Friday, August 08, 2008

Dictionary Friday: Sriracha

Sriracha (Thai: ซอสศรีราชา)
The generic name for a hot sauce from Thailand. It is named after the seaside city of Si Racha, where it was first produced as a local product (currently licensed by "Sriracha Panich"). It is made from sun-ripened chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. Sriracha is a common condiment found in many Asian restaurants.

(via Wikipedia)

Also known as the red stuff in the bottle with the white writing and green top...or what I put on my tempura soft crabs at Belvedere Square happy hours. It's delicious.

And brought on today by that issue of Food & Wine that I'm obsessing about. One of the coolest features in the mag is a "crash course" in the past 30 years of food history, compiled by Bryan Miller. The section includes a bunch of short-lists, like the 5 foolproof vintages and 5 "all-star American restaurateurs," alongside quick descriptions of how tastes have evolved since 1978. Here's where Sriracha comes in:
Spicy Cravings
Every few years, a fiery flavor becomes trendy at American tables. In the mid-'80s, it was pink peppercorns, the Brazilian berries that hit the US in the final years of nouvelle cuisine. In the '90s, hot sauces got so popular that stores dedicated to them popped up. Lately, the incendiary sauce of choice has been Sriracha, the Thai condiment made with sun-ripened chiles.

Miller's totally right, too. Sriracha wriggled its way into my consciousness without my even realizing it. Glad it did, though. Especially with respect to those softshells. Amazing. I think I know what I'm having for dinner tonight.


Tom Aarons said...

You are so right. Sriracha is the ultimate dipping sauce for fried seafood. Yum!

John said...

Sriracha sauce is painfully good (pun intended). The Indonesian sambal oelek, which I found lots of in Amsterdam but find mostly grouped with the sriracha sauce in H Mart, is also good.

And look at you, bustin' out the Thai font!


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