This Homemade Sriracha Was Food52's First-Ever ‘Viral’ Recipe

This Homemade Sriracha Was Food52's First-Ever ‘Viral’ Recipe

Sometimes you know a viral recipe when you see one—and back in 2010, one was dangled before our eyes. We ran a recipe contest with the theme, “Your Best Condiment,” and Edamame2003, from Pacific Palisades in California, entered a recipe for Fresh Sriracha (aka Homemade “Rooster”).

By 2010, Sriracha had begun to challenge the Cholulas and other hot sauces in the American market. You started to see it more and more on restaurant tables, in your friends’ fridges, and on the shelf at the grocery store. As Edamame2003 wrote in their headnote, “It’s so popular that The New York Times has written about it and the ‘Rooster’ has a Facebook page with over 220,000 fans.” Sriracha comes from Thailand, but the ubiquitous green-topped bottled Sriracha is made by Huy Fong Foods, a company in California started by David Tran, who immigrated from Vietnam.

It wasn’t quite peak Sriracha, but you could feel it getting there. I’d never seen a recipe for it, which felt like a new twist, an element that helps a food concept gain traction.

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Kristen Miglore, our founding editor, said I was “emphatic we should test it because it had potential to go viral—and it totally did! Which meant at the time that it got a lot of traffic that was further boosted by features on our partners like Yahoo and HuffPo.” I don’t remember jumping on top of a desk, shouting about Sriracha’s potential traffic spike for our site, but maybe I did. I was younger then.

The recipe requires little more than a knife and a blender. You combine chopped Fresno peppers with some salt, garlic, and vinegar in a jar, then let this mixture sit overnight to mellow the heat in the peppers. The next day, you simmer the pepper mixture with palm sugar for a few minutes, puree it and strain it, and then you can start dousing it on salt-and-pepper pork to your heart’s delight!

Merrill, my co-founder, and I tested the recipe and wrote up our notes: “Warning: Once you make edamame2003’s version, you may never be able to go back to commercial Sriracha again. The vibrant color and piquancy of the fresh Fresno peppers, combined with plenty of garlic and a boost of vinegar, make for a zippy, versatile condiment that would be great with anything from banh mi to scrambled eggs.” And with a Sriracha shortage this year, the timing couldn’t be better to make your own.

Have you tried making this homemade Sriracha recipe? Tell us in the comments below!

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I’ve written several books, including “Cooking for Mr. Latte” and “The Essential New York Times Cookbook.” I played myself in “Julie & Julia” — hope you didn’t blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

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