Watch out Tabasco, there’s a new hot sauce in town. If you haven’t noticed, the sweet, spicy sauce known as Sriracha is quickly becoming a kitchen staple, showing up where you least expect it. We’ve all had (or at least heard of) adding Sriracha to your ramen, pho noodles, stir-fries and BBQ wings, but chefs and restaurants are using it to spice up everything from pickles to eggs these days. And we mean everything. Sriracha-spiced popcorn anyone? How about a Sriracha-spiked cocktail? Momofuku Ssam Bar’s got a terrific bourbon-based Mango Sriracha libation.
Just what is Sriracha? Simply speaking, it’s that fire engine red sauce you see in plastic squeeze bottles with the distinctive, rooster logo and a green cap. A blend of sun-dried red chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, salt, and sugar, it’s thicker, tangier and notably sweeter than your typical Tabasco, which may be why chefs are inspired to use it every which way, including in Mac & Cheese, Deviled Eggs, Salad Dressing and even Hot Chocolate.
We’ve discovered several Sriracha-spiked dishes lately — from Go Burger’s Sriracha milkshake to the Mango Sriracha cocktail at Momofuku’s Ssäm Bar. It may still be summer, but we certainly aren’t scared of a little added heat. One of our favorite finds is the most unexpected. While most restaurants pair their oysters with a little lemon, cocktail sauce, and straight up mignonette, Respite changes things up by offering Chilled Oysters with a Southeast Asian inspired Sriracha Mignonette, all on a bed of basil caviar alongside mango sorbet. And if you love hot wings as much as we do, you’ll go crazy for the Sriracha Wings from Big D’s Grub Truck. This Korean food truck’s wings come lightly battered and fried with all the crispiness and grease we’ve come to expect from good wings, plus the subtly sweet and spicy tang of Sriracha. (But they’re only available as a special, so check out Big D’s Twitter feed(@bigdsgrub) before staking out a truck near you.)
The last place you might think to find this hot sauce is at Austrian-bent Schnitzel & Things, where traditional cutlets are pounded thin, coated in breadcrumbs, fried to order, and served with a lemon wedge and potatoes with butter and parsley. This is a variety of fast food that doesn’t get enough attention, especially when your Schnitzel comes with a side of Sriracha Mayonnaise. Whether you’re ordering from their truck or waiting in line at their “casual fast food” restaurant, the schnitzel options range from cod, pork, chicken, veal, eggplant, or even burger patties… all available with Sriracha mayonnaise of course. Then, there’s Jean Georges’s inspired Rice Cracker-Encrusted Tuna with Sriracha-Citrus Emulsion at Perry Street. Jean-Georges has touted Sriracha’s merits for years, so it comes as no surprise to find it on his menu where he uses the trademark hot sauce to add heat without overpowering the tuna. The result is a thick, creamy and perfectly balanced aioli with the perfect blend of acidity from the citrus and spice from the Sriracha. We can’t talk about Sriracha without mentioning the breed of pickles we’re noticing around town, including the Sriracha-Habanero Pickles at Rick’s Picks. Brined in the hot sauce, these pickles will satisfy your hankering for heat with each salty, spicy crunch. Next time you go to the movies, you might want to bring a little Sriracha Popcorn. Salty, spicy, and sweet all come together in this delicious, new take on popcorn.
Enough eating because you can drink your Sriracha, too. Strawberries, graham cracker crumbs, and ice cream… all ingredients you might expect to find in a milkshake. But Sriracha’s a game changer. Enter Go Burger’s Fiery Berry Crumble Milkshake, an inventive blend of Sriracha, vanilla, strawberries, and salty graham cracker crumbs. The resulting taste is cool and hot, smooth and crunchy, sugary and savory all at the same. And though it isn’t always on the menu, anyone can order their sweet-and-spicy shake specialty by request. If you want add alcohol to the mix, try Momofuku Ssäm Bar’s Mango Sriracha Cocktail. Bartenders Chris Harrington and John DeBary spice up this mix of fresh mango puree, lime juice, cane syrup, and bourbon with a potent dash of Sriracha bitters. You may have tried a Michelada — that’s Mexican for beer cocktail — but I bet you’ve never had a Sriracha-lada. Brooklyn Wok Shop makes their version with Pilsner beer, of course, tomato juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, and a salted rim — refreshing, spicy, and savory all in one sip.
There’s a reason people talk about Momofuku Milk Bar and its wickedly talented pastry chef, Christina Tosi.Read More
Perry Street – Rice Cracker-Encrusted Tuna With Sriracha Aioli
Address: 176 Perry St., btwn. Washington & West Sts.
Phone: (212) 352-1900
Momofuku Ssam Bar – Mango Sriracha Cocktail
Address: 207 Second Ave., at 13th St.
Phone: (212) 254-3500
Big D’s Grub Truck – Sriracha Wings
Phone: (646) 543-2443
Respite – Oysters With Sriracha Mignonette
Address: 247 E. 50th St
. btwn 3rd Ave & 2nd Aves.
Phone: (212) 755-2470
Schnitzel & Things – Schnitzel with Sriracha Mayo
Address: 723 3rd Ave., btwn. 45th & 46th Sts.
Phone: (212) 905-0000
Go Burger – Fiery Berry Crumble Milkshake
Address: 1448 2nd Ave., btwn 75th and 76th St. (multiple locations)
Phone: (212) 988-9822
Brooklyn Wok Shop – Sriracha-lada
Address: 182 N. 10th St.
Phone: (347) 889-7992
Rick’s Picks – Sriracha-Habanero Pickles
Address: 195 Chrystie St., btwn Rivington & Delancey Sts.
Phone: (212) 358-0428
J & D Foods – Sriracha Popcorn
Phone: (866) 692-3980