Gotcha Sriracha? Homemade Hot Sauce
About three years ago, I decided to change my life around by adopting a progressively healthier eating and exercising regimen. The experience has been awesome as I’ve focused on taking baby-steps in order to make sure all the lifestyle changes become permanent. As of today, I am back to my proper weight, having lost approximately 30 pounds – weight which I’ve now kept off for the last two years.
The journey hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure. Out of all the obstacles and there were many, one in particular proved immensely difficult to overcome: My love of condiments.
Gosh, do I like sauces. So much so that I refer to myself as a “sauce guy”.
I could guzzle down pretty much any type of condiment except for mustard, which I’m not a fan of (ironic since mustard contains almost no calories). It doesn’t matter the food – eggs, chicken, pasta, you name it – I enjoy slathering it with a tasty sauce. But since sauces can add hundreds of calories per day to one’s diet, and since the added sugar in sauces is quite bad for you, I decided I had to break free.
In my dash for freedom, I decided to hitch a ride on the ‘hot sauce train’, seeing as hot sauces are usually low in calories and have little in the way of sugar (and they’re not mustard). I fell in love with Sriracha sauce, which I’m sure many of you have tried or at least heard of. Sriracha sauce is fantastically, awesomely tasty, hitting all the right notes of heat, spice, vinegar, garlic and a touch of sweetness.
Unfortunately though, underneath all that awesomeness lies a health monster. Sriracha sauce is laced with sulfite preservatives, which have recently been questioned in relation to chronic bodily inflammation, asthma and a host of other issues. So for me, in my attempt to get healthier, this hot-sauce freedom-train had gone off the rails.
That is until I came across this recipe for homemade Sriracha-style hot sauce.
It’s not exactly the same as store-bought Sriracha but where it comes up short, it gains in overall freshness of flavours, an absence of artificial preservatives and, if you’re interested, it’s paleo-diet friendly (if you use honey instead of sugar). Over the past few months, I’ve eaten tons of it, enjoying it so much that I feel I really should pass-on the recipe.
- 1/2 pound red chilies (I use the red hot finger peppers but feel free to experiment)
- 4-6 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons liquid honey
- sealable container
- fine-mesh kitchen strainer
1. Dice the garlic and peppers, place all the ingredients in a sealable container and give them a stir.
WARNING: Wear plastic gloves or at the very least, only handle the pepper with your non-dominant hand. The chemicals from the peppers can burn your skin and eyes (I found this out while removing my contacts at the end of the night!)
2. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 24-hours. Feel free to stir the mixture a few times to keep all the peppers soaking.
3. Pour the contents of the bowl into a pot and bring to a boil.
4. Stir in the honey, reduce heat and simmer for 5-minutes.
5. Remove from heat and let stand until room temperature.
6. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend for at least 5-minutes. The length of time is key, as the mixture goes from quite runny to a thick, smooth sauce the longer it is left to blend.
7. Smush the mixture through the strainer and into a sterilized jar. The strainer removes the fibrous seed husks.
8. Refrigerate. The hot sauce stays good for about a month. Enjoy!
If you try any other types of peppers, feel free to share it in the comments section. I’ve already tried Thai chilies myself and found the sauce much too hot and chemically tasting.