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Pureeing the Myth of Sriracha Sauce

Sriracha sauce contains sugar that intrudes upon a true hot sauce enthusiast's appreciation of a sauce that is basically a hot peppers puree.

The sudden popularity of Sriracha sauce a decade ago, did not hit me until I was in the US and UK. There I even saw a housemate from Mainland China, already living in the UK for several years, claim that this Sriracha sauce was a necessary item for the kitchen table at all times.

We see how some region's appreciation needs to come with a watering down, or a corruption of the original. Likewise, these trends convert people to the watered down trend in taste. That is just my assessment.

A negative that grew from this hyped up appeal and marketing scam, was to see the more appropriate containers of hot sauce, a variety of two to three in some cases, at Chinatown restaurants be monolithically replaced with a single bottle of Sriracha.

That aforementioned affect in Chinatown is the same as seeing Boars Head 100% used as all deli meats.

This causes me for one, not to eat as a customer, in otherwise nice food venues, as I opt for real hot sauce, as opposed to this fraud. Pardon my expression.

Earlier this month Sriracha sauce made it on a list in the Financial Times, in the Arts Weekend section article entitled '6 Super-Hot Food Trends You Need to Know About'. The article predicted a buying spree that may cause Srirachi sauce to be in limited supply.

This speaks more about the ignorance of the taste of the masses, then it does true quality of a product.

And if this is not bad enough, there is even a cookbook based on this highly profitable phony hot sauce, that has watered down the tables of Chinatown. T-Shirst available also. Every myth needs a T-Shirt.

Let us not forget where from the chilli came to Asia.

To shatter the myth of this so called great sauce, I propose several better sauces that are a must for the kitchen:

1.

Inca's Food Rocoto Super Picante

2.

Sambal Oelek, by the Sriracha maker Huy Fong Foods, contains no sugar and is a wonderful alternative to the hyped up commodity that took the world by storm about a decade ago.

3.

The Habanero XXXtraHot Sauce El Yucateco Mayan Recipe is so wonderful and with the INCA rocoto suace, these do not contain seeds and particles of pepper skin, so they are a true sauce, that are great for cooking and adding to food at the table.

footnote:

"Any other Sambal Oelek lovers out there? ... I add it to my peanut butter sauce, hubby likes it on scrambled eggs. ... the second ingredient in sriracha (the first ingredient in both is chiles; there's no sugar in sambal apparently)."-foodphilo

Mayan Kutbil-Ik by El Yucateco "We rescued this recipe from the culinary traditions of the ancient Mayan civilization, hence the name “Kutbil-Ik” Mayan word meaning “crushed chili”.

 
 
 
 
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  1. I doubt that there are any/many CHs who would prefer Sriracha over the others you mentioned.

    6 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      I am preaching to the choir. That is good.

      1. re: c oliver

        Depends on what you're using it for.

        1. re: On_yun

          Well if you are using it for tooth decay, the sugar that is, by all means.

          It might go well with ice cream....jest.

          If nothing else is around, I might put it on a hot dog.

          1. re: jonkyo

            LOL, with everything going on in the world today I'll sleep a little easier knowing dedicated individuals such as yourself are tackling the big sriracha issue.

            1. re: jonkyo

              Jest not. Ice cream with hot sauce does happen.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ9jE...

              I think the garlic in Sriracha would put me off though.

              1. re: jonkyo

                It makes great ice cream, actually

          2. I have to disagree.

            <We see how some region's appreciation needs to come with a watering down, or a corruption of the original.>

            Some would call that an improvement or variation. Not watering down or corruption. Otherwise, all American foods (let it be pizza or hamburgers) are all water down corruption.

            <...that has watered down the tables of Chinatown...>

            And most Cantonese Chinese kitchens uses Koon Chun condiment, and Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce.... Wide spread use does not mean watered down. P.S.: Lee Kum Kee is the first company which invented the oyster sauce. I doubt anyone can claim its oyster sauce is watered down.

            <I propose several better sauces that are a ...>

            Your first and third sauces are completely different sauces. It would be like saying Kikkomen Tamari is better than Koon Chun double dark soy sauce -- comparing apples and oranges.

            As for your second choice, I have it and I like it, but it is also a different thing.

            <Sriracha sauce contains sugar that intrudes upon a true hot sauce enthusiast's appreciation of a sauce....>

            It is what it is. Siracha chili sauce always has sugar. Japanese soy sauce tends to have a more alcoholic taste than Chinese soy sauce. We shouldn't say Japanese soy sauce intrudes soy sauce enthusiast's appreciation because it has an alcoholic flavor.

            37 Replies
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              *Edited*

              Sriracha sauce is named after the Thailand location Si Racha. Many credit Thanom Chakkapak for creating this sauce. The Thailand made Sriraja Panich sauce traces its root to Thanom Chakkapak, and claims to be the original version. It is much sweeter since it has three times the amount of sugar than Huy Fong Sriracha.

              So.... if you want to call Huy Fong Sriracha has been watered down from the original recipe because Huy Fong's version has *cut down* the amount of sugar, then I can understand.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Perhaps all Sriracha sauces have no place on a table with food recipes coming from China.

                As if China cannot make hot sauce.....

                Deplorable.

                1. re: jonkyo

                  Oh I see where you are coming now. You are saying that Sriracha sauces should not be used for Chinese food, right? I thought you were saying something much wider.

                  It is an interesting idea. I can kind of see some levels of truth to this. However, there are thousands (or millions) of Chinese recipes. I am sure many of them will work well with Sriracha sauce.

                  <Deplorable.>

                  Even if what you said is truth (that is Sriracha sauces have no place for Chinese food), the fault lies with the users, not the producers or creators of the sauces.

                  Let's say I drive my car into the river as a boat.... whose fault is it that the car sinks to the bottom of the river?

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    "Even if what you said is truth (that is Sriracha sauces have no place for Chinese food), the fault lies with the users, not the producers or creators of the sauces."

                    That is exactly my point.

                    Of course in the home one is more liberal, to apply any hot sauce one likes. I typically have a Chinese and some others, though mainland does have a deficit in good factory produced hot sauces, that have a wide distribution.

                    On the island of Taiwan there are good sauces.

                    Srirachi I will have to say is the Roman Empire of hot sauces, crushing all individuated expressive hot sauces in its marketing path.

                    1. re: jonkyo

                      <Srirachi I will have to say is the Roman Empire of hot sauces, crushing all individuated expressive hot sauces in its marketing path.>

                      In Taiwan? Or in US? (the crushing thing)

                      At my local Chinatown (Philly), I see a lot of Srirachi in the Vietnamese restaurants. Most of the Chinese restaurants have something more like these:

                      http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a15...

                      http://www.beijingmadeeasy.com/images...

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

                      I was from California, so I have been to SF Chinatown, Oakland Chinatown, Toronto Chinatown.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I'll add in LA, Seattle, Vancouver, Manhattan, Flushing. Oh, right, and recently Prague of all the unlikely places. No Sriracha.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          "In Taiwan? Or in US? (the crushing thing)"

                          In the US and some European places.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Consider your Philly existence a lucky one. That is in regards to Chinese venue hot sauce.

                          2. re: jonkyo

                            "...crushing all individuated expressive hot sauces in its marketing path."
                            _____
                            You keep on mentioning their marketing.
                            Have you ever seen an ad for sriracha? On TV or print media? Heard one on the radio?

                            How do you figure they're a marketing juggernaut? It seems like you're just repeating it because you like the sound of it.

                            1. re: cowboyardee

                              cowboy,

                              I used to volunteered in presidential elections. Let me tell you there are the "air campaign" and "ground campaign" to any campaign/marketing.

                              Air campaign includes TV ads, TV interviews, radio radio ads.... . Ground game is about about knocking people's doors, churches, school clubs, asking for favors......etc.

                              Sriracha probably does not have a large air campaign, but it sends out local Chinese triads (mafia) to force you to use the sauce. Just saying.

                              http://images.bwbx.io/cms/2013-02-21/...

                              Our friend, jonkyo, was probably a victim of this ground tactic.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                Well, if three of these guys showed up at my door, I'd probably do whatever they ask me to...

                                 
                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                  Sometime they send out Srircaha girls who are more deadly.

                                   
                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    Well, that might be nicer then these masked men, armed with squeeze bottle helmets.

                                    Oh, she has the threatening shaped helmet too. Well at least she smiles as she coerces the use of this quesi-or-psuedo hot sauce, I am sure in the congenial way.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      Yes, and they sometime send out the real big guns: the Srircaha babies

                                       
                                       
                                       
                                    2. re: cowboyardee

                                      Yes, the marketing arms people with costumes. This reminds Disney.

                                      I had olive oil pushers offer me a sample with small tasty bread. No olive costumes, just smiles and a nice short exchanged about cooking and olive oil.

                                      This my friends is campaign advertising.

                                  2. re: cowboyardee

                                    the marketing is mass displays on shelves in supermarkets, grocers, and restaurant tables.

                                    Supermarkets have long been divisive in marketing though display.

                                    The rooster is the symbol that carries to people's minds, the message of the brand.

                                    The bottle with its green squirt spout, is also a marketing ploy that makes its mark in people's minds similar to the green paper on the neck of Tabasco sauce.

                                    Packaging is important in any marketed item. They are thought up in some extent, by design and marketers, hired to sell the product.

                                    I think quality products do not need to be marketed in this manner. But people are conditioned by television and supermarket processed food etc.

                                    Best soup I have purchased is one without a wrapper, made by a local and sold to retailers in the open markets.

                                    Best hot sauce I have had has been in house made at family owned restaurants, regardless of cuisine.

                                    1. re: jonkyo

                                      My grocery stores has one facing for Sriracha and one each for all the others.

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        A supermarket has more. Entire regions of shelfing dedicated.

                                        Like snapples and boars head, well, if like then you have lures to buy the product by giving free coolers, for large orders, with ad displays/

                                        I do not think they do that.

                                        1. re: jonkyo

                                          My "supermarket" is the same as my grocery store. Safeway, SaveMart, Raleys, etc. They each have ONE facing of Sriracha. They don't carry Boar's Head.

                                          You "do not think they do" what?

                                      2. re: jonkyo

                                        "I think quality products do not need to be marketed in this manner. "
                                        ______
                                        Just to make sure I understand you correctly, by 'in this manner,' you mean:

                                        In bottles. With a cap ostentatiously colored green rather than a more respectable corpse-gray. Along with a crudely drawn picture of a barnyard animal. And then placed on supermarket shelves.

                                        Right? This is how they crush competitors beneath their marketing blitz?

                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                          cowboy,

                                          In all honesty, I think jonkyo may be joking at this point..... I think.....

                                          <The rooster is the symbol that carries to people's minds, the message of the brand.

                                          The bottle with its green squirt spout, is also a marketing ploy that makes its mark in people's minds similar to the green paper on the neck of Tabasco sauce.>

                                          jonkyo,

                                          David Tran started his Huy Fong Sriracha in 1983. Back then, his "company" was just two of his relatives and himself, and they were barely getting by. This bottle design was pretty much from the old days, and it is as simple as it can get: just a rooster with a bunch of Vietnamese, Chinese and English white color texts. I don't think it can get more simple than this.

                                          http://img8.cyzone.cn/uploadfile/2013...

                                          I really doubt the three of them (barely makes ends meet) came up with some evil genius "bottle design" that crunched their competitors.

                                          Here is a photo of various different Sriracha sauces including the Huy Fong one. Pretty much any of its competitors has a more colorful and designer-like bottle.

                                          http://www.seriouseats.com/images/201...

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            The green spout on a red bottle is more evocative of the freshly-picked pepper and its stem. Tabasco may have thought of it first, but it's imagery that pre-dates modern packaging.

                                        2. re: jonkyo

                                          I wish more stores would sell the *seriously* hot version of Sriracha. It has a red top instead of a green one and will last you twice as long.

                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            I was excited and then saddened in Berlin to find the red cap version - when I saw it, I thought "FINALLY, I'm going to get some heat in the land of currywurst=spicy!" And then I tasted it and realized that while it was hotter than the German green cap version, it certainly wasn't hot by my standards - not even as hot as the American green cap version. I also found yellow and lavender caps in Germany that were supposed to be even milder. The search for actual HOT sauce in Germany continues!

                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                              Strange. I've got a pretty high tolerance for heat, and I found the red top to be *significantly* hotter than the green top. I don't really think sriracha is produced differently in Germany (tho perhaps without the addition of HFCS -- who knows).

                                              I'm quite surprised that the red top sriracha doesn't seem to be available, at least at the Asian stores where I live.

                                              Also, most Asian grocers in Germany carry and abundance of hot and spicy condiments, including sauces. Shouldn't be all that difficult to find.

                                              Of course, there's always horseradish :-D

                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                Are we talking about a different product by a different company? As far as I know all Huy Food Sriracha sauce bottles are green cap.

                                                Red cap bottles may be a different brand.

                                                http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q2...

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  I am not aware of a red top bottle here in the PacNW either. If there is a hotter one I would like to try it.

                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                    Oh, yeah baby, come to mama! The one on the left is what I'm talking about. Aptly named sriracha *hot* chilli sauce.

                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                      So it is a different brand...

                                                      I will keep my eye out for it at the local Asian markets.

                                                  2. re: linguafood

                                                    Hm, interesting. I agree with you that the red top one is much hotter than the green here in the States, but that wasn't my experience there. I've also never seen the yellow or lavender tops here. Maybe it was a knock-off brand, although it did have the rooster on the label, if I recall correctly.

                                        3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          Why do you think anyone is at fault at all?

                                      3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        My favorite Thai hot sauce is 'sweet chilli sauce (for chicken)' - the kind with chile flakes and seeds in a red syrup.

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          Is that Mae Ploy chili sauce? I wrap a shrimp in a won ton wrapper, fry and dip in that. Mmm.

                                            1. re: paulj

                                              Mmmm. And to take it back to the OP, we have so many,many choices. YAY!

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            Called Jaew (แจ่ว) It is the Thia BBQ Sauce that is served with Gai Yang (ไก่ย่าง) and Moo Ping (หมูปิ้ง)

                                      4. Sriracha (rooster brand, anyway) is extremely popular because it doesn't have the character of other hot sauces. It's heat, sweetness, acid and not a lot of depth on its own. And this is why it goes well on such a huge variety of foods, while many more flavorful and distinct hot sauces are left to their niche markets. It's a ketchup alternative, and not a bad one at that.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                          Excellent explanation and not something I'd considered.

                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                            If I were forced to eat pancakes, I might request a bottle to use on the pancakes, otherwise, I will pass.

                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                              Exactly. It adds a sparkle too a wide variety of foods. I use it a s a salt replacement while cooking and at the table. I need to minimize salt intake and the rooster is a big help.

                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                i agree. Sriracha should be placed in the ketchup / BBQ sauce area in grocery stores. It really is a stretch to call it a hot sauce and in most cases it would be an insult to real hot sauces if it were placed next to them.

                                              2. Shattering the myth that any of us really care.

                                                Hot sauce lovers know what they like and eat what they want. Hot sauce haters cannot be induced by argument, the media or hype to eat them.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: mcsheridan

                                                  The market creates posures, who intend to claim that they appreciate hot sauce. This equates with a reduction of the quality of hot sauce at tables in Chinese restaurants.

                                                  This occurs due to a marketing glut, that is a direct result of hype, both media and otherwise.

                                                  Definition of 'media hype':

                                                  "the mobilization of a synergy of various media (the hocus-pocuses ranging from flyers, billboards, TV, radio, the internet, down to mobile ringtones)..."- Paolo A. Bolanos

                                                  I can come up with a list of Chinese restaurants that intentionally deny by fortifying their tables with Srirachi only.

                                                  What happened?

                                                  Media hype and marketing.

                                                  1. re: jonkyo

                                                    I don't think I've ever seen Srirachi on the tables of any Chinese restaurants. Vietnamese? Yes. Chinese? No.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      I see it all over Chinatowns in Brooklyn and Queens and Manhattan, to one extent or another.

                                                      I have never confronted them. I could actually bring up the topic though.

                                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                                        I've not had Chinese food in Brooklyn but not in Flushing or Manhattan as I mentioned upthread.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          I will take a photo next time I see them on tables.

                                                2. Why do you even give a $hit?? Just bring your own hot sauce with you if you are so repulsed.
                                                  I just wish i had stock in the company.....

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                    It is actually the fault of the free enterprise system and the current and historically structured manifestation of marketing and manufacturing.

                                                    If local makers of things had more of an existence, we would perhaps be eating wonderful local made hot sauce at tables in Chinatowns.

                                                    The Ecuadorian and Mexican etc places in many areas, make their own house made sauces. Exceptional.

                                                    Very few Chinese places do this, and when they do, it is much appreciated.

                                                    Heinze may have started the trend.

                                                    1. re: jonkyo

                                                      Every Chinese place I've been to has their housemade 'hot sauce' and nothing else.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        please pass on a few of these places that make their own.

                                                        I know a few my self, some actually come to mind.

                                                        Most notable is Lao Di Fang on forsythe, manhattan.

                                                        I was amazing. So good. Better than most in house chinese hot sauces.

                                                        1. re: jonkyo

                                                          I frequently take pix of my food but because the "sauce" is so ubiquitous I've never taken a picture.

                                                  2. Um, you are comparing it to El Yucateco? I wish people would quit lumping all hot sauce in the same category. The reason you see it on tables is because it's popular, relatively cheap, and available / easy to get in bulk. Maybe you can join the protests out in CA where it's made and say it burns your nose from a couple miles away. Stop big sriracha!
                                                    LoL

                                                    1. Actually there was a big news story about the original Sriracha company. The California town where it was went to court to shut down the factory--they complained of air pollution when the hot peppers were being processed.The owner was a Vietnamese refugee who had "made good" so it was a good story. I don't know how that ended but I believe Sriracha was shut down, at least for a while. This was maybe six months ago.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Querencia

                                                        He refused at first to make a relatvely inexpensive improvement to his plant (btw, he'd moved operations there; the neighborhood was well-established) that would mostly alleviate the problem. Yes, he was shut down for a little bit, but then a settlement was reached. The problem, bad as it was, only existed during a few months of the harvesting season, when a lot of pepper grinding took place. The story goes on, though, with allegations of bad science, back-room dealing, etc.

                                                        http://www.kcet.org/updaily/socal_foc...
                                                        http://eater.com/archives/2014/07/15/...
                                                        http://reason.com/blog/2014/07/11/sri...

                                                        1. I use it, not obsessively, but I use it.

                                                          1. I prefer several other hot sauces over sriracha for my own cooking, but it makes a nice dipping mayo.

                                                            And it can be a godsend to pimp out sucky phô at mediocre Viet restos.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                              I tend to use it as an ingredient as opposed to a hot sauce. One application is the dipping mayo that you mentioned.

                                                              I also use it in a marinade for flank or skirt steak along with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, a touch of brown sugar, and a squeeze of the ubiquitous rooster sauce.

                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                Depends. Some are orthodox hot pepper lovers, and others go for the post modern kinds, that add sugar.

                                                                Truly the grit on the teeth is a turn off, for this hot pepper enthusiast.

                                                              2. I think the "myth" is that it is just a hot sauce with sugar. It also contains garlic, salt and vinegar. It's a well-balanced condiment in the way that ketchup is. Do I put ketchup on everything, no. Do I think sriracha is a good sub for "ketchup on everything", well I think it's often worth a try! In some cases I definitely still prefer Tabasco for its combo of vinegar and light heat. In other cases a straight-up hot sauce is best. Not everybody has to like sriracha, but I think dismissing it as hot sauce for idiots is silly. Even if you don't like ketchup/sriracha, you can maybe understand why many people do. Neither is the same as pouring sugar on your food.

                                                                11 Replies
                                                                1. re: julesrules

                                                                  I probably have about ten "hot sauces" and they all get used. S is just one.

                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    Same here. I've got a couple of Asian hot sauces and a couple from Latin America. Being that we eat Mexican food far more often than Asian food, those sauces get used more. My current favorite it Castillo Salsa Habanera.

                                                                    1. re: jpc8015

                                                                      We were in Brazil last year, having great lunch at a dive right behind a gas station. We raved about their hot sauce and finally asked if we could buy a bottle. He gave us one. So that's in the rotation but sparingly.

                                                                       
                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                        What would you have done if he brought out Huy Fong Foods Sriracha?

                                                                        1. re: jpc8015

                                                                          Too funny. Actually, if you look at the only white guy in the pic, and then look closely at the edge of the table, that's the sauce.

                                                                            1. re: jpc8015

                                                                              Oh, no. It's a Brazilian brand but I'm not at home for over a week so can't check. But I do seem to remember that I looked for a US source and failed. But heading back to Rio in a couple of months so will seek it out then.

                                                                    2. re: c oliver

                                                                      Ditto. I like Sriracha for some things but definitely not for others. There is room in my cabinet for many, many spicy condiments, all of which get used according to their specific flavor profile.

                                                                      However, ketchup has NO place in my kitchen :)

                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                        I use ketchup for cocktail sauce and nothing else.

                                                                    3. re: julesrules

                                                                      Tabasco is a good item to fall back on.

                                                                      I love the texture, and thickness, and pepper hot taste level of sriracha, and yes, it is the way they make it so that it will actually cross over to be a more popular selling item.

                                                                      To do that, add a bit of sugar.

                                                                      I notice this in the isle with all the funky new America (craft or small indie) hot sauces.

                                                                      It is similar to what they did to bluegrass music to make a product, country music. They did that by adding drums.

                                                                      But on this adding sugar theme, I do have to say, there is certainly more sugar in sriracha, than ketchup. I actually use ketchup from time to time.

                                                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                                                        Tabasco is garbage. It is just hot vinegar.

                                                                    4. Sriracha, as we know it in the bottle with the green top, is not a hot sauce. It is a "hot chili sauce". You can take a look at the picture of the bottle you posted above to see what they call it themselves. Hot sauces are rarely chili only -- they have other ingredients to balance the flavors - vinegar, salt, sugar, etc.

                                                                      Sambal Oelek is good for many things, but it has a completely different taste and texture than Sriracha. I like Sriracha on noodles, but I like Sambal Oelek with pan fried dumplings. I tend to use Sambal Oelek more as an ingredient for my Chinese/Singaporean cooking, i.e. instead of using fresh red chillies. Sometimes I don't have red chillies at home, or I don't have enough, so I fry the Sambal Oelek instead. Also, sambals often do contain sugar. Indonesian/malaysian sambals almost always contain sugar to help balance out the heat from all the chillies. There are more sambals that contain chilli and sugar than ones without.

                                                                      Edited to add: Sriracha is not our main chili sauce. We are condiment whores and I probably have about 7-8 different Asian chilli sauces at any given time. I cook a lot of Chinese/Singaporean style food, and we use different sauces with different things. I get my chilli sauces from the Asian market -- living in SoCal, we have a great assortment of Asian products to choose from and tend to use other chilli sauces made in Indonesia and Singapore first. But we still have a bottle of Sriracha in our house.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                        1. "Sriracha sauce contains sugar that intrudes upon a true hot sauce enthusiast's appreciation of a sauce that is basically a hot peppers puree."

                                                                          Who died and made you the authority of "true host sauce enthusiast[s]"?

                                                                          You're still my favorite poster on Chowhound though! :D

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: joonjoon

                                                                            He is the only poster on Chowhound that I am following.

                                                                          2. Sorry, I don't go all purist about sauces, I just use what I like for each particular purpose. Huy Fong Sriracha was a welcome discovery because I had no real choices between sambals and those sticky-sweet chili sauces until this came along. I don't think of it as a hot sauce, but as a spicy one; I might put some Yucateca habañero sauce in the eggs I'm going to scramble, but it's Sriracha I'll likely put on the scrambled ones. Sriracha and fish sauce is my go-to marinade for tofu cubes when I'm making Pad Thai or some similar dish, and nobody I've fed it to has complained or left the tofu uneaten on the plate …

                                                                            1. Rocoto pushes my heat tolerance levels, though I do have some chunks of manzana (Mexican equivalent) in the freezer.

                                                                              If you like some sweet with the hot, Peruvian aji amarillo (yellow) pairs nicely with fruits like mango and passion.

                                                                              And for a good base chile flavor, aji panca, is a good alternative to Mexican ancho/Poblano.

                                                                              1. The Atlantic posted a four minute clip from the Sriracha documentary here: http://www.theatlantic.com/video/inde...

                                                                                I think it's interesting to note that in the clip they visit, and taste, their way through Si Racha and the Thaitheperos factory. And that the audience surrogate finds the Thai version to be sweeter then Sriracha.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Mer_Made

                                                                                  Maybe you didn't understand the original post. American version bad, all foreign versions good.

                                                                                  1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                    I'm trying to be diplomatic. Perhaps I was too diplomatic?

                                                                                  2. re: Mer_Made

                                                                                    Yep, I mentioned this in an earlier post above.

                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9830...

                                                                                    The original poster has said that:

                                                                                    "Perhaps all Sriracha sauces have no place on a table with food recipes coming from China.

                                                                                    As if China cannot make hot sauce.....

                                                                                    Deplorable."

                                                                                    I think he is just saying all Sriracha sauces are not very good.

                                                                                  3. Sriracha is the new ketchup - its goes on anything :)Of course Americans love it - its sweet/hot American pallet favors sweet. It comes in a nifty squeeze bottle too - goes on fries, burgers and yes "Chinese food" it goes on Tacos too

                                                                                    there are reasons to have many hot sauces - vinegary ones, sugary ones, super hot ones - many hot sauces are better than one, hot sauce is good.

                                                                                    1. My latest hot sauce purchase - LKK Sriracha Mayo

                                                                                      It has a good bite; don't think I'd want more in a mayo. It's made by/for their USA division.

                                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                        I wonder why LLK decides to make this for the USA division. It is not clear to me that American or Canadian would like Sriracha + Mayo combination.

                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                          Hispanic though, for folks that like the taste of Mexican corn or those sonoran hot dogs.

                                                                                          1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                            Actually, for Mexican food, the correct term is Latino. Hispanic is Spain related.

                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                              The Hispanic countries include Spain and all the Spanish speaking countries in Latin America.

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                  There's a whole lot of disagreement on that page. For that matter I grew up with Chicano and already have to "correct" myself before I even start.

                                                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                            The combination has been around for a while, often called Dynamite Sauce (e.g. Dynamite Mussels).

                                                                                            From web reviews, it looks like LKK first introduced this mayo in Hawaii last year.

                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                              Why yes, now that you mentioned it. The Dynamite Sauce for American Sushi rolls, aka spicy mayo:

                                                                                              http://www.grouprecipes.com/32639/dyn...

                                                                                              http://makemysushi.com/index.php/sush...

                                                                                              Thanks for your post.

                                                                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                              They can't miss the opportunity to reel in customers to whom it does not occur to simply mix the two sauces already on hand.

                                                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                They caught me! - however, I have mixed various hot sauces with mayo before. I bought it out of curiosity, not because it was entirely novel. And so far, I think it was worth it. I might even use it instead of Kewpie next time I make okonomiyaki.

                                                                                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                For the record, this American has added a combo of Best Foods and Sriracha to his list of Things to Put On Meat Before Roasting. Very good on both pork and lamb chops. I wasn't aware of a commercial blend, but while I generally make my own I could see packing a jar of this in the picnic basket for hot dogs and/or burgers

                                                                                            3. To add to this discussion, I went to a very nice small venue call Min Jiang 閩江, that is the river 閩 min that flows into Fuzhou.

                                                                                              I was there eating and desired some other hot sauce than Sriracha. That was all they had.

                                                                                              I went out the door, to the left, to hunt down some hot oil or other, to buy, and could not find any, unless I went the distance a bit too far. The same thing happened in the other direction. I did not want to walk to the corner of Allen to the downstairs market.

                                                                                              1 photo Min Jiang no option beyond Sriracha

                                                                                              2. photo Cheng Wong on Allen, with an option beyond Sriracha

                                                                                              3. photo of Spicy Bamba no need for hot sauce they will accommodate your desires in the kitchen.

                                                                                              In the end, awesome food, from Min Jiang, just the fact that alternative hot sauces were not available and inconvenient to buy.

                                                                                              I was tempted to enter the Vietnam venue just near, and ask for some of their table sauce.

                                                                                              It may be a case for tolerance and negotiation. It may be the free market.

                                                                                              This does support my thesis to some extent. But sheer delight in the places I visit, I cannot critique them for this. It is marketing and popularity in the end.

                                                                                               
                                                                                               
                                                                                               
                                                                                              20 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                "It is marketing and popularity in the end."
                                                                                                ________
                                                                                                Popularity, sure. But why are you still talking about marketing? You never came up with a non-ridiculous response to objections earlier in the thread that rooster sauce does no real marketing at all.
                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9830...
                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9830...

                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                  you missed the full-car subway ad buys and the Sriracha giveaway night that the Yankees had when Chen pitched for the Orioles here last year?

                                                                                                  1. re: debinqueens

                                                                                                    I missed that one. Point taken.

                                                                                                    That said, a sponsored giveaway and a few subway ads don't exactly make for an overwhelming marketing campaign. For starters, rooster sauce had already thoroughly saturated the market a while before last year. And they did that without any marketing high-profile enough for me to run across it.

                                                                                                    The OP is welcome to dislike the sauce. But as far as I can tell, it got popular based on genuine word of mouth. But that doesn't fit the OP's narrative where he's one of the very few independent thinkers on matters of hot sauce (and everything else). So he makes up some nonsense and just repeats it over and over again.

                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                      I was being silly and sarcastic about promo scope. Neither of those actually happened ( as far as I know). Sorry!

                                                                                                      1. re: debinqueens

                                                                                                        I think most people refers marketing almost the same as advertisement. If this is what jonkyo meant, then I think Huy Food Sriracha does not spend a lot in advertisement. However, marketing can mean much more than advertisement. For example, even setting the price of Sriracha at an affordable price point is also part of the marketing strategy. Marketing can also mean identifying potential customers. Mr David Tran sold his early day bottles at a local Chinatown supermarket can also be considered marketing -- although he pretty much did not have any other choice.

                                                                                                        So I think it really depend what jonkyo meant by "marketing". Still, I doubt Mr. David Tran put in more money in his marketing team (possibly just himself and a few relative) than other bigger firms.

                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                          This is a good point.

                                                                                                          I do think that there is a fact that he won the hearts of people, due to the marketing aspects of the bottle and label. Easily identifiable rather than in a jar. The squeeze bottle did wonders, as opposed to a glass similar to Mexican brands.

                                                                                                          I think competition can be undermined by blanket brands such as Boars Head, and in some cases, such as I have noted, Sriracha.

                                                                                                          If I was a restaurant owner in Chinatown, I would have Sriracha, along with other hot sauces, though it might depend on my client base.

                                                                                                          1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                            < The squeeze bottle did wonders, as opposed to a glass similar to Mexican brands. >

                                                                                                            The way I see it is that Huy Food Sriracha isn't really competing with Mexican hot sauce anyway. Among its own kind, they are pretty common to come in squeeze bottles. See these Thai/Viet hot sauces:

                                                                                                            http://robynswords.files.wordpress.co...

                                                                                                            Only the middle one is Huy Food.

                                                                                                            The squeeze bottle thing was designed a long time before David Tran. I believe, back in the day, he just picked up whichever was the cheapest bottles he could find and used the cheapest labeling. I don't think it was a marketing/advertising strategy.

                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                              "Food Sriracha isn't really competing with Mexican hot sauce anyway."

                                                                                                              In some sense, though seeing that it is primarily used outside of its cuisine ethnicity or genre of origin, and appears even in Mexican (granted catering to gringos) restaurants, the brand has done a good job at making it a household item.

                                                                                                              Combined factors brought it to such a height on shopping lists.

                                                                                                              That is some interesting notes you make, thought. Thanks.

                                                                                                              1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                                At the Safeway in my town you can find Sriracha in both the Asian and Latino sections.

                                                                                                                1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                                  <appears even in Mexican (granted catering to gringos) restaurants.>

                                                                                                                  I didn't know that (or haven't noticed that). Interesting.

                                                                                                          2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                            No, there is not nonsense. What I try to do is find value in things. When there is a lack of value, yet the thing has inundated our world, there is something to talk about.

                                                                                                            It is similar to major religions stomping out localized expressions of religions, during the reign of empires.

                                                                                                            I shall begin investigating the phenomena of sriracha, in its essence rather than its markets expressions. I am sure there is a venue in town that makes their own.

                                                                                                            1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                              There's more than one phenomenon to sriracha's essence?

                                                                                                              I cannot wait to hear about them all.

                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                I just wish I could stop myself from supporting this idiocy.

                                                                                                      2. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                        It is popular, but it is not THAT popular. I would say of the restaurants in Philadelphia Chinatown, about 1/5th to 1/7th of them have Sirracha on the table. I guess you can say it is a lot because it is probably the most used commercial spicy sauce in Chinatown, but it isn't like it is overtaking restaurant scene.

                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                          I would say that it nears Heinz on diner tables, in a somewhat different configuration. To some extend, but not fully, it is on par to Tabasco.

                                                                                                          1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                            :) It cannot be. Can it? Most Chinese restaurants still make their own chili sauce. You know. They look like these:

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

                                                                                                            http://kaleidoscope.cultural-china.co...

                                                                                                            Whereas, I don't remember ever seeing any American diner make their own ketchup.

                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                              "Whereas, I don't remember ever seeing any American diner make their own ketchup."

                                                                                                              And that is the crux of the issue. Somewhere along the Post World War line in the USA, marketing and the supermarket as well as mass producing processing plants in Iowa and such, began to reshape our landscape making it quite different from (depending on your age) grandma and grandpa's world.

                                                                                                              Thus said, non-assimilated venues offer much, such as Mexican and Ecuadorian places making their own hot sauce, and Chinese places too.

                                                                                                              1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                                Commercially bottle ketchup goes back a lot longer than WW2. Heinz dates back to 1876. And it never was something you could make every day (as an Ecuadorian aij or Mexican pico). In early American recipes it was more like making tomato preserves or jam.

                                                                                                                http://languageoffood.blogspot.com/20...
                                                                                                                traces the name, and early English versions, to Asian fish and soy sauces.

                                                                                                      3. Just found this:

                                                                                                        Tackling Sriracha Myths, Truths and Confusion

                                                                                                        http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/...

                                                                                                        "David Tran, a Chinese-Vietnamese immigrant to the United States. His company, Huy Fong Foods, produces three Southeast Asian-style chiles sauces: chile garlic sauce (tuong ot toi) for Vietnam, sambal oelek for Indonesia, Sriracha for Thailand. He succeeded with Sriracha after placing it at most (if not all) pho restaurants in the US."

                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                          <He succeeded with Sriracha after placing it at most (if not all) pho restaurants in the US.>>

                                                                                                          That would be true. His Sriracha sauce is popular among most Pho restaurants in the US. I have been living in the West Coast and the East Coast, and I have seen it in many Pho shops.

                                                                                                            1. re: chefj

                                                                                                              and if a great number of people like it, it has to be bad. right?

                                                                                                              look, I am not saying sriracha is the best hot sauce extant - or even the best chili garlic sauce extant - but it is a good product. so is Heinz ketchup. so is tabasco. popularity does not always equate to evil.

                                                                                                              1. re: debinqueens

                                                                                                                Here Here!
                                                                                                                Huy Fong in a good quality produce and is domestic to boot(much more ecologically friendly for we in US and less risky health wise)

                                                                                                                1. re: chefj

                                                                                                                  I would disagree, only due to the use of sugar in their most popular item.

                                                                                                                  But I stock other items they make, and use them extremely liberally. Conservative kitchen practices just would not be Dionysian tradition, Bacchus that is.

                                                                                                                  1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                                    Disagree with what?
                                                                                                                    Sugar is an Ingredient in all the Sriracha Sauces I have seen.

                                                                                                          1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                            I recall seeing it earlier (before pho appeared), in the ubiquitous Seattle teriyaki fast food restaurants.

                                                                                                            "If you get takeout from any teriyaki place, don’t forget to apply Sriracha hot sauce before leaving the premises. Eating a lot of Sriracha is what teriyaki is all about."
                                                                                                            http://www.seattlemag.com/article/res...