My little sister is on top of all things spicy and gourmet. (Oh, and for a while, vegan, but that's sort of beside the point.) So, of course, she's been obsessed with Sriracha sauce forever. She'd use the bright red hot sauce on just about anything, much like our mom has always used Tabasco sauce and I'm currently obsessed with Cholula. I never really thought to cross over to the Sriracha side until recently ... Because now, it's everywhere!
Named for the coast city of Si Racha, in the Chonburi Province of Eastern Thailand, the bright red hot sauce was originally meant to be served at local seafood restaurants. Now, it's a proposed new flavor of potato chips, an obvious accompaniment to beef tacos, and showing up on the tables of pizza joints.
But how can you really capitalize on the goodness that is Sriracha and what's so great about it anyway?
The paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt does actually have some distinctive health benefits. The chilis contain capsaicin, known to boost metabolism and potentially bolster weight loss. The magic ingredient is also said to boost your endorphins and promote serotonin, which can lead to a happier mood and better memory. Garlic is good for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Fans of the "rooster sauce" say it can also aid in the body’s ability to dissolve blood clots, fight inflammation, improve circulation, and help you fight a cold by acting as an expectorant. (It's even part of a cold remedy recipe some people swear by: Slices of ginger, squeeze of lemon juice, a squirt or two of Sriracha hot sauce, and very hot water.) Crazy awesome, right?
So what can you do with it? Besides using it right out of the bottle to spice up any fave food, from eggs to veggies or steak, you could also pair it with soups, stews, chilis, etc. Mix it with ketchup and use it on a burger. It's often served with Vietnamese pho, but you could also try it on ramen, gazpacho, or even dried fried noodles. The flavor also pairs well with anything savory and creamy -- think mac 'n' cheese, mashed potatoes, etc. Yum! Here, a few recipes that make the most of the uber-trendy sauce ...
The Best Bloody Mary: Fans of this brunch-perfect cocktail will adore the kick Sriracha adds to this flavorful drink recipe.
Sriracha Garlic Bread: Whisk Sriracha, minced garlic, and melted butter in a small bowl; brush over cut sides of bread. Sprinkle with grated Pecorino or Parmesan and broil until toasted.
Grilled Honey, Lime & Sriracha Chicken Skewers: Sounds like the perfect, simple, but flavorful summer dinner recipe!
Peanut Butter Sriracha Cookies: Fans of spicy + sweet will go wild for this quirky but delicious cookie recipe.
Make Your Own Sriracha: If you want a fresh, homemade version or want to control the heat, have at this easy recipe that serves 1 1/2 cups of the hot stuff.
Are you a fan of Sriracha sauce yet?
Image via kickthebeat/Flickr