Monday, September 16, 2013

Homemade Sriracha – A Hot Sauce Worth Crowing About!

If I had a dollar for every “I can’t find Sriracha, what can I use instead?” email I’ve received, I could eat at every Thai restaurant in town, twice. I usually say to use whatever hot sauce they can get, but alternatives like Tabasco and Frank’s (I don’t put that sh*t on everything), just aren’t the same. No offense.

So, instead of continuing to help people fit spicy, square pegs in hot, round holes, I figured it was time to show just how easy it is to make your own homemade sriracha. I’ve listed exactly what I added below, but when you get to the end of the process, it’s very easy to adjust with extra salt, sugar, and/or vinegar if need be.

I used about 75% red jalapenos, also sold as “Fresno chilies,” and about 25% red Serrano chilies, so this version is probably a bit spicier than the Huy Fong Foods “rooster sauce,” which you’re probably more familiar. 

I don’t want to sound “cocky,” but the flavor, color, and texture are remarkably close. Now, if I just pronounce it right. It sounds fine in my brain, but something happens in my mouth on the way out.

Anyway, this is a fun project, and a really delicious, must-have hot sauce. I hope you give homemade Sriracha a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 1 1/2 cups Sriracha:
1 1/2 lbs of red jalapenos and red serranos, stems removed
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp Kosher salt
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar

52 comments:

Diego Fukushima said...

Are you using 1 1/2lbs of each pepper or 1 1/2 of the peppers combined?

Chef John said...

Total! See 3rd paragraph. Thanks!

donna mikasa said...

This caught my eye right away! I just bought my seventeenth bottle and if I can try and duplicate it, I will! Thanks for the recipe!

Chibby said...

So, I guess I'm going to ask everyone's favorite question? How long does it last in the fridge? If it lasts quite a whole like the store bought; I'm totally making this for my Bro for Xmas.

Chris Stevens said...

Chef John...how do you store this and how long will it keep?

Chef John said...

Will keep many months in the fridge. I hear 6, but probably longer.

Elton Carvalho said...

Hey Chef!

Thanks for the recipe! I have about 400g of assorted peppers here and was planing to make some hot sauce soon (even bought a few 80ml glass bottler with sauce lids!) Your recipe came right on time!

I was planning to go for non-fermented, long cooking time (30 min?) with no sugar. Is that too bad of an idea?

Thanks in advance!

Douglas Gaxiola said...

Don't throw out the seeds/skins after you strain your sauce. That can be used to make your own chili powder. You can dry those out in a food dehydrator or on a sheet pan in a low oven. After it is completely dried you grind it up in a spice grinder. You can also make smoked chili powder by drying the paste in a closed BBQ or smoker.

Recipes here: http://hollowlegdiner.blogspot.com/2012/02/fermented-chili-sauces-fermented-chili.html

Chef John said...

Sorry, but can't say without trying! Hard to believe it would be as good as this way.

Chef John said...

Douglas, with all due respect, I can't imagine that being a very fruity, flavorful powder with only skin and seed. I'm sure it would have plenty of heat, but almost all the flesh is gone.

Elton Carvalho said...

Thanks, Chef!

Locomotive_breath said...

Thank chef. I think you left out them important part in the video. "Why do you need to make this when it is now available in nearly every grocery store around? BEACAUSE YOU CAN!"

Anyway, I love, LOVE, L.O.V.E. this sauce and use it on practically everything. It goes great with Indian food...we could also use a little more heat :). Also, when mixed with Greek yogurt, it makes a great dip. Oh the possibilities!

Scott Barber said...

My sinuses began draining when I started the video! The Tabasco in the fridge may be last last one I'll buy. Thanks!

Andrew Gallant said...

Chef John, I'm not a fan of hot sauces, but I'm going to shamelessly steal this technique to make a roasted red pepper and garlic sauce to use as a dipping sauce, sandwich condiment, and/or pasta sauce.

WolfyDaddy said...

I love these sauces, but notice that they all are red. Couldn't one also use green green jalapeno and serrano peppers? Or, is there a reason not to use green hot peppers?

Thanks, Chef John, for another great video recipe.

Bear said...

This looks like a lot fun to make. Will have to give it a try!

I like that glass in your photo as well. What is it?

Bear said...

I've made sauces and jellies with green JalapeƱos. Just bear in mind that the green chiles have a "grassier" flavor.

Chef John said...

Yes, you can certainly use green peppers if you want!

bmyers said...

Love the recipe! Here's a quick tip when using a mesh strainer a ladle will work so much faster then a spatula. Give it a try.

Jennifer Hubbard said...

Chef John, I love hot sauce but am a picky eater and hate vinegar. If I leave it out, or substitute some lemon juice, will the sauce still keep? I've heard that the vinegar acts as a preservative.

Karen Cortner said...

Help!

I started this recipe this morning (Wednesday). When I took it down stairs to ferment I realized that I am leaving town on Friday at noon, until Sunday pm. Will it be ok??? If that is too long, should I finish the process Friday morning??

Of note, I am currently on a very restricted diet (autoimmune issues). No sugars or sweeteners of any kind. I can use dates to sweeten sauces, etc. So I used dates instead of sugar in both your ketchup recipe, and this recipe. Love the ketchup, so I have very high hopes for this.
Thank you for being our favorite source for recipes!

Chef John said...

not sure how the dates will effect the process, but an extra couple days should be fine. You can always refrigerate until you get back and then start again.

Chef John said...

Jennifer, it will still keep, but not sure how long.

Mike said...

Thanks, Chef John. I have a bunch of hot peppers in my garden waiting for me!

Vince Spoto said...

Thanks Chef John. I live to eat food with Sriracha sauce. I have a bounty of pepper here in Hamilton, Ontario this time of year. I'm starting my own Sriracha today. Regards, Vince.

Tom Houy said...

I've been making a similar recipe, only with a pressure cooker in lieu of the fermentation method - but I've been meaning to give this a try as well. Some hickory liquid smoke, and cider vinegar go great in it too.

Goldberg said...

How does this ferment? Is it from natural yeast in the air or on the fruit?

Michael Rucker said...

thank you for the recipe, I tried it and loved it. I have one problem though. after the bottling process the hot sauce separated and the vinegar floated to the top. I just have to shake it up to use again. I just want to know if I did something wrong or is this normal

Chef John said...

Sorry, not sure! Never seen it separate before.

Mike said...

I have had commercial Louisiana-type hot sauces separate on me. I always just shake them up; everything was OK.

Mike said...

OK, I finally started a batch. It's starting ferment...

Rockytwenty12 said...

Chef John. I put in the vinegar with all the other ingredients at the beginning. Does it matter?

Chef John said...

I believe it does matte, since the vinegar may effect the fermentation. Too late now, so see what happens. May be fine.

Martinus said...

Hi!

I started my very own sauce three days ago.

The problem is that it has not started bubbling/fermenting.

I am keeping my sauce in a plastic container, loose lid, in my basement where it is somewhat cool.

How come the is no bubbles and can i just go ahead with the rest of the recipe anyway?

Thank you kindly for possible answers and a fantastic blog!

Rockytwenty12 said...

Update, putting the vinegar in at the beginning doesn't seem to have made any difference, in my humble opinion. OMG is this sauce hot and good. I think you are right Chef John it tastes exactly like Tabasco maybe even better. Thanks for the recipe.

Vince Spoto said...

Fun to do. Worked great. It's like making ketchup, not worth the work, won't do it again unless I have too. it's $2.40 a bottle.

happyuser said...

Can i use green jalepenos and caribbean reds? Basically does pretty much any pepper work?

Fr.Christopher R. Maciolek said...

Chef John,

Has anyone tried canning this stuff? If so, do you have any recommendations or tips? Let's just say I planted a few too many pepper plants this year.

Thanks!

Fr.Christopher R. Maciolek said...

Chef John,

Do you think it's possible to can this sauce? If so, any recommendations or tips?

I hope all is well.

Thanks!

on of us said...

What is the point of the second blending? Why not just ferment and strain?

on of us said...

What does the second blending do? Why not just ferment and strain ect...?

ThomasD said...

For those who like a stronger garlic flavor you can also add more garlic after the fermentation but before second blending. Or, if you (like me) like the little chunks add it after straining then re-blend.

The vinegar very much is a preservative. Lemon juice might lower the pH enough, but you will need a lot of juice. Another approach might be ascorbic acid powder. Or consider a different vinegar, like apple cider or malt.

bobrogue said...

Well, Chef. I'm sure you alread knew about this: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/hot-mess--sriracha-shipments-halted-until-january--may-result-in-shortage-004806859.html

but now might be a good time to repost this gem :)

Steve Kennedy said...

I made some of this in October and at first it was very good. But then we ate it, and it is not good anymore.
So I am making it again, but with green peppers. I might have missed it in the redness of the last batch, but this batch has a bit of fuzy on top. I am going to cook it tonight, but hold off eating it for a bit. Did anyone else get some fuzy stuff on top of the fermentation? I am pretty sure the cooking will make it OK, but the fuzz has me a bit nervous.

Stan Durbin said...

Chef John, you have some great recipes. I like the Sriracha sauce but I LOVE the Vietnamese Chili Garlic sauce (Huy Fong Foods, Inc, huyfong.com). If you're not familiar, it's about the same thickness but coarser in texture. You can actually see the seeds and bits of pepper. Listed primary ingredients are chili, salt, and garlic. Have you tried making a similar sauce? I'll probably give it a shot, your sriracha sauce as a base, remove the sugar and add the garlic. I'll be a little lighter on the food processing and skip the straining. What do you think?

Rockytwenty12 said...

Chef John I am still enjoying your Sriracha hot sauce which I made last Oct and it still hasn't lost any of its magic. Putting the vinegar in at the beginning hasn't seemed to make a difference. I have used this sauce in your Buffalo wing hot sauce recipe so my buffalo wings are hot. I have also used your Blue cheese dip(dressing, minus the buttermilk) recipe and it reminds me of my time in Buffalo back in 80/81 where I loved those wings. You have to have the celery and blue cheese dip, helps to cool it down. Actually Chef John I use a hell of a lot of your recipes and they make me feel like a professional. So you get blessings here from Ireland every day. I am having those wings to-night. Thanks Chef.

Scott Thompson said...

Hi Chef

Do you need to strain the chilli pulp out or can you cook it as is and leave all the pulp/seed in there?

luis pabel said...

Hi John, so did you come to a conclusion about the skimming at the end, i know that so well from my own, that doubting, shell i shell i not hehe....
please tell....
cheers

Famous Jorge said...

Been making hot sauces all my life. Right now I live in the Philippines and have access to a lot of red hot chilies from Thai to bird's eye. I just started a batch today. I am very excited.

One thing that might be very interesting to add is the pulp of tamarind to the menu. It gives the sauce a very nice fruity flavor but makes it brown instead of red.

J

anywherebuthere said...

I'm currently making a batch with green jalapenos and serranos. I was wondering if adding fish sauce to the mixture would bring about some of the earthiness that Sriracha has. Thoughts?

Chef John said...

Not sure. Only one way to find out! ;)

Will said...

Actually adding the vinegar at the beginning will affect the fermentation process since Vinegar kills bacteria both good and bad.. I make my own mash and know this. You could ferment just the peppers and salt (which does not kill the good bacteria) and then add the other ingredients at the end, blend and heat in a sauce pan which will eliminate the possibility of it getting contaminated. Just a thought.