I was a sriracha hot sauce fan before you! Is that what Americans are yelling these days. It seem’s that Huy Fong’s delectable hot sauce, Sriracha, named after a place in Thailand where the hot sauce originated, is the condiment of choice for America – certainly the condiment of the decade. It has it’s own line of clothing, Lay’s potato chips has Sriracha flavored snacks, and the California bottling plant is putting out an enormous amount each day while fielding lawsuits from neighbors who complain about the smell.
Here’s a bottle of the precious which my family bought for me for Father’s Day when we were in America. We hand-carried it back to Malaysia and have been making delights like these Sriracha chicken wings. The ones on the left are mango-sriracha. Yum!
Now you might ask if I live in Malaysia – the region of the world which lives off of chili sauces – why would I have to bring back a bottle of Huy Fong’s sriracha?
Good question. There’s a simple answer: it’s better than any Malaysia or Thai chili sauce, and it has Vietnam to thank. (I know I’m stepping on a few toes here.)
When I first moved to Malaysia in 2006, I happily noticed the grocery aisles loaded with chili sauces – condiment heaven – except for one thing: they were all sweet. Really sweet. Sweet and sweeter. What’s going on? Can’t I find a non-sweet chili sauce?
When I lived in Vietnam, I became used to the myriad of chili sauces which would be made fresh daily by the many different street hawkers. I loved adding the chili to pho, or for dipping fried potato cakes in it. Subtle, spicy, tangy, delicious. Not sweet. Vietnamese chili sauce is, in my estimation, the best in the world because of that.
When I moved to America in 2004, I discovered Huy Fong’s Srirachi in an Asian grocer. I was immediately attracted to it by the Vietnamese writing on the outside. And upon first taste, I knew this was they authentic Vietnamese style chili. The owner of Huy Fong was formerly from Vietnam – of Chinese descent. He captured the essence beautifully and started selling. Look where he is today.
So now I’m a fan from afar. I’ll bring back bottles of it when I get a chance. In the meantime, America, you can be assured that you have the authentic taste – the chili sauce of chili sauces.