If you like spicy food, you’ll love Sriracha. This hot sauce is said to have originated in the Thai port town of Si Racha. Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods called it one of the top food trends of 2013, and it has continued trending since.
The blend of chilli peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar and salt is considered mild. Scoring 1,000 to 2,500 units on the Scoville scale, it is approachable for most.
In the US, the past 20 years have seen the “Rooster Sauce” by US-based Huy Fong Foods gain a cult following, with its myriad inventive applications. Its popularity skyrocketed after it was introduced at New York’s trendy Momofuku Noodle Bar. British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has also used it to add a spicy spin to mellow fare like sushi bowls.
Use it: Ratchet up the taste of noodles, tacos, pho and even sushi
While Southeast Asia and America swear by its sriracha sauce, North Africa and the Middle East have harissa paste. A basic blend is made up of dried serrano chillies, garlic, fresh coriander, caraway seeds, salt and olive oil for a different flavour and heat. Its taste is complex yet versatile enough for use in spicy food as a meat rub, a base for stews and sauce, or dressing for salads.
A favourite at Granger & Co. is the breakfast buckwheat bowl. It features rose harissa, where the addition of rose petals tempers traditional harissa’s spicy kick. Sample it at the restaurant chain’s latest addition in London. Alternatively, head to Bills, their original outfits in Sydney, Australia.
Use it: Fire up a salad, stew or just plain bread with some garlicky harissa paste