Homemade Sriracha

I think after Sunday’s hot pepper excursion, I realized my fiancé and I have a problem: we’re obsessed with anything and everything spicy… extremely spicy.

A mutual friend of ours sent us a link to this homemade Sriracha (rooster) sauce, knowing how much we like the hot sauce store-bought Sriracha, and anything super spicy for that matter. In order to make this recipe, we needed palm sugar, which we of course didn’t have, or know where to get. So, we took a trip to one of the local Asian markets, where I was in heaven. They have everything; Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Indonesian, the list goes on. Granted I had to try and find any English whatsoever on most of the packages, we did manage to find palm sugar. We also grabbed chili paste, dried red chiles, garam masala (so I can make this again), and cumin. I had to use a lot of self restraint to get out of there with just that – but I’ll definitely be back!

Even though we had success with the sugar, we of course had to fail somewhere in the recipe, otherwise it just wouldn’t have been a Danielle experience. So, when we got to Wegmans, we didn’t find any red Fresno chiles. Instead, we decided to use jalapenos, dried red chiles, and a habanero to try and combine the same amount of heat. So, instead of red Sriracha, it’s an orange green-ish color (you know, like baby food). But it isn’t always about looks; taste is what counts.

Once all of the peppers and the garlic was chopped, and the vinegar and salt was added, we waited. We didn’t realize it at the time, but it needed to sit overnight. We were a bit disappointed, but figured it’d be for the best in the end. So, after making it on Sunday night and letting it sit, after work on Monday we threw everything in the blender (man I wish we had a food processor), and combined it with the remaining ingredients.

It honestly doesn’t taste anything like Sriracha, and I don’t think we have anyone to blame but the peppers. Yes, that’s right, I’m blaming the Fresno peppers themselves for not existing at the Wegmans in Woodbridge, New Jersey. However, we succeeded in making what I’d like to call a Mexican Sriracha sauce. The jalapeno and habanero give it a distinctive Mexican/Spanish flavor, in a deliciously awesome way. So even though it isn’t exactly a replica of store bought Sriracha, it’s a new way we can torture and simultaneously please our taste buds. Now we have another hot sauce to add to our ever growing arsenal, that I plan on smothering my meals with until it’s all gone!

Fresh Sriracha
– Serves 1 1/2 cups –

1/2 pound red fresno chiles, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons palm sugar

1. Place all the ingredients except the sugar in a jar and let sit overnight to mellow the heat of the peppers. I guess one could consider this a brine.
2. Place the mixture and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
3. Transfer to a blender and puree for about 5 minutes, until a smooth, orange-red mixture forms. Run through a strainer and smush out as much juice as possible.
Once refrigerated, the sauce should have the same consistency and texture as the ‘Rooster’, but less salty and a whole lot fresher tasting!

*adapted from edamame2003 on Food52.

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