Horseshoe crab served with Sriracha sauce in the town of Si Racha
|Scoville scale||1,000–2,500 SHU|
In Thailand, Sriracha is frequently used as a dipping sauce, particularly for seafood. In Vietnamese cuisine, Sriracha appears as a condiment for phở and fried noodles, as a topping for spring rolls (chả giò), and in sauces.
The origin and history of Sriracha is debated. One report has it that the sauce was first produced by a Thai woman named Thanom Chakkapak in the town of Si Racha (or Sri Racha). According to the Thai "Chomrom Rak Si Racha" (The Si Racha Lovers' Association) the sauce was first made in Si Racha by Burmese sawmill workers. The association interviewed 88-year-old Thawat Wiphisamakun, known locally as Ah Pae. Ah Pae's maternal grandmother had a small shop in Si Racha. The Burmese workers came to the shop to buy chilies, salt, vinegar, and sugar to pound in a mortar to make their sauce. Eventually she started making the sauce herself, both for family use and for sale to customers. Soon, another customer, Kimsua Thimkrachang, began to buy large quantities of chilies, salt, vinegar, and sugar. He was making the chili sauce for sale as Sauce Si Racha Traa Phukhao Thong (Golden Mountain Brand Si Racha Sauce) with a picture of the Golden Mountain Temple on the label. Its name was Si Racha Phanich.
Another report has it that the sauce originated in the town of Sri Racha (Sri Racha, Sriracha), Thailand in the early 1930s by Madam La Orr Suwanprasop. La Orr was born and raised in Sri Racha and eventually met her husband who was from Bangkok. Upon getting married she and her husband moved to Bangkok where she would continuously make batches of the famous chili sauce for her friends. Her friends would encourage her to make the sauce for sale which ultimately motivated her to start her sriracha sauce business.
After discussing with a monk, La Orr was given the blessing to start the sriracha chili sauce business. The monk had given her the idea to name the sauce Sriracha Sauce, after her hometown. By 1932, Madam La Orr Suwanprasop began producing and selling her sauce in Bangkok. Over time, the rumor of her sauce began to spread and chefs all over Bangkok started using her sauce in their restaurants. La Orr and her family eventually entered their sauce into annual competitions where she was awarded several gold medals which is why their Sriracha sauce is named the Gold Medal Brand.
After winning various medals and recognition for their sauce, La Orr and her family eventually brought their medals to the government food department in Bangkok to establish that they are the original creators of “Sriracha Sauce”. By this time, it was very difficult for the government to prove that they were the original creators of the famous sauce as there were several other “copycat” brands but there are no records showing that the sauce was made before 1932. The food department recommended that they change their logo’s design so that it incorporates wording in both Thai and Buddhist translating to “Produced in 1932” which became a strong indicator to tell that the Gold Medal brand was the first and oldest of the Sriracha sauce brands. Today, Lakut Suwanprasop, son of Madam La Orr Suwanprasop, still follows the traditions of his mother in creating and selling the Sriracha sauce from fresh, well-inspected chilis.
Different brands use different ingredients.
|Brand||Company||Ingredients||Origin||U.S. Importer and notes|
|Huy Fong Foods Sriracha Hot Chili sauce (Cock brand)||Huy Fong Foods||Jalapeño peppers, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled vinegar, potassium sorbate, sodium bisulphite as preservatives, and xanthan gum ||Irwindale, California, United States||-|
|Sriraja Panich||Thaitheparos PLC||Spur chilli peppers, 45%; sugar, 17%; acidifier, 14%; garlic, 10%; water, 9%; salt, 6%; no preservatives, color, MSG||Samut Prakan, Thailand||Eastland Foods|
|Flying Goose brand Sriracha Hot Chilli sauce||Exotic Food PCL||Chili 61%, sugar, garlic, salt, water, acidity regulator: E260, E330, flavor enhancer: E621, stabiliser: E415, preservative: E202 ||Si Racha, Thailand||Surya Foods, UK|
|Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Hot Chili sauce||Lee Kum Kee||Red chili, sugar, salt, garlic, fish extract, lactic acid/E270, acetic acid/E260, antioxidant (ascorbic acid/E300). ||Hong Kong||-|
|Bangthai Original Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce||Kohlico||Water 28.9%, red chili 28%, sugar 25%, garlic 7%, salt 5%, xanthan gum 4.4%, modified corn starch 1%, acetic acid 0.5%, preservatives sodium benzoate 0.1%, natural colour E160c 0.05% ||United Kingdom||-|
In Thailand, the sauce is most often called sot Siracha (Thai: ซอสศรีราชา) and only sometimes nam phrik Siracha (Thai: น้ำพริกศรีราชา). Traditional Thai Sriracha sauce tends to be tangier in taste, and runnier in texture than non-Thai versions.
In a Bon Appétit magazine interview, US Asian-foods distributor Eastland Food Corporation asserted that the Thai brand of hot sauce Sriraja Panich, which Eastland distributes, is the original "Sriracha sauce" and was created in Si Racha, Thailand, in the 1930s from the recipe of a housewife named Thanom Chakkapak.
In the United States, Sriracha is associated with a sauce produced by Huy Fong Foods[not in citation given] and is sometimes referred to as "rooster sauce" or "cock sauce"  from the image of a rooster on the bottle. Other variations of Sriracha have appeared in the US market, including a Sriracha that is aged in whiskey barrels. The Huy Fong Foods Sriracha was first produced in the early 1980s for dishes served at American phở restaurants.
Various restaurants in the US, including Wendy's, Applebee's, P.F. Chang's, Jack in the Box, McDonald's, Subway, Taco Bell, White Castle, Gordon Biersch, Chick-fil-A, Firehouse Subs, Noodles & Company, Starbucks and Burger King have incorporated Sriracha into their dishes, sometimes mixing it with mayonnaise or into dipping sauces. Blue Diamond, a leading producer of almond products, markets a Sriracha flavor alongside their other flavors. The word "Sriracha" is considered a generic term.
In popular culture
- Lee, Jolie (26 February 2014). "Why do we love Sriracha? Science!". USA Today. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
- "What is sriracha?". Cookthink.com. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
- Moncel, Bethany. "The History and Uses for Sriracha Sauce". The Spruce Eats. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
- Magazine Monitor (December 21, 2013). "Sriracha: How a sauce won over the US". BBC News. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- Shyong, Frank (April 12, 2013). "Sriracha hot sauce purveyor turns up the heat". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
- Khaleeli, Homa (2 October 2014). "Hot right now: how Sriracha has become a must-have sauce". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- Sukpisit, Suthon (2016-01-17). "A Sauce of Inspiration". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- "The Sriracha Tour: A Culinary Journey to Thailand & Vietnam". Zicasso. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
- Thongnoi, Jitsiree (2019-04-28). "Thai Sriracha plays it cool in the US and spices it up in China after realising it can take the heat". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
- "Sriraja Panich; The Taste of the Original". Sriraja Panich. Thaitheparos PLC. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- Nguyen, Andrea (March 4, 2013). "The Original Sriracha". Bon Appétit. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
The Thais also make many versions of [Sriracha] sauce... which tend to be more liquid and pourable than Huy Fong’s. Sriraja Panich has a lovely balance of bright chile heat, delicate sweetness, vinegary tang, and garlicky backnote.
- "Sriracha: How a sauce won over the us". BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Edge, John T. (May 19, 2009). "A Chili Sauce to Crow About". The New York Times. p. D1. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- Usborne, Simon (November 20, 2013). "Sriracha hot sauce: Heated dispute". The Independent. London. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
But like most obsessives, Erskine is fiercely loyal to 'rooster sauce' as some know the brand (in the US it is sometimes also called 'cock sauce').
- Sytsma, Alan (February 2, 2008). "A Rooster's Wake-Up Call". Gourmet. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- Fanous, Angelina (March 6, 2014). "Sriracha Aged in Whiskey Barrels is Better than the Original Sauce". Vice. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- Birdsall, John (March 6, 2014). "A Woman in SF is Barrel-Aging Sriracha, and it's Awesome". Chow. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- "BACON SRIRACHA FRIES". Wendy's. Archived from the original on 29 November 2016. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- "Sriracha Pizza & Wings".
- "Subway's Sriracha Sauce Goes National, And It's Good". Taste. The Huffington Post. November 7, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- "White Castle Introduces New Full-Flavored Sriracha Chicken Sliders" (Press release). White Castle. May 31, 2014. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- Hannan, Caleb (February 21, 2013). "Sriracha Hot Sauce Catches Fire, Yet 'There's Only One Rooster'". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- Harris, Jenn (February 25, 2015). "Taste-testing Taco Bell's new Sriracha Quesarito". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- "Burger King brings the heat with Extra Long Sriracha Cheeseburger". Fox News. October 22, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
- "Bold Sriracha Flavor". Blue Diamond. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
- Anderson, L.V. (2013-12-12), "Sriracha the Movie: Griffin Hammond's documentary about David Tran, reviewed.", Slate, retrieved 2017-12-20
- Media related to Sriracha sauce at Wikimedia Commons