Paleo Sriracha recipes

recipe image

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Question: Who doesn’t love sriracha?

Answer: People who haven’t tried it yet.

But I know you. You’re a sriracha connoisseur. The first time you spied it on the table at your favorite Vietnamese joint and squirted some onto your spoonful of phở, you were hooked. You squealed when you spotted little squeeze packets of sriracha at the food truck near your office. You sought out the rooster-emblazoned bottle with the green top at Asian supermarkets. You stockpiled the stuff in your pantry and ate the spicy, umami-packed condiment with, well, everything.

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

You even got yourself a T-shirt with the Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce logo on it. Also? A matching iPhone case and tattoo. And why not? Sriracha’s been called The World’s Greatest Condiment and The Most Amazing Condiment on the Planet and “a delicious blessing flavored with the incandescent glow of a thousand dying suns” – and you know that’s no hyperbole. Sriracha is magic.

But then you went Paleo. And for the first time, you read the ingredients on your store-bought squeeze bottle of sriracha. You saw that it contains stuff you don’t recognize, like potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfite, and xantham gum. And it felt like someone let all the air out of your balloon.

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

You couldn’t bear to toss out your sriracha. But you ate it less frequently. And when you did, you felt a gnawing guilt about ingesting all those chemical preservatives. Every time you passed by your pantry, you eyed that bright orange bottle with longing – until the little voice in your head whispered: “Faileo.”

Yeah, after some furious Googling, you found a detailed recipe on the Internet for D.I.Y. sriracha – but it calls for a week of fermentation and daily stirring. And sadly, patience isn’t one of your virtues. You want sriracha today. Sad face.

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

I know how you feel. I felt the same way…until now.

For a while, Henry and I have been testing and re-testing various ways to make a quick, real-ingredients-only version of the world-famous “Rooster Sauce.” There were plenty of challenges: Getting the right balance of spice, tang, and sweetness. Mastering the texture. Achieving a deep, rich, satisfying umami without a week of fermentation. Not rubbing capsaicin into our eyes.

After tinkering with the formula for months, we knew we were close to unlocking the ancient Asian secret of sriracha. (Actually, what we all think of as “sriracha” – the Huy Fong version – is an Asian-American concoction. Just like modern ketchup, it was first made in the U.S.A. by Vietnamese immigrant David Tran. And it’s not all that ancient, either, having been birthed in the 1980s.)

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

After a long shift at the hospital yesterday, I came home with a bag of fresh red jalapeños, and decided to stay up until the code was cracked. Henry and I rolled up our sleeves, and soon enough, we captured lightning in a (squeeze) bottle.

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

That’s right: In our hands is the Holy Grail of Condiments: Paleo Sriracha.

Want the recipe? Well, I’ve decided to offer it only in my iPad cookbook app.

KIDDING! Really – stop screaming at your computer screen, and check out the recipe after the jump. (Though if you own an iPad and have more than five bucks in the bank but still haven’t bought my app, I have a bone to pick with you, buster.)

Ready?

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

This recipe’ll take just 20 minutes of your time!

Makes 2¼ cups

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds fresh red jalapeño of Fresno peppers, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Paleo-friendly fish sauce (Red Boat!)
  • 1½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

This sriracha ain’t just Paleo-friendly – it’s also super-fast. Huy Fong Sriracha is fermented to boost the umami in the fiery red sauce, but I found a way around the weeklong waiting period. I simply added the umami myself, in the form of tomato paste and fish sauce.

Here’s what you do:

First, prep your veggies. (Pro tip: Use gloves when handling the peppers to avoid burning your hands and eyes. I learned the hard way. Argh!)

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

I’ve found that removing the seeds and most of the ribs from the jalapeno peppers produces a sauce of moderate heat, which is my personal preference. If you like to breathe fire and have a Teflon gastrointestinal tract (hello, Charles Mayfield), feel free to keep the ribs and seeds, and/or use hotter peppers (like serranos or even Lumbre peppers).

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Throw everything into a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) or a turbocharged food processor.

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

A regular food processor will also work – but you’ll want to cut the peppers and garlic into smaller pieces, and blitz the ingredients longer. Otherwise, your sauce may end up on the chunky side. We tested a batch using a weak little mini-prep, and the resulting sriracha was noticeably thicker (but still insanely flavorful).

Purée until smooth.

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Don’t worry about the froth on top – it’ll cook off later.

Pour the purée into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

As soon as it boils, reduce the heat to low and maintain a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

By cooking the sauce, we concentrate and deepen the flavors, and cut the sharpness of the raw garlic.

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Once the foam subsides, the sauce should be a vibrant red color, and you shouldn’t be able to detect any raw vegetable smell.

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Taste and adjust for seasoning if necessary.

The sriracha will keep for about a week in the fridge in a sealed container. I love to freeze mine in these silicone ice cube trays because they’ll last for  few months and I can pop a cube out whenever I need some spicy goodness.

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Behold: Paleo Sriracha!

Check out my Periscope video that shows you how I make this sauce in my own kitchen!

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

I like to keep some ready to go in squeeze bottles, too. You never know when you need a squirt of the stuff, am I right?

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Sriracha makes everything taste exponentially better – from eggs and burgers to Asian stir-fries and steaming bowls of phở (like the Paleo version in my iPad app!). It may be sacrilege to say this, but sriracha can even punch up your Thanksgiving turkey.

And once you have a big batch of sriracha on hand, you’ll be tempted to incorporate it into everything you make – like Paleo Sriracha Mayo…

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

…and Lazy Devils…

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

…and Spicy Coconut Shrimp.

Paleo Sriracha by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com

Okay – your turn! Give this recipe a try and let me know what you squirted it on, por favor!


P.S.: This sriracha does contain a bit of honey – the mild sweetness is key to the sriracha-ness of sriracha, and trust me: subbing in dates and other fruit doesn’t produce the right flavor profile. So if you’re doing a Whole30® or a 21 Day Sugar Detox, you’ll have to wait a little while longer before enjoying The World’s Greatest Condiment again.

P.P.S.: Feel free to share a link to this recipe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, or your own blog. I love it when people are excited about my food – that’s why I do this, after all! Just give attribution with a link back to Nom Nom Paleo, and please don’t out-and-out reprint (i.e., cut and paste) my recipe and photos without permission, okay? Thanks, peeps!

P.P.P.S.: Hello, BuzzFeed readers! Welcome to my cave – and if you’re interested in learning more about the Paleo approach to eating, click here!

[UPDATED: I now have a Whole30® Sriracha recipe for those of you on a month-long nutritional reset!]


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!


 PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Paleo Sriracha

You can make this Paleo Sriracha in only 20 minutes! It’s just as tasty as the stuff you buy at the store, but without the junk!

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time20 mins

Course: Condiment

Cuisine: Asian, Gluten-free, Paleo, Primal, Sauce

Servings: 2 cups

Author: Michelle Tam

Ingredients

  • pounds fresh red jalapeño or Fresno peppers stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Paleo-friendly fish sauce Red Boat!
  • teaspoons Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt

Instructions

  • First, prep your peppers. I’ve found that removing the seeds and most of the ribs from the jalapeno peppers produces a sauce of moderate heat, which is my personal preference. If you like to breathe fire and have a Teflon gastrointestinal tract, feel free to keep the ribs and seeds, and/or use hotter peppers (like serranos or even Lumbre peppers).

  • Throw everything into a high-speed blender (like a

    Vitamix

    ) or a

    turbocharged food processor

    . Purée until smooth.

  • Pour the purée into a

    medium saucepan

    and bring to a boil over high heat.

  • As soon as it boils, reduce the heat to low and maintain a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. By cooking the sauce, we concentrate and deepen the flavors, and cut the sharpness of the raw garlic.

  • Once the foam subsides, the sauce should be a vibrant red color, and you shouldn’t be able to detect any raw vegetable smell.

  • Taste and adjust for seasoning if necessary.

  • Transfer the sriracha to a jar (or three) and allow the sauce to cool. You can keep it in the fridge for up to a week. I love to freeze mine in

    these silicone ice cube trays

    because they’ll last for  few months and I can pop a cube out whenever I need some spicy goodness.

Notes

  • Pro tip: Use gloves when handling the peppers to avoid burning your hands and eyes.
  • If you don’t have a high speed blender or food processor, you can blend the sauce again after you cook it to make it smoother.

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