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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sriracha

A bottle of sriracha lying on a wooden surface.

Sriracha, the fiery red chili sauce that has become a beloved condiment around the world, is more than just a spicy kick to your taste buds. From its origins in Thailand to its journey into international culinary culture, sriracha has captured the hearts of food enthusiasts everywhere.

If you want to learn more about the history of sriracha, how to use this delicious sauce, and even how you can make it yourself, then stick around. We’re about to dive deep into the sriracha origin and tell you everything you ever wanted to know about sriracha.

Sriracha Origin Story

A photo of Si Racha's beach town in Thailand.
The na/Shutterstock.com

Who’s ready for a quick lesson on the history of Sriracha? Sriracha takes its name from the coastal city of Si Racha in the country Thailand. This is where the original sriracha was born.

According to the Thrillest, the sauce was first created by a Thai woman, Thanom Chakkapak, back in the late 1940s. It didn’t yet have its iconic name, but Chakkapak concocted a blend of chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, and sugar to enhance the flavors of her dishes.

While the sauce was initially used in Thai cuisine, its popularity eventually spread beyond the country’s borders. The global popularity was largely thanks to a man named David Tran.

Duoluv Set of Four Bowls

Pop some sriracha into your next batch of pho.

The History of Sriracha in the United States

A bottle of Sriracha on an American grocery store shelf.

The journey of Sriracha to the United States began in the early 1980s. NPR explained that Vietnamese immigrant David Tran began making and selling this sauce when he noticed a lot of fellow immigrants in his area. He named the sauce “Sriracha” to honor the place of its invention.

Tran’s version was inspired by the original sriracha Thai sauce but with a twist. His Huy Fong Food recipe incorporated red jalapeño peppers, resulting in a milder heat compared to the blazing Thai chilies.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Tran grew his sauce popularity by selling it in large cities all along the California coast. The secret red sauce was quickly becoming a favorite.

What Does Sriracha Taste Like?

A person eats pho with sriracha sauce using a spoon and chopsticks
Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock.com

Sriracha boasts a unique flavor profile that balances heat, salt, sweetness, and tanginess. The prominent notes of chili peppers are complemented by the aromatic garlic and the tang of vinegar.

This well-rounded combination makes sriracha not only spicy but also flavorful. It will enhance a wide range of dishes and may become your favorite condiment.

360 Degree Turntable Organizer for Refrigerator

Keep your sriracha and other condiments organized.

How to Use Sriracha

Chicken wings sitting on a cutting board with a bowl of sriracha.

Sriracha’s versatility extends beyond just an average hot sauce for your tacos or noodles. It’s a condiment that can be drizzled on pizza, burgers, and salads. You can even add to cocktails for an extra kick.

Enjoy a sriracha drizzle on sandwiches, wraps, avocado toast, eggs, and more. You can add it to soups, stir-fries, and marinades. You can mix it in mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt to create a yummy sauce or dip.

Sriracha adds a delightful balance of flavors you can use to elevate your meals.

Can You Make Your Sriracha?

A bowl of sriracha surrounded by ingredients.
AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock.com

Can you make your own sriracha? Absolutely! Making homemade sriracha allows you to customize the flavor and heat level to your preference. The process involves blending chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt. You can experiment with different chili varieties for a unique twist.

Keep in mind that the signature Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha has a cult following, so recreating that exact flavor might be a challenge. So, while you may not have the same recipe as the original sriracha, you can certainly develop a flavorful sauce.

If you’re looking for a great place to start, All Recipes has a delicious sriracha recipe to experiment with.

Fullstar Vegetable Chopper

Make all the chipping and dicing easier with a vegetable chopper.

Is There a Sriracha Shortage?

A line of sriracha bottles on multiple shelves.

In recent years, rumors of a sriracha shortage caused concern among fans. Unfortunately, the rumors of a sriracha shortage are true.

Industry experts explain that many factors are causing a Huy Fong Sriracha shortage. The biggest reasons are due to droughts and other poor weather, creating an issue in the production of ingredients. There has been a shortage of the peppers used to create this famed sauce.

Rather than changing the recipe and sourcing with other ingredients, Huy Fong Foods remains determined to stick to its values and recipe. They’re limiting the production of their amazing sauce and creating what they can with their ingredient supply.

The Health Benefits of Sriracha

Sriracha sauce drizzled over four pieces of avocado toast.

If you’re curious about what (if any) health benefits sriracha provides, you’ll be happy to know this sauce is incredibly low in calories.

According to Healthline, the chili peppers used in the sauce are a good source of capsaicin, which has anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and antioxidant properties.

That being said, Healthline goes on to explain how it’s unlikely to consume so much sriracha that your body benefits from the capsaicin. You’d have to eat more than a normal serving to reap the benefits.

So, while there aren’t many clear health benefits to consuming sriracha, there is no research showing negative impacts either.

ComSaf Mini Mason Jars 4oz

Keep your homemade sriracha fresh in these canning jars.

Sriracha’s Global Impact

A window seat at a restaurant in New York with sriracha sauce and dumplings.
Ariel Viera/Shutterstock.com

Sriracha’s journey from a coastal town in Thailand to the whole United States reflects its global appeal. This modest sauce that started in a small town has become a condiment enjoyed across the world.

The distinctive flavor and versatility of sriracha have inspired chefs and home cooks worldwide to experiment with new ways to incorporate it into their culinary creations.

If you’re looking for ways to enjoy this hot sauce, consider what dinner recipes will be enhanced with a splash of sriracha.

With a unique blend of chili peppers, garlic, and tangy vinegar, sriracha has created a culinary legacy that continues to evolve. Whether you’re drizzling it on a slice of pizza or using it to spice up your homemade marinades, sriracha’s fiery kick will continue to captivate taste buds around the world.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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