Mad Fresh Sriracha 

This image courtesy of Randy Mayor

Admittedly, this is not an iteration of the original Sriraja, a sweet, barely viscous chili sauce from the coastal town of Si Racha, Thailand.  That sauce is properly pronounced "SEE-RAH-JAH," and, well this isn't that.  This is a knockoff of the knockoff from California.  And one wonders why the California company borrowed the term Sriracha, as it's a dramatically different condiment, with a much more Punk Rock flavor profile. This Cooking Light interpretation isn't elegant, smooth, or nuanced either.  It's an in-your-face culinary compound that begs to be played until the strings snap. Use it in soups, pasta, burgers, pizzas, wherever you like to add some spice.

Serves:8 (serving size: 2 tablespoons) 



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

Occasiongame day

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturegarlicky, spiced, tangy

Type of DishCondiments


  • 2 cups red chiles: Fresno, serrano, andor jalapenio, in any ratio, seeded and split (It's chile sauce.)
  • 12 cup (about 10 peeled) garlic cloves (We're nodding to both iterations of Sriracha, and they both have garlic. Without the garlic, it's just another hot sauce.)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (The Sweetness is a signature of both Srirachas. Oddly, the U.S. version is actually less sugar-forward.)
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt (To balance. This is a sauce for savories.)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar (The acid is what ties all of these flavors together. White vinegar provides straightforward, mid-tone, neurtral acid. We want to highlight the chiles. This does that.
  • 1/4 cup hot water (Because a half cup of vinegar would make the sauce too strong.)
  • 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (Just enough to keep the sauce from separating in the fridge.)


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the chiles, garlic cloves, sugar, salt, and white vinegar. Cover and heat gently, as if to steep, on very low heat for 30 minutes.

  2. Combine 1?4 cup hot water and the xanthan gum in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add the xanthan mixture to the chile mixture. Return to the heat and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Boil 1 minute.

  3. Transfer the mixture to a blender (removing the center piece of the lid, and covering the opening with a towel—so you don’t injure yourself or those anywhere near you) or food processor (using a towel to cover the opening is also likely a wise idea) and blend until silky smooth, adding a touch more hot water if necessary.

  4. Store in an airtight container, chilled. It rarely lasts longer than a few days in my fridge, but it will stay fresh-tasting for a week to ten days as long as you keep it sealed well.


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