Worried about the “unprecedented” shortage of sriracha? It’s almost too easy to make your own

Sriracha is more than just a condiment. Sriracha is one of those foods – like chocolate, bacon or avocado – that people fall in love with so deeply that it becomes part of their identity.

You don’t just carry sriracha with you on your key ring. You can’t just soak it in your favorite foods. Instead, you dress up as a sriracha for Halloween and listen to entire podcasts about it.

When Huy Fong Foods, the Californian brand behind America’s most beloved, rooster-decked sriracha, recently revealed an “unprecedented shortage,” the news wasn’t just an inconvenience. It felt personal.

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With the manufacturer citing “several spiraling events, including the unexpected crop failure of Chile’s spring harvest” in northern Mexico, the sriracha appears to be yet another casualty of climate change. Consumers have reported sightings of panic shopping on social media, and restaurateurs have told NPR that prices per box have nearly doubled in recent weeks.

Instead of stocking up for the impending srirachapocalypse, why not make your own until the drought passes? Chances are you already have almost all of the ingredients on hand.

When I heard about the sriracha shortage, I immediately grabbed the “DIY Cookbook: Can It, Cure It, Churn It, Brew It” from America’s Test Kitchen. Some days, I have to dig deep just to muster up enthusiasm for ready-to-go macaroni and cheese. Other days, I think, “Yes, I would like to make duck ham.” This is the cookbook for that. While many of the recipes require more effort than getting my PhD, several others require little more than a food processor and a few minutes of active work.

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The Test Kitchen sriracha recipe creates a beautiful, incredibly spicysweet hot sauce. While not a clone of the classic Huy Fong, it is an intriguing interpretation. If you’re the type of person who drips hot honey on your pizza, you’ll love it.

I cut the amount in half, but if you’re a one-bottle-a-week sriracha user, I recommend doubling the recipe. I couldn’t find red jalapeños so I got Fresno chiles. (Fresnos are a very good pepper; don’t sleep with them.) I also used malt vinegar instead of white vinegar, which is not authentic but also what I had in my pantry.

With a fresh batch in hand, I found myself dousing this dressing in my salad at lunch, then leveling my sliders at dinner. Basically, this recipe belongs to everything but cake. I will always be loyal to Huy Fong, but these things can proudly stand next to him on his shelf.

***

Recipe: Spicy Sweet Sriracha
Inspired by America’s Test Kitchen’s “DIY Cookbook: Can It, Cure It, Churn It, Brew It”

Time to cook

30 minutes, more cooling

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pounds Fresno peppers, destemmed and chopped, seeds reserved
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 6 tablespoons of malt vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt

instructions

  1. Place the chillies, garlic, water, malt vinegar and reserved chilli seeds (at the desired heat level) in a blender or food processor. Mix until smooth.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan and add the sugar and sea salt.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally and skimming the sticky foam, until the sauce has thickened and reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Return the mixture to the blender or food processor and blend again until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
  6. Pour the mixture into a squeeze bottle or bottle and refrigerate for at least 1 day. Keep in the fridge and enjoy for up to 3 weeks.

cook’s notes

I recommend starting with about 1/2 tablespoon of chili seeds.

For a less sweet sauce, reduce the amount of sugar to 3 or 4 tbsp.


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