Killing the Sriracha

Today I finish the Sriracha. That means stopping the fermentations and I’m very resistant. Some part of me feels like I’m killing something magic. Because I am.

Here’s the back story, I bought a lot of peppers and decided to make hot sauce.

Half a Bushel of Peppers

I found the basic recipe for hot sauce, which is embarrassingly easy, and made 3 batches based on this master sauce recipe. Then I found a bunch of recipes trying to replicate sriracha (aka rooster sauce). A sauce I use heavily at home and have since I discovered it, along with the world, in the 80s.

I figured since I had a lot of extra peppers ready to go, and we love sriracha, I’d give it a try.  The original sriracha is actually a brand of sauce created in the 1980s by David Tran in LA.  He was trying to replicate the sauces he remembered from in Sri Racha, Thailand (aka Si Racha) – possibly this one.

Me? I was just trying to replicate his sauce. (Thank you David)

Some people read tea leaves, I read Sriracha

So I grabbed the recipe that seemed to have the right flavour profile, and set to fermenting my blended mess of ingredients. Gerry was sold as soon as he tasted what was left on the spatula and demanded that I set aside at least a cup for him to use while the rest fermented. That cup didn’t last very long.

So I bought another half bushel of peppers specifically to make the second, third and fourth batches.

Each a slight variant on the original recipes. Since I didn’t really follow the original recipe on my original batch, I thought it might be interesting to see what would happen if I followed a recipe to the letter (which rarely happens.) 2 batches are made with roasted peppers, 2 are made with raw peppers. I varied the amount of garlic (because I ran out I have a batch called Vampire Sriracha) and made one with roasted garlic.

Making Sriracha - 4 batches

Then I fermented them. The first batch was already in the fridge with Gerry fighting me about adding the vinegar and stopping the ferment. I figured putting it in the fridge was a compromise.

Still, at some point, I knew I’d have to finish the job and kill those lovely little sriracha fermenting bugs. If I don’t, I’ll have nasty, sour, slightly boozy, red mess rather than tasty, tasty homemade sriracha.

Making Sriracha - Fermented

I have 4 batches (about 3 litres), and a couple of the bottles have been fermenting wildly. They’ve all reached the point where the flavour is fantastic and more fermentation will lose the slight sweet edge that really rounds things out.

Gerry’s out of the house so I can do it, sort of on the sly.

Still, I feel slightly evil and wish I could muster a maniacal laugh as I do the deed.

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

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