Rethink Hot Sauce with Sriracha: The Hot (and Healthy) Choice
My brother introduced me to Sriracha Sauce. He’s a personal trainer and in an effort to cut salt from his diet and try a new hot sauce, he became obsessed with this thick, flawlessly textured chili paste. Now, this hot sauce isn’t what you’re used to – because it’s nothing like wing sauce or a green, textured salsa. Instead, it’s a delightful mix of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. The good stuff is often found in Vietnamese joints throughout the city, filling plastic bottles covered in foreign inscriptions, sealed with that infamous green top.
The great thing about this hot sauce, is just how spicy it is. I’m convinced there should be a label stating, “Not for entry-level hot sauce enthusiasts.” In other words, this stuff was made for food gurus and people who appreciate real, authentic ingredients. If you can find a bottle, you’ll notice you can put it on everything. Literally. Soups, sauces, pastas, pizzas, salads, noodles, hamburgers… the list goes on and on. My favorite way to serve sriracha? It’s the ideal topper on pho – a flavorful Vietnamese soup available through most of Queens and Manhattan. If you’re not into colorful, textured Asian soups, try it on a homemade Panini or as a sauce for tonight’s dinner – on chicken, steak or tofu. The bite of the chili peppers combined with the pleasant acidity of the vinegar and sweet aftertaste crowns it as an irreplaceable condiment/marinade.
When I purchased my first bottle of Sriracha sauce, I was on a mission to create as many dishes as humanly possible. I made chicken, steak, tacos, soups – even added some to a Bloody Mary (surprisingly delicious). Use it as you wish – a condiment, a marinade to dress up poultry or smother on skirt steaks with fresh bread and marinated onions – because no matter how you serve this fragrant, flavorful chili paste – I guarantee you’ll enjoy it.
Hey, it’s even personal-trainer approved and shown to speed up the metabolism. Did I mention it’s also been used to dissolve blood clots within the body, increase circulation and reduce inflammation? I mean, what’s not to love. My brother Joey, a certified personal trainer and health guru, recommends it to clients as a great alternative to ketchup because, “there is no high fructose corn syrup,” he tells me. “It only has one gram of sugar and is made of chili peppers. The only sodium is coming from a natural source (the chili peppers) unlike most store-bought hot sauces which contain added table salt.”
Moral of the story? This week when you’re searching for that something special in the kitchen, or a way to transform a basic dinner dish to a family favorite – why not “spice things up” a bit. Literally.