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Tired of Huy Fong sriracha

It can't be just me, can it? Maybe it's from a solid decade and a half of it being my go-to easy source of garlicky heat -- but I think I might be at my breaking point finally.

I realized it today while having lunch at my favorite Vietnamese place, which of course keeps the good old green cap out with the hoisin and nam pla in the little vinegar shaker.

I think I need to find another way to add some burn. Huy Fong has become too recognizable. I can taste it in a heartbeat in the many ways restaurants incorporate it into other foods these days.

Not knocking it at all. In fact, I'd say it's the best hot sauce I've ever had, as evidenced by my longtime loyalty.

But I think we need to take a little break. It's not you, Huy Fong; it's me. I will always respect you and never say a bad word about you. And who knows? We may end up together again some day. I just need some time to myself.

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  1. Well I just discovered it, so no Huy Fong Sriracha funeral for me.

    1. I'm not so into the squeeze bottle of sauce. I like the chunky chile-garlic paste in the jar with a screw cap, or, if that's not available, the sambal oelek, which appears to be the same thing but with less garlic. So versatile, those Huy Fong people.

      Some places have pickled small green chiles which also provide heat and tang, or the thin slices of fresh peppers for heat with no vinegar.

      1. While in Portugal, I had a delicious spicy oil that was on the table of many of the little sandwich shops in town. Some folks call is piri piri. Its basicly spanish olive oil w/ chopped or whole little chili peppers. Some places included salt and a little cider vinegar too. Good stuff and something different. Here is a link to an interesting read about piri-piri peppers, and their uses in Portuguese cuisine:
        http://archives.chicagotribune.com/20...

        5 Replies
        1. re: lynnlato

          You can buy bottles of the Brazilian version of piri-piri at Seabras Supermarket in Newark, NJ, among other places I'm sure. It is good - and those little peppers are wicked hot, with the more floral nose similar to a habanero rather than the Asian peppers used in sriracha.

          1. re: buttertart

            You know, I'm going to look for it here in Charlotte. Thanks for the tip!

            1. re: lynnlato

              Great! We used to get it at our favorite Brazilian restaurant - but they stopped giving it out because apparently someone foolishly took a big mouthful of it and nearly expired. Always has to be someone who spoils it all for the others.

              1. re: buttertart

                Too bad they didn't expire - you know, since they went ahead and ruined it for everyone. LOL

                1. re: lynnlato

                  Yes indeed. I think a lawsuit also may have been involved. If you're in NY, the restaurant is Via Brasil on 46th St - their homemade stuff is vv good.

        2. I found this picture. I've not seen most of these varieties.

          http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Paulustrious

            Paulustrious, a grocery near me carries those. I've tried three (the garlic, galanga and the lemongrass) and all were huge disappointments. I ended up throwing them out when I got a new fridge a few weeks ago. At least they were cheap.

          2. Lol...I used to be a hot sauce freak, but I've cut back significantly in recent years. One thing I learned way back when I was a hot sauce aficianado was that there's a sauce for every dish - some flavors just don't work. Sriracha, especially, I find has a very overwhelming (delicious) and distinctive flavor in addition to the heat...so I keep it to a few specific uses where I want to taste it.

            I actually think the most neutral heat comes from cayenne pepper. You could also try cooking with different chiles instead of adding a hot sauce. The little Thai bird peppers seem to add the most heat without an overwhelming flavor.

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodpoisoned

              You sound very sensible, and I think I agree. I got sort of hooked on sriracha at the moment partly because of it's novelty. But I agree that cayenne is neutral is probably more appropriate in many situations. I've been trying to add cayenne to lots of things for health benefits, plus flavor, plus using less sodium. But sriracha is still fun for lots of things.

            2. Well, I certainly feel it's too distinctive for some foods. For instance, there are times when I just want *heat* without the sweetness of sriracha or the sourness of Tabasco changing the flavor of the dish, but I need something other than pepper. Then I go for chili flakes or chili powder as a substitute.

              1 Reply
              1. re: PegS

                Agreed. The garlic can be a bit much at times. The other flavors would certainly help, especially the one labeled onion. Not a huge tabasco fan as the vinegar can often interfere, but I do enjoy it on a few dishes. I know about piri piri, but have never seen it on a store shelf. I thought it was supposed to have a huge kick in scoville, like 10 times more than a tabasco (or more) according to a pepper book I own.

                It is not always about raw heat for me, it is a giggidity combination of flavor and heat.

              2. Well my family are chili nuts( we are asian after all hehe). WE have different types of hot sauces/chillies for different dishes.
                -Tobasco, Franks and all those NA sauces for western dishes.
                -Red pepper flakes for italian.
                -The chili sauce with the red cap and the boat on it for Chinese food and dim sum(the one they give you in chinese restaurants)
                -Siracha for some asian dishes ( pho, summer rolls etc...)
                -red cap chili garlic sauce for other asian dishes(grilled meat and rice, vietnamese bun dishes etc..)
                -birds eye peppers. This is our go to heat source we use it with most of our family meals. We just cut them up and take little nibbles with our food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Evilbanana11

                  The oil based chili sauce with seeds for dim sum is killer good. My dim sum haunt has a rather mild version, but nice and smokey. They change my plate often as I have a large screach of the sauce across my plate at all times. Now I need dim sum.

                2. FYI, if you look in the FAQ section of the Huy Fong web site, there is a great deal to order 4-5 bottles of 3 different products for a total of $7. I will probably order this soon.

                  1. You might like Peruvian aji sauce-- though unfortunately, it's hard to find commercially, so you'd probably have to make it yourself. (Internet sources diverge wildly on the ingredients; my holy grail is the version at Mario's seafood in LA)

                    There's also a spicy version of Jufran banana sauce that we often use at home when we don't want the full heat of Huy Fong. It's a little more 'boring', though, kind of like a spicy ketchup more than anything overtly banana-ey.