Why is this recipe interesting?
Sriracha has taken the world by storm. It shows up in everything from Asian-inspired dishes to classic cocktails like the Bloody Mary. If you are ready to move beyond the store-bought variety and want to try something extraordinary, check out this recipe for fermented Sriracha.
Regular Sriracha sauces in the West, like the popular one from Huy Fong, are not fermented. The tang in these recipes comes from adding a lot of extra vinegar to the sauce. While this recipe contains some vinegar, it leans heavily on the fermentation process for its lovely sourness. The fermentation process creates the tang you expect and adds a saltier flavor that plays well with the spice and sweetness in the sauce. As a bonus, fermented Sriracha is full of beneficial probiotic bacteria.
- 1 pound red Thai chili peppers or red jalapeño chiles remove the stems, and thinly sliced into rounds.
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt use 2 and 1/2 tablespoons if using fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons sweetener or to taste
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- Mix the chilies, crushed garlic, and salt together in a large glass bowl.
- Cover the bowl tightly and place it on the countertop in a warm spot in your kitchen.
- After 24 hours, you should notice water accumulating at the bottom of the bowl.
- Stir the chili mixture twice a day for the next 5-7 days.
- After about five days, you may begin to smell the sourness of the fermentation process when you take off the lid of the bowl. At this point, the fermentation process is complete.
- Strain out the chili peppers and garlic. Discard the liquid.
- Pour the fermented chili pepper mixture into the food processor along with the sweetener and vinegar.
- Process for 3-5 minutes, depending on how chunky you like your Sriracha. Turn off the processor and scrape down the sides a few times to ensure everything is blended.
- Store the fermented Sriracha in a covered jar in the fridge for up to three months.
Substitutions & Shortcuts
A touch of sweetness helps to balance the flavor of the finished fermented Sriracha. You have many options to use as your sweetener. Agave syrup, maple syrup, white sugar, brown sugar, honey, or palm sugar, all work, but each can change the final taste of the sauce. Feel free to experiment, but the first time you make the recipe, try a sweetener that doesn’t have too strong of a flavor on its own. Most people find white sugar or honey the best option.
Lessons learned while making this dish
One reason for the popularity of Sriracha sauce is that it’s on the moderate side when it comes to hot sauces but still delivers fantastic flavor. But when you are making fermented Sriracha, you need to add a little extra spice. The additional heat is necessary because the fermentation process reduces the spiciness of the peppers significantly. So, choose hotter peppers than you usually feel comfortable eating. Remember to keep the seeds in the recipe, and don’t trim the ribs of the peppers like you might ordinarily do.