' now dots food frequently with this stuff.

Sriracha: gateway drug. Especially when mixed with mayo.
posted by pianoboy at 4:43 PM on October 12, 2011


We've been making homemade ketchup which is so good I wish I could bring it with me everywhere, just in case I need it. And now this. I can't thank any of you enough. This is a good day.
posted by wobh at 4:44 PM on October 12, 2011


This stuff, Tương Ớt Tỏi, which is very similar to sambal oelek, is superior to sriracha because it's much spicier.

Oh... thank you for that, i forgot that one time i couldn't find the cock, i picked that up and was made very happy. it's a different "thing", but when i was craving ramen and such, a spoonful of that with it, happy me. :) Ideally, i'd keep a thing of both, they are both great, but seem to work best with different foods.
posted by usagizero at 4:45 PM on October 12, 2011


Just want to give props to Purposeful Grimace and darksong for the heads-up on Tương Ớt Tỏi, it sounds lovely and I shall be tracking some down posthaste as soon as I learn to pronounce it so I can ask for it. "Twong ot toy"?
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:46 PM on October 12, 2011


Ketchup, as it is produced and consumed in America ...

Tomato Concentrate Made From Vine Ripened Tomatoes, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Corn Syrup, Salt, Less than 2% of Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Natural Flavors.

The Rooster ...

Chili, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled Vinegar, potassium sorbate, contains sodium bisulfite as preservatives, and xantham gum.

So, the only things that The Rooster has in common with actual American (and probably European, but I'm tired from all that Googlin') ketchup is ... vinegar and salt and a sweetener (and, to me, HFCS and corn syrup give food a completely different flavor profile than plain sugar. I don't know why, but it's true. Maybe I'm one of those so-called "supertasters").

Worchestershire sauce also prominently features vinegar, salt and sugar. And it is completely unlike ketchup or sriracha. So that's my two cents there.
posted by ronofthedead at 4:47 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


try some sambal olek - great stuff with real piquant notes - sambal is _o_k_ but i never use the stuff if there's SO around.
posted by onesidys at 4:52 PM on October 12, 2011


If what you want is a sweet profile, go fo HP Sauce or it's Indian cousin, tamarind chutney. I could eat tamarind chutney on everything.
posted by GuyZero at 4:52 PM on October 12, 2011


Everyone Thai I kow uses a food mill, not a blender.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:53 PM on October 12, 2011


As for how to pronounce Tương Ớt Tỏi (thank you, copy/paste), I am pretty sure it is pronounced "chili garlic sauce."

Or in a pinch, "That stuff that's made by the sriracha people, but it comes in a cylinder and it's spicier?"

I love sriracha enough that I am more than happy to buy it. If anyone deserves my hard-earned cash, it is the makers of sriracha.

I like to add it to macaroni and cheese, and to grilled cheese sandwiches.
posted by ErikaB at 4:53 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


alas - beaten by the first commenter! btw, cock is a brand of fish sauce with a squid on the bottle...
posted by onesidys at 4:54 PM on October 12, 2011


And one again Americans totally confuse class with income.

If you're Elmer J Fudd, millionaire (and own a mansion and a yacht) and have a bottle of ketchup on your table, it's lower class behaviour. There have been jokes about lower-class English punters travelling on the continent taking their bottle of "brown sauce" with them to make food palatable (to them).

The idea is that "fine dining" food comes ready to eat as-is. if you've been served food that needs embellishment, you're not eating at a "proper" restaurant.


Meh, more snobbery that i couldn't wait to get away from. It's more of that old money vs new money crap, and another way to hold oneself above others. Different people like different things, and calling some things "low class" is just another reason we are in the crap we are right now.
posted by usagizero at 4:56 PM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just find it amusing one food product attracts the sugar freakout anti-obesity crowd and one tends not to.

I think people tend to use ketchup in larger quantities than sriracha.
posted by madcaptenor at 5:02 PM on October 12, 2011



Ketchup, as it is produced and consumed in America ... Tomato Concentrate Made From Vine Ripened Tomatoes, High Fructose Corn Syrup,


Are you sure?

(and, to me, HFCS and corn syrup give food a completely different flavor profile than plain sugar. I don't know why, but it's true. Maybe I'm one of those so-called "supertasters").

You must be, because I can't tell the difference between Hunt's, Heinz, or generic ketchup. (I'm pretty sure you couldn't blind either)

So, the only things that The Rooster has in common with actual American (and probably European, but I'm tired from all that Googlin') ketchup is ... vinegar and salt and a sweetener

That's all both products are, pretty much. That's my point, you can claim you can taste the HFCS difference all you want, but neither has any health advantage over the other. Nutrionally, again not talking taste here, Worcestershire is pretty much in the same place too. It's just a bit thinner without the tomato/pepper base and added water.

Distilled White Vinegar, Molasses, Water, Sugar, Onions, Anchovies, Salt, Garlic, Cloves, Tamarind Extract, Natural Flavorings, Chili Pepper Extract.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:08 PM on October 12, 2011


I think people tend to use ketchup in larger quantities than sriracha.

In my experience people start out slow until they are used to the heat and then use it in fairly massive quantities.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:09 PM on October 12, 2011


Why would I want to spend $20 making a bottle of stuff to replace something I can buy for like $2 a gallon?
posted by crunchland at 5:10 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not the one who said "I'm upper-middle class and I love ketchup!"
posted by GuyZero at 5:10 PM on October 12, 2011


tumid dahlia, Google Translate is letting me down on trying to find the correct pronunciation for Tương Ớt Tỏi. The only time I've heard it spoken was by a person whom I couldn't confirm was Vietnamese or a fluent speaker of Vietnamese, so take this with a grain of salt, but she pronounced it very closely to "doo-ong oat doi".
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:11 PM on October 12, 2011


What's so hard about buying it?

And a life-long lover of west-coast styrofoam box chicken teriyaki, i have to say that i have been loving on sriracha hard since I first had it around '87 or so. Also, from where I've seen things, it's been an irritaiting unpopular-white-person "thing" for ever, like dunkin donuts coffee or carmex.

It's just a good sauce, why overthink it?
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 5:14 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just ate dinner. And then I found this thread. And now I want sriracha. Maybe I can douse some popcorn in it or something...
posted by pemberkins at 5:17 PM on October 12, 2011


also,
omg SHITTO sounds great!
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 5:18 PM on October 12, 2011


It is truly unfortunate that sriracha has become the "hipster sauce." Far too terrible a fate for so delicious a thing.

I can only hope that, as with bacon, the delicious substance itself can outlast having been latched onto by a small-but-vocal minority.
posted by ErikaB at 5:19 PM on October 12, 2011


Fresh lime juice, sriracha, smashed garlic and olive oil is my go-to marinade for shrimp on the grill. Sriracha and soy sauce is lovely for chicken skewers, too.
posted by condor at 5:24 PM on October 12, 2011


What is also delicious is homemade tuong ot xa - Vietnamese lemongrass chilli-infused oil. It's not very common, but the fish sauce plus the lemongrass and the chilli make it fantastic on pretty much everything - it's especially good in soup noodle (and weirdly enough, in ham and egg sandwiches. Yum).
posted by zennish at 5:27 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


This stuff, Tương Ớt Tỏi, which is very similar to sambal oelek, is superior to sriracha because it's much spicier.

This is an ingredient in pretty much every meal I make.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:28 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The whole "the hipsters are ruining this thing I love by also liking it" thing (and I certainly suffer from it too) has always struck me as similar to the conservatives who think that if gay people get married it will destroy straight marriage through some sort of spooky (and sparkly) action at a distance.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 5:29 PM on October 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Authentic would be fermented and no vinegar, there are good reasons to ferment things, beneficial bacteria. That's what condiments used to be about: pickle relish, fish sauce, kimchi etc.. all traditionally fermented foods that add good bugs to every meal. Healthy gut flora has huge health implications with dozens of diseases. It's missing from modern diets thanks to vinegar replacing fermentation because it's cheaper and easier.
posted by stbalbach at 5:31 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


furiousxgeorge wrote: You must be, because I can't tell the difference between Hunt's, Heinz, or generic ketchup. (I'm pretty sure you couldn't blind either)

There's not a huge difference between Hunt's and Heinz, but one is definitely a little sweeter and a little less vinegary. I forget which, because on the rare occasion I do use ketchup, I use something that tastes more like tomato than the barely tomatoish stuff you're talking about.
posted by wierdo at 5:31 PM on October 12, 2011


Sriracha: Hipster ketchup.
posted by Tube at 5:37 PM on October 12, 2011


Japanese comedy group DownTown (minus Hamada but plus Heipo), from their show Gaki no Tsukai, do their Kiki batsu (punishment) game with ketchup.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:39 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sriracha is for hipsters? I got into it because I used to live a block from a Vietnamese-run grocery store. (I'll admit my neighborhood had a pretty bad hipster infestation.) Man, I miss tofu hoagies.
posted by madcaptenor at 5:40 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not saying that MY feelings about sriracha are changed because it's a hipster condiment. I'm just saying that a lot of people are turned off of it because of that, which is a pity, because it is so delicious!

And for the record, I liked sriracha before it was cool. OH DAMN NOW I'M DOING IT TOO.
posted by ErikaB at 5:44 PM on October 12, 2011


I like sriracha, but since I mostly stopped eating sugar it seems awfully sweet to me.

A couple years back Ask Metafilter helped me recreate a sriracha cocktail.
posted by Nelson at 5:46 PM on October 12, 2011


we revere the Rooster in my home but another variant on the theme without which my husband could not live is essentially the Italian version. he uses it in EVERYTHING!
posted by supermedusa at 5:55 PM on October 12, 2011


Sriracha is to hot sauce what Skippy is to peanut butter.
posted by Tube at 5:59 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


A sexual aid?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:02 PM on October 12, 2011


A sexual aid?

Another happy dog owner! Or, bananas!

I am so classless. So very very very classless.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 6:10 PM on October 12, 2011


Whaddaya expect from a giant lizard?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:11 PM on October 12, 2011


True, true. I AM a product of the Western military/industrial complex, after all.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 6:12 PM on October 12, 2011


i am the sort of low class gal that puts ketchup on everything i can manage - eggs, anything with potatoes, reheated spaghetti, mac&cheese, american cheese ketchup and white bread sandwiches.

I didn't grow up with ubiquitous ketchup, but Tabasco, according to many people, goes on just about anything at all times. I can see Rooster sauce as a step up from Tabasco.
posted by small_ruminant at 6:30 PM on October 12, 2011


My question: Why has sriracha gotten so big over the past few years?

It was always big. You just learned of it over the past few years.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:38 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why would I want to spend $20 making a bottle of stuff to replace something I can buy for like $2 a gallon?
posted by crunchland at 5:10 PM on October 12 [+] [!]

What's so hard about buying it? [...] It's just a good sauce, why overthink it?
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 5:14 PM on October 12 [1 favorite +] [!]


If this post came across as *back of hand to forehead* "Oh my, going to the store to buy some delicious sriracha sauce is so difficult *swoon*," I apologize. I also suspect you were not this post's target audience, and I suspect you recognize that.

I harvested roughly 100 pounds of tomatoes this summer, and I made lots of things with those tomatoes: Pints of salsa, which will last me through to next summer (I dare you to favorably compare it to anything you'd buy in a jar); canned whole tomatoes, which are a hell of a lot of work, but which make my dinner taste better -- if only psychologically -- than when I just open a can; sun-dried tomatoes, which were actually done in a dehydrator, and took many many hours to dry, but which are as sweet as candy.

I also have a jug of fresh apple cider fermenting in my pantry. It passed the cider stage a few days ago and is now turning into vinegar, which was my intent. In a couple weeks, I'm going to have more homemade apple cider vinegar than I know what to do with. (And this reminds me that my cell phone alarm is going to go off in about 20 minutes, reminding me to tend to the vinegar baby.)

From the mother obtained from that vinegar, as it's coming in to pomegranate season, I'm going to make pomegranate vinegar from the fruit I pick from my boss's tree. Not sure what I'll do with it, but it will be fun to have.

Oh, *note to self*, need to start the christmas limoncello soon.

I threaten to make sauerkraut every year, but for some reason it never happens. This year, I'm determined.

About a month ago, I spent about three days making pickled watermelon rind. I remember it from childhood. It was a hell of a lot of work, and it turned out too sweet for my taste, but I'm glad I did it. The people I'll end up giving it to will be wowed, and that's cool.

So no, it's not hard to buy sriracha. There's nothing wrong with buying it. It's just that some of us really like the thrill of doing things like this ourselves. That was the point of this post. I don't think it's a huge mystery.

Commenting along the lines of "why don't you just go buy a bottle of sriracha" is like going into a post about the new iPhone and saying "Surely you've got two tin cans and some string lying around, you hipster beanplater."
posted by mudpuppie at 6:47 PM on October 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


That's my point, you can claim you can taste the HFCS difference all you want, but neither has any health advantage over the other.

Hm. I wasn't aware that anyone was making a "health advantage" claim here. Not sure about anyone else, but my whole point is that American ketchup is grossly over-sweetened, by whatever method, and tastes, to me, just awful. On the other hand, The Rooster is wonderfully balanced (again, to me) in all flavor respects.

Also, I find it truly weird that people can't taste HFCS in food. Whenever I eat something with a significant amount of the stuff, I can immediately detect the hyper-sweet nature, and it leaves a nasty aftertaste as well.
posted by ronofthedead at 6:51 PM on October 12, 2011


The whole "the hipsters are ruining this thing I love by also liking it" thing (and I certainly suffer from it too) has always struck me as similar to the conservatives who think that if gay people get married it will destroy straight marriage through some sort of spooky (and sparkly) action at a distance.

It's not the same at all. Nobody is going to accuse me of being gay if they find out I'm a guy married to a woman. Hipster love of sriracha, though, has two side effects:

- people who see me eating it think I'm a hipster, including that twat with the fringe and the lensless glasses who thought it was totally OK to slap me on the back and give me a conspiratorial double-finger-guns 'yeah, shreeratchet sauce!' before he got on his fixie and rode off to, I don't know, occupy a financial district with a cigar-box ukulele, or something; and

- people who see me eating it think I only eat it because I'm a shallow, shallow hipster. Yes, worrying what people think about me might well mean I'm shallow, but it's not the same as being a shallow hipster because it's not on Chitter.

The hispter taint, it won't come off, even with bleach.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:52 PM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can't have phở without sriracha.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:56 PM on October 12, 2011


Commenting along the lines of "why don't you just go buy a bottle of sriracha" is like going into a post about the new iPhone and saying "Surely you've got two tin cans and some string lying around..." --- It's actually exactly the opposite. Making this stuff at home is like taking two tin cans and calling it an iphone. That said, I tried making ketchup last summer when I scored a case of tomatoes at the farmer's market for a ridiculously cheap price. Granted, I didn't have Christopher Kimball whispering in my ear, but I was using a recipe that Jamie Oliver had on one of his television shows. And the truth was, what I made wasn't half as good as the stuff I could buy.
posted by crunchland at 6:59 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


> The hispter taint, it won't come off, even with bleach.

Hipsters are into anal bleaching now?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:01 PM on October 12, 2011


They're into everything you like, everything you don't like, everything you used to like and everything you're going to like a few months or a year from now.
posted by box at 7:03 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, Malcolm Gladwell thinks that ketchup is the exception that proves the rule, kinda, or anyway he wrote this thing about ketchup.
posted by box at 7:06 PM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Artisanal anal bleaching.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:07 PM on October 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I threaten to make sauerkraut every year, but for some reason it never happens. This year, I'm determined.

It's about the easiest thing ever. 3 tablespoons of salt to 5 pounds of chopped cabbage. Then ignore your creeping doubts that you haven't added enough salt and wait a bit. Eat. We add onions, garlic, spices, and whatnot. Carrots would be good, beets may be either vile or transcendent. Haven't tried it.

Here's the the recipe from The Man Himself
posted by stet at 7:19 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's just a good sauce, why overthink it?

Because it's so good on beans!

I'm going to make pomegranate vinegar from the fruit I pick from my boss's tree. Not sure what I'll do with it, but it will be fun to have.

If you end up with extra, I bet we could...help you with that. And there's always pomegranate molasses....
posted by rtha at 7:24 PM on October 12, 2011


And there's always pomegranate molasses....

I find your views intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 7:29 PM on October 12, 2011


Seeded red jalapenos? I very seriously doubt that. Even when mature, jalapenos are about the mildest of the hot peppers, slightly hotter than an Anaheim. If I had to guess, I would say that the original is using those little Thai red peppers.
posted by Gilbert at 7:37 PM on October 12, 2011


That's my point, you can claim you can taste the HFCS difference all you want, but neither has any health advantage over the other.

Hm. I wasn't aware that anyone was making a "health advantage" claim here.


This is mostly in regards to the anti-obesity folks over in the ketchup thread.

Also, I find it truly weird that people can't taste HFCS in food. Whenever I eat something with a significant amount of the stuff, I can immediately detect the hyper-sweet nature, and it leaves a nasty aftertaste as well.

Right, I'd just love to see people do it blind. For instance, just with the ketchup thing here the assumption is that it's HFCS but well known brands like Hunt's don't even use it.

And again, sriracha is pretty comparably sweet, it's just that it's masked more by the other ingredients.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:39 PM on October 12, 2011


Sambal is good. Sriracha is good. But gochujang is where it's at.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:43 PM on October 12, 2011


Sorry, but the Trappey's Indi-Pep is my new fave.
posted by oflinkey at 7:47 PM on October 12, 2011


Gochujang has always been a little too sweet and not quite spicy enough for my palate. That being said, I do manage to choke down several jars of it a year. Mine is a selfless life.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 7:55 PM on October 12, 2011


Metafilter: In regards to the anti-obesity folks over in the ketchup thread.
posted by jeremias at 8:07 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a new thing in the shops in Oz at the moment called "burger sauce". I'm not sure what it is. It's right alongside the tomato sauce and bbq sauce and the like. But it's just "burger sauce". I don't understand. I am not willing to try it. Can anybody say what's going on?

Ooh! Oooh! I watch The Gruen Transfer; I can answer this!

*ahem* Sauce manufacturers were wondering "How can we increase sales of tomato & BBQ sauce, when there's a finite amount of sauce that people will get through in any given period?"

The answer was to create a new kind of sauce, "burger sauce" that's basically just a 50-50 mix of tomato & bbq but pretends to be specifically designed for burgers, which is manifestly preposterous, because tomato & bbq were already perfectly suited for that job. In other words, it's a solution to a problem that nobody actually had.

Now that there's a third contender in the two dead horse race, people feel the need to have 3 bottles of sauce instead of 2 in their pantries, which is an instant rise of up to 50% in sales.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:18 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


take this with a grain of salt, but she pronounced it very closely to "doo-ong oat doi".

Vietnamese is a tonal language, so you're *never* going to get the pronunciation right just by trying to spell it out fo-en-etik-ally. AFAIK, the little accents indicate rising or falling tones, or whatever other tones there are in use.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:24 PM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ubu, that's just insanity. Most bottled BBQ sauce is pretty much jumped up ketchup anyway. Bizarre.

As for making things yourself, this last weekend, I made bratwurst and merguez from scratch. Exhausting, but so much tastier than any sausage that's ever come from a store in a vacuum pack. The bbq sauce I made for the ribs and the pulled pork was from scratch, and swooned over. The only things I won't try to make from scratch are ketchup (as I've heard, homemade just doesn't match storebought considering all of the work) and mayonaisse, which not only gave me violent cramps in my arm from the whisking, it also caused me to use up a precious Ask.

Stupid broken emulsion.

considering the staggering amount of cider vinegar I've started going through, this talk of making it on your own sounds incredibly interesting. Please, tell me more. Lots, lots more. Or just ship your extra to Japan. Either option is okay with me.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:29 PM on October 12, 2011


Now that there's a third contender in the two dead horse race, people feel the need to have 3 bottles of sauce instead of 2 in their pantries, which is an instant rise of up to 50% in sales.

Ubu: In a similar vein, have you seen that you can now get "Australian Mustard"? Amusingly enough, it tastes like they scraped out the English and American mustard barrels and mixed them up.

(It's not bad on snags.)
posted by pompomtom at 8:34 PM on October 12, 2011


Oh, just wanted to pop back in to say that Lingham's actually makes a better cock sauce than the chicken people. It's spicier and a little chunkier.

UbuRoivas: Ah HA! Thank you for edifying me. I suspected it would just be a slightly crappier bbq sauce of some description, and it appears I was correct. And now that you've told me what it is, I'm annoyed that it exists.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:39 PM on October 12, 2011


This condiment market must be ripe for the picking in that way. The typical lifecycle is: purchase -> use a little -> place on *that* refrigerator or pantry shelf -> migrate slowly to back -> rediscover years later when moving house -> throw out because it's way past its use-by date -> buy another once resettled -> repeat process.

All the manufacturers need do is insert into peoples' minds that they need the new created-out-of-nowhere version (Australian alongside English, American & Dijon) and that's so many more millions of units in circulation.

disclaimer: I have never actually seen or tried this newfalutin' burger sauce, but I bet that's exactly what it is; maybe with a bit of extra imitation onion flavour mixed in.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:41 PM on October 12, 2011


I have to say I am keen to one day try adobo, it sounds right up my alley. I'd make some myself but hell if I know where I'm going to find "guajillo" or "ancho" chillies. You're flat out finding a decent jalapeno around here and all the other chillies they have at the supermarkets are just shitty variations on capsicum, which is in itself profoundly shitty.

Happily I have a jalapeno plant, which is bearing delicious fruit as we speak, but I think I ruined the habanero plant somehow, likely by urinating on it just a little too much.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:55 PM on October 12, 2011


Given Christopher Kimball's aversion to all things spicy, I doubt he'd try this himself. He'll be in SF in a couple of weeks -- maybe I'll bring a bottle and double-dog dare him.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:37 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


My wife does the grocery shopping, and it will end badly if I put Tương Ớt Tỏi on the list, so I found that Amazon carries it (Sriracha and Sambal Oelek too). Tương Ớt Tỏi is listed under Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce.

Of the three, which one is the least hot?
posted by diogenes at 6:22 AM on October 13, 2011


Who the hell calls it rooster sauce? Its cock sauce fools!

Thank you for the missing comma that demonstrates the truth: those who do not call it "rooster sauce" are indeed "cock sauce fools".
posted by foldedfish at 6:26 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I remember the first time I tasted sriracha -- it was probably 1984 or 1985, I was about 12, and one night a week my dad and I would have dinner together while my sisters were at dance class. We often found ourselves eating in the food court at the local mall, which included a little mom-and-pop Japanese place that made a tasty teriyaki chicken. They also had sushi once a week, which was mind-blowingly exotic in the suburbs of Toronto in 1984 -- but I digress.

Along with the other condiments, they had the now-ubiquitous bottle of rooster sauce. At the time I found it brain-meltingly spicy. Now it's a standard item in my fridge (along with the chili garlic sauce), although I don't use it as liberally as many of you guys do.

There was an interesting article in one of the glossy food magazines about a year ago about sriracha and its rise to prominence. I can't remember which one -- I got it in my stocking at Xmas. I will have to dig around at home to see if I can find it to share.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:29 AM on October 13, 2011


Ah, found the article online. It was in Bon Appetit.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:33 AM on October 13, 2011


foldedfish: Thank you for the missing comma that demonstrates the truth: those who do not call it "rooster sauce" are indeed "cock sauce fools".

Yes, but those who don't call it "sriracha" are simply scrambling in the muck for second-classiest. It's not hard to pronounce, and that's the type of sauce it is. If you want to specify brand, it's Huy Fong. The nicknames have always somewhat irked me as a sort of, I don't know... "This is good sauce. What is this, bro?" "Man, some foreign shit. I can't read this gibberish. Oh, yay! Picture! It's a rooster... no, wait... tee-hee... cock."
posted by gilrain at 7:02 AM on October 13, 2011


I tend to use sambal oelek as an ingredient in stir fries, and Sriacha as a sauce.

I like the taste of sambal oelek a lot, I just can't take the heat on it's own, which is kind of a problem for a condiment. Maybe I need to build up a tolerance.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:21 AM on October 13, 2011


They keep sriracha on the space station.
posted by workerant at 7:48 AM on October 13, 2011


Sriracha mayo is the new ranch dressing. I could eat that with everything. I am slightly disappointed that I did not invent it. My favorite application of Sriracha, though, is omurice with it replacing the ketchup.
posted by chemoboy at 8:41 AM on October 13, 2011


Hipster love of sriracha, though, has two side effects:

If it makes you feel better, I volunteered at a class right after dinner at San Quentin state prison in the early 2000s and everyone there had a bottle of it to make their food a little more palatable.

I feel safe in asserting that there were no hipsters in my class.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:50 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just ate dinner. And then I found this thread. And now I want sriracha. Maybe I can douse some popcorn in it or something...

Add sriracha to melted butter before drizzling over popcorn. Yum!
posted by Feisty at 2:08 PM on October 13, 2011


When I first heard of it referred to as anything other than "sriracha" (which I had never heard pronounced, so always said with a bit of a grimace because I was never sure I was saying it correctly) it was called "hot cock."
posted by nevercalm at 6:00 PM on October 13, 2011


Add sriracha to melted butter before drizzling over popcorn. Yum!

Done and done. Delicious.
posted by pemberkins at 7:07 PM on October 13, 2011


>I can see Rooster sauce as a step up from Tabasco.<

Bite your tongue. I actually think it’s more low rent than Tabasco, but that’s part of the charm.
Tabasco doesn’t get the respect it deserves, it’s good stuff, it’s not Texas Pete.

I’m a fan, but I would like a version that’s not so sweet, and a little hotter. Any suggestions?
posted by bongo_x at 7:40 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like my chilli sauce hot - so much so that even Asian brands marked "hot" don't generally do it for me, let alone anything specifically marketed to westerners (not even worth considering - if it exists in a regular supermarket, it'll be sugary weaksauce).

It's a struggle sometimes. Just need to get down to your local Asian supermarket & spend some time poring over the ingredients list, to find one with sugar way down the bottom. There's one I think from Singapore in a glass bottle with a white label & little red chillis in a circle around all the text that's pretty good.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:32 PM on October 13, 2011


I think it's Tyler Cowen who carries around a card in his wallet that says in Thai: "I know I am white but when I say I want it Thai hot I actually understand what I am asking for and want it as hot as you can make it." Now that I say that it sounds like Jonathan Gold. On the other hand I've never seen Tyler Cowen and Jonathan Gold in the same photograph.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 8:36 PM on October 13, 2011


tumid dahlia: I'd make some myself but hell if I know where I'm going to find "guajillo" or "ancho" chillies.

Samios has a range of dried chiles. I've seen both Guajillo and Ancho, but they don't always have the full range. I'm sure they'd get some in for you.
posted by GeckoDundee at 8:46 PM on October 13, 2011


All this talk of how Americans / westerners always have sugar in their hot sauce... I'm surprised no one has mentioned the traditional barbecue sauce(s) of the south, particularly eastern North Carolina. This sauce is just chillies and vinegar, so it shares a lot in common with the concept of sriracha (but it seems to have an African rather than Asian origin).

But if you put mustard in it like they do in South Carolina, well, there's nothing I can do to help you, son. You're just a lost soul.
posted by secretseasons at 7:16 AM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd make some myself but hell if I know where I'm going to find "guajillo" or "ancho" chillies. Penzeys Spices sells both, online. Guajillo, Ancho.
posted by crunchland at 7:26 AM on October 14, 2011


I'm making some right now. The smell is amazing. It's definitely getting to that fire engine red stage. I'll let y'all know how it turns out. Thanks for the pot!
posted by robstercraw at 9:19 AM on October 16, 2011


Crap. The post.
posted by robstercraw at 9:19 AM on October 16, 2011


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