Sriracha Shortage? No Problem! Make Your Own With This Simple Recipe

In late 2013, news about Sriracha was almost as ubiquitous as those bright red bottles with the rooster logo were throughout the rest of the year. First came news that the Huy Fong Foods plant in Irwindale, California, might be forced to close in November due to the offensive odors caused by the grinding of spicy red jalapeño peppers. Next, a judge ordered the partial shutdown of the plant while the city and Huy Fong tried to work things out. Then, in December, workers at the plant were forced to hold their shipments for 30 days while the Health Department determines whether the uncooked product contains microorganisms. On the same day that news of the shipping delay broke, a 33-minute Sriracha documentary debuted. In case, you know, you hadn't already heard enough about the spicy condiment.

But there's no need to panic while we wait for Huy Fong Foods to start shipping our favorite sauce again in mid- to late-January. Sriracha is surprisingly simple and easy to make in the comfort of your own home. Just be sure you've got some good ventilation in your kitchen. Wouldn't want your roommate threatening to shut you down, now would we?

In looking for a fast and easy Sriracha recipe online, I came across one from the L.A. Times that I tweaked a little to my liking after some trial and error. I found all of the following ingredients to make Sriracha at Central Market, but any Asian grocery would also stock everything you need.

Here's what to pick up:

  • 1.5 pounds of fresh, red Fresno peppers (or a mixture of these and red jalapeños if you can find them...I couldn't)
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons palm sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt

You'll also need a food processor or blender, a strainer, a saucepan, a knife and cutting board and a rubber spatula.

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Step 1. Chop the stems off the peppers, then chop the peppers into chunks. No need to remove the seeds. Coarsely chop the garlic.

Step 2. Add peppers, garlic, vinegar, palm sugar and salt to the food processor or blender and blend until everything seems evenly mixed. It won't be smooth, but there shouldn't be any chunks of pepper or garlic either. If there isn't enough liquid for your blender to function, add a little bit of water or more vinegar.

Step 3. Pour into a large saucepan and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes to let the flavors meld. Set aside and let cool slightly.

Step 4. Return the mix to the blender and mix for another 3 minutes, until a smooth paste has formed.

Step 5. Strain the mixture into a vessel (I used a mason jar), using the rubber spatula to press the liquid out of the paste. Refrigerate the liquid when not in use. Toss the leftover solids or save them, as I did, for some unknown future purpose. That's it. Homemade Sriracha! The mixture may separate slightly in the refrigerator, but just give it a stir every time you want to use it. It will get more pungent after the first couple of days.

For me, this recipe made about a cup of Sriracha, but it's very spicy, so you don't need much of it in your cooking or on top of your cronuts.

Oh, and don't forget to Instagram your final product, 'cause this is about as hipster as it gets.

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