I come from the school of "hot sauce goes on everything." I add it to eggs, sandwiches, salads, chicken, veggies, fish….everything. I have always been a big Frank's girl, but recently I was turned onto the hipster craze that is sriracha. So, when I was browsing through my favorite cookbook It's All Good, I was excited to see a recipe for homemade sriracha. However, I was less excited to see Gwyneth's claim that store-bought sriracha is filled with chemicals. Now I'm not a doctor (or a nutritionist) and I don't claim to know whether that's really true or not. However, I do subscribe to commonsense which says that things you make at home are generally better for you. So, I decided to try making sriracha myself.
And, while I love me some Gwyneth, some of the ingredients in her recipes can be difficult (and expensive) to obtain. So, I did a little substituting (see my changes in bold). Overall, it was incredibly easy to make, and tastes really delicious. I don't think it tastes exactly like sriracha, but it certainly gets the job done.
from Gwyenth Paltrow's It's All Good
1 1/4 cups peeled garlic cloves
1 pound red jalapeños, stemmed and sliced into thin rings (for a milder sauce remove some seeds)*
2 1/4 cups rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon arrowroot**
2 tablespoons fish sauce (or soy sauce)
Put the garlic cloves in small sauce pan and add cold water just to cover. Bring to a boil, immediately drain, cool the garlic under running water, and return it to the saucepan. Cover with cold water and repeat the blanching process.
Thinly slice the blanked garlic and combine with the jalapeños and vinegar in a large pot. Bring to a boil, cook for three minutes, and remove from the heat. Add the brown rice syrup and salt and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit undisturbed for one hour to steep and cool.
Whiz the mixture in a powerful blender until smooth (it's okay if all the seeds don't blend in). Return the pureed sauce to the pot, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, skimming off any foam, until the sauce is slightly reduced and has some body.
In a small bowl, dissolve the arrowroot (or cornstarch, or flour) with one tablespoon of lukewarm water. Whisk into the simmering sauce and cook for two minutes more, or until the sauce is nicely thickened (it should be slightly thinner than ketchup). Remove the sauce from the heat, let it cool slightly, and stir in the fish sauce. Store in a screw-top jar or bottle in the refrigerator for up to six months.
*Whole Foods didn't have red jalapeños and if Whole Paycheck doesn't have them, nobody does. The lovely gentlemen at the store told me that green jalapeños taste exactly the same, so that is what I bought. That is also why my sriracha is green.
*Again, couldn't find arrowroot for the life of me. But arrowroot is (excuse me for offending all chefs around me) essentially cornstarch. I thought I had cornstarch, but I didn't, so I just used flour. And guess what? It worked just fine. So if you can't find arrowroot don't dismay, flour or cornstarch will do.