Ever notice how a sauce, once tagged with some foreign-syllable and foreign calligraphy, suddenly feels like uncharted territory? It's as if it's some exclusive club you need a password to enter. Let's debunk that myth! A sauce is still a sauce, no matter the label, it's usually made with ingredients we're already familiar with. Let's take these 'exotic' condiments off their pedestals and mix them into our favourite go-to recipes and cross some boundaries. It's time to make home-cooking fun and satisfying!
For those who savor the rich umami undertones present in Asian staples such as soy sauce, ginger, and hoisin, Sriracha will your flavor passions for the twist of heat. This spirited sauce weaves a zesty warmth that elevates and melds seamlessly with a plethora of dishes, mirroring the profound essence of these treasured condiments.
What is Sriracha?
Sriracha is a strikingly bright, feisty red, spicy and tangy sauce made from chili peppers, garlic, sugar, salt, and vinegar. Its vibrant hue is not just a visual spectacle but a promise of the flavorful adventure that lies ahead. Originally from the coastal city of Si Racha in Thailand, its popularity soared globally through an adapted version produced by Huy Fong Foods in the United States.
Visualize the stinging sensation of chili peppers softened by a hint of sweetness and the unmistakable tinge of garlic. Though primarily known for its heat, Sriracha balances this with a subtle sweetness, tanginess, and a touch of garlicky undertones, creating a multifaceted taste experience.
Why use it?
Solution: Sriracha introduces that fiery, garlicky twist to elevate your dish, a spiciness that's actually spicy.
Solution: A splash of Sriracha can convert those wings into a tangy, spicy revelation dream.
How to Use:
Sandwiches & Wraps: An instant upgrade. A drizzle can enhance the taste layers, from a simple ham sandwich to a chicken wrap.
Marinades: Combine with soy sauce, honey, and lime for a spicy, tangy marinade perfect for meats and tofu.
Soups: A few drops can turn even a bland soup into an intriguing blend of spice and tang.
Dressings: Incorporate into vinaigrettes or mayo-based dressings for salads and slaws, giving them a spicy lift.
Comparisons and Differences:
Gochujang: Both have a spicy base, but while Sriracha leans on its garlic and vinegar notes, gochujang showcases a deeper, fermented undertone.
Tabasco: Both offer heat, but Sriracha has a thicker consistency and a broader flavor profile, including its characteristic sweetness and garlic punch.
Sticky Pork Ribs
In this video, the fun about this recipe is, there is a lot of leniency for seasoning. Just taste as you go and have fun exploring the ingredients.
- 1 lb pork ribs
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning
- A big piece of ginger, sliced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
- Chili flakes, to taste
- A small handful of Peppercorns, to taste
- 5-6 star anise
- Honey, to taste
- 2-4 tbsp Sriracha
- A generous amount of soy sauce
- A generous amount of Japanese rice vinegar
- 300ml rice wine or dry sherry
- Green onions, chopped
- Basic chicken stock (enough to cover the ribs more than halfway)
- Olive oil or another neutral cooking oil
- Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to 180°C (356°F).
- Season the Ribs: Pat the pork ribs dry and season them generously with salt and pepper.
- Searing the Ribs: Heat a baking tray or oven-safe skillet over high heat. Add a bit of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the ribs and sear them until they are browned on all sides.
- Add Aromatics: While the ribs are searing, add the sliced ginger and garlic to the tray. Add chili flakes, peppercorns, and star anise.
- Glazing the Ribs: Towards the end of searing, drizzle honey over the ribs, followed by sriracha, a generous amount of soy sauce and Japanese rice vinegar. Pour in the rice wine or dry sherry.
- Balance the Flavors: Bring the liquid to a boil and taste. Adjust the seasoning by adding more salt for saltiness, honey for sweetness, or vinegar for acidity, based on your preference.
- Add Stock: Sprinkle chopped green onions over the ribs. Pour in the chicken stock until the ribs are covered more than halfway.
- Oven Baking: Bring the mixture to a boil again, then transfer the tray or skillet to the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the ribs over and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
- Reduce to Glaze: After baking, return the tray or skillet to the stovetop. Reduce the liquid until it reaches a thick, glistening glaze texture. If you plan to reheat the ribs later, only reduce the liquid halfway so it remains slightly runny.
Note from Gordon: "If you want, you can put them into the fridge, and the flavor will keep developing. Then just reheat them when you want to serve.”
Recommendation: If reheating the ribs, it's advised to leave the glaze slightly runny to provide ample liquid during reheating.
Puttanesca Pasta Recipe
- 6 cloves of garlic (add more if desired)
- 1/2 cup (90g) of Gaeta olives or Kalamata olives (pitted)
- 1 Fresno pepper or red finger pepper (substitute with 1 teaspoon or 2 grams of crushed red pepper flakes if unavailable)
- add 1-3 tsp sriracha
- 4 anchovies
- 28 ounces (794g) of San Marzano tomatoes or other good-quality canned tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons (15g) of capers
- 2 tablespoons (8g) of minced fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
- 4 tablespoons (52g) of olive oil
- 1 pound (454g) of spaghetti pasta (fresh linguine, bucatini, or dried pasta can be used)
- Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- Thinly slice the garlic cloves.
- Slice the olives.
- Slice the pepper, removing most of the pith for less heat.
- Thinly slice the anchovies.
- Manually crush the tomatoes with clean hands or a potato masher until they're broken up but not too chunky.
Cooking the Sauce:
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil on low-medium.
- Add in the sliced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30-45 seconds.
- Stir in the sliced peppers and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the anchovies and capers. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the sliced olives and minced parsley.
- Season with salt, pepper and sriracha, considering the saltiness of the ingredients used. Adjust according to taste. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Preparing the Pasta:
- Boil a large pot of water, seasoned with enough salt to taste like the ocean.
- Cook the pasta, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping, until al dente.
- Drain the pasta and add it directly to the pan with the sauce. Toss well to combine.
- Using tongs or a carving fork, twirl a serving of the pasta and place it in a bowl.
- Top with a generous serving of the sauce, ensuring a mix of tomatoes, capers, anchovies, and olives.
Fennel & Sausage Fritata
- 6 whole eggs
- ½ onion, chopped
- Fennel seeds
- Fennel sausage (skin removed)
- A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Fresh mozzarella, cut into large pieces
- 1-3 teaspoon of Sriracha
- Salt, to taste
- Olive oil or butter, for sautéing
Oven Preparation: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
Onion Sauté: In an oven-friendly pan over high heat, add a splash of olive oil or a knob of butter. Once hot, add the chopped onion. Season with salt. Toss and let it cook until it begins to soften.
Fennel Infusion: Sprinkle in some fennel seeds. Keep tossing occasionally and let the mixture cook until the fennel seeds become fragrant.
Sausage Addition: Remove the skin from the fennel sausage and crumble the meat into the pan. Cook until it browns, ensuring that all the ingredients caramelize nicely.
Egg Mixture Preparation: In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, chopped parsley, a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt, and Sriracha. Mix until well combined.
Pan Mixing: Once the sausage and onions in the pan have reached the desired color and softness, pour in the egg mixture. Quickly stir everything together to ensure an even distribution of ingredients.
Cheese Layering: Scatter large pieces of fresh mozzarella throughout the mixture. Sprinkle an additional generous amount of grated Parmesan on the surface.
Baking: Transfer the pan to the preheated oven. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cheese on top is golden brown and bubbly.
Serving: Remove from the oven and use a spatula to gently separate the frittata from the sides of the pan. Transfer it to a serving plate. Slice, serve, and enjoy your delicious frittata with a spicy Sriracha twist!