Ah, the little rooster and the wonderful sauce. The most puzzling line in "The Sriracha Cookbook," a sweet little volume -- filled with the most appealing recipes -- appears on the first page: "This book is not associated with or endorsed by California-based Huy Fong Foods, Inc." That's the company that makes Sriracha sauce. Why would they want to disassociate themselves with a book that essentially tells you how to eat their hot sauce for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
Author Randy Clemens tells the origins of the sauce, which is known as "rooster sauce." It was begun by David Tran, who is Chinese, born in Vietnam, and came to this country in 1970s as a refugee. He had been making chili sauce in Vietnam, then fled his homeland on a Taiwanese ship named Huy Fong. His first stop was Hong Kong, then Boston. He eventually went to L.A., where he began the business.
A couple Sriracha tips:
To make divine mayonnaise: mix 2/3 cup mayonnaise with 3 tablespoons Sriracha (or more) and 1 tablespoon lime juice.
To make hot cream cheese: Mix a soft 8-ounce package of cream cheese with 2 tablespoons Sriracha.
A fine recipe:
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup pineapple or orange juice
1/4 cup Sriracha
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon ginger paste or finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sugar
1. In a bowl, combine the peanut butter, lime juice, pineapple or orange juice, Sriracha, garlic, fish sauce, ginger, and sugar.
2. Whisk well.
1 1/2 pounds Napa cabbage, very thinly sliced
1/2 pound red cabbage, very thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into matchsticks
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bunch scallions (white part only) thinly sliced on a diagonal
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Few sprigs fresh Thai basil, leaves chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges (for garnish)
1. In a large bowl, toss the Napa and red cabbages, carrots, bell and jalapeno peppers, scallions, cilantro, mint, salt, and black pepper.
2. Pour the dressing on top and toss again. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with basil and lime. Adapted from "The Sriracha Cookbook"
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ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.