Make your own Sriracha hot sauce

Sriracha chili sauce bottles are produced at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, Calif., on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013. The maker of Sriracha hot sauce is under fire for allegedly fouling the air around its Southern California production site. The city of Irwindale filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday asking a judge to stop production at the Huy Fong Foods factory, claiming the chili odor emanating from the facility is a public nuisance. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Nick Ut/AP

Sriracha chili sauce bottles are produced at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, Calif. The maker of Sriracha hot sauce is under fire for allegedly fouling the air around its Southern California production site.

Sriracha fans aren’t going to let themselves get burned.

With rumors of a possible shortage of the beloved hot sauce catching fire on the Web, lovers of the spicy Thai-style condiment are preparing for the worst by taking matters into their own hands.

“My life would be more bland than it already is and I can’t settle for another hot sauce,” says 23-year-old Westchester resident David Liu, who’s not just buying Sriracha in bulk — but also learning how to cook the tangy sauce himself.

Large quantities of chili peppers go into the making of Sriracha sauce at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, Calif.

Nick Ut/AP

Large quantities of chili peppers go into the making of Sriracha sauce at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, Calif.

“I put Sriracha on a spoon and eat it plain because it’s so damn good.”

And Liu isn’t alone. Hot sauce fanatics are on high alert after the city of Irwindale, Calif., attempted to halt production of the fiery red condiment over complaints that fumes from the Huy Fong Foods factory leave neighbors with irritated eyes, throats and headaches. A judge ruled that the factory can stay open, but another hearing on Nov. 22 could cease bottling, at least temporarily.

But there’s no need to sweat — self-reliant hot sauce aficionados can whip up their own sriracha, like Thai cooks have done for decades.

Chef Pichet Ong of Qi Esarn Thai Kitchen with his homemade sriracha sauce

Susan Watts/New York Daily News

Chef Pichet Ong of Qi Esarn Thai Kitchen with his homemade sriracha sauce

Turns out, the green-capped, rooster-logoed bottle of Tuong Ot Sriracha isn’t the only sriracha.

“Most people now associate hot sauce with the Sriracha brand,” says chef Pichet Ong, who grew up in Bangkok seasoning his food with Shark brand sriracha from China.

In fact, Huy Fong Foods’ sauce — a tangy blend of red jalapeño peppers, sugar, salt and vinegar — isn’t even traditional, according to Ong, who co-created the menu at Qi Esarn Thai Kitchen in Union Square, Times Square and Williamsburg.

Chef Pichet Ong of Qi Esarn Thai Kitchen makes homemade sriracha; ingredients are easily whipped up in a blender.

Susan Watts/New York Daily News

Chef Pichet Ong of Qi Esarn Thai Kitchen makes homemade sriracha; ingredients are easily whipped up in a blender.

He urges home chefs to adopt a more authentic Thai approach by using Thai chili peppers instead of jalapeños.

“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.”

But it’s quickly become something you see just about everywhere else.

Thai chilies are a primary ingredient of Pichet Ong's homemade sriracha sauce.

Susan Watts/New York Daily News

Thai chilies are a primary ingredient of Pichet Ong’s homemade sriracha sauce.

Inspired by recipes from Thailand’s Si Racha region, Huy Fong Foods founder David Tran developed America’s most famous sriracha in the early 1980s and in the years since, it moved up the ranks, rivaling soy sauce as the nation’s favorite Asian-influenced condiment.

These days, sriracha gets doused on just about anything — 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.

And it has become staple at Asian restaurants, sandwich joints, food carts and, of course, college dorm rooms.

 Sriracha sauce is paired with Hoi Tod omlet.

Susan Watts/New York Daily News

 Sriracha sauce is paired with Hoi Tod omlet.

Huy Fong Foods has tried to extinguish rumors of a shortage, saying it will work to reduce the pungent smell at its factory. And even if a judge rules against the saucemaker later this month, the company has said it can likely finish grinding all the peppers it needs for next year’s production run before the hearing, ensuring Sriracha remains on the shelves for the time being.

Still, talk of Sriracha scarcity has generated even more hype around the condiment — and Ong knows what happens when there’s hype in the food world.

“Anything that’s hard to get, people want even more,” he says.

That could be a problem for a 26-year-old Long Island City sound engineer Eric Harding, who says he polishes off a whole bottle of the stuff every week.

“It’s not what I put it on it’s about the amount,” says Harding, who is considering learning how to mix homemade sriracha himself.

“I eat it like a gazpacho,” he says. “I hope the price doesn’t go up!”

Recipe: Pichet Ong’s Sriracha Recipe
Ingredients

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

Instructions

In a blender, place garlic, peppers and Thai chilis.

Add rest of ingredients and blend until smooth. (If you don’t have a blender, use a food processor.)

Taste and add more seasoning to your preference. Thin out with water if you desire.

Serve it with a traditional Thai omelet with oysters or mussels, called hoi tod.


Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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