The sweet and spicy blend of red chiles, garlic, sugar, salt and vinegar is named after the seaside town of Sriracha (SIR-rotch-ah), Thailand, where a thicker version is often served with freshly caught seafood. The sauce's popularity has soared in the United States recently -- Sriracha has made the jump from the condiment caddy at Asian restaurants to home kitchen counters everywhere.
Not surprisingly, Sriracha is a great way to add kick to Asian dishes like stir-fries or ramen. A little Sriracha enlivens hot dogs, hamburgers, marinara sauce or scrambled eggs. Squirt into mayonnaise or ketchup to make a fiery dipping sauce for french fries. It's great on sandwiches like falafel or mixed into tuna or chicken salad. Or, take it back to its roots and serve it with shrimp or firm-fleshed fish such as cod.
Look for Sriracha in Asian markets or the international aisle of your grocery store.
Everyday Food magazine offers quick, healthy solutions for everyday meals -- from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living.
Shrimp pot stickers with Sriracha-ginger dipping sauce
Freeze uncooked dumplings in a single layer, then store in freezer bags, up to 3 months.
For the dipping sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
5 tablespoons white vinegar
4 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Scallion greens (optional), for garnish
For the pot stickers:
2 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium carrot, diced medium
1 large egg white
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
36 wonton wrappers
Nonstick cooking spray
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha, sugar, ginger and sesame oil; set dipping sauce aside. Make pot stickers: In a food processor, process scallions, carrot, egg white and half the shrimp until a paste forms. Transfer to a medium bowl. Roughly chop remaining shrimp and add to bowl. Stir in 3 tablespoons dipping sauce.
2. Working with one wonton wrapper at a time, place 1 tablespoon shrimp mixture in center. With a wet finger, moisten edge of wrapper, then fold over filling and press to seal. Cover filled dumplings with a kitchen towel while you work.
3. Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over high. In batches, cook dumplings until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute to 2 minutes per side. Carefully add 1/2 cup water to skillet, cover and cook until water has almost evaporated and dumplings are tender, about 3 minutes. Uncover and cook until remaining water evaporates (reduce heat to medium if dumplings are over-browning). Transfer pot stickers to a plate. Wipe skillet clean between batches. Add scallion greens to dipping sauce if desired and serve alongside pot stickers.
Nutritional information per serving: 198 calories, 4 grams fat (no saturated fat), 25 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams protein, 2 grams fiber, 18 percent of calories from fat.
Sriracha marinara and meatballs
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground white-meat turkey
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/3 cup plain dried bread crumbs
2 large egg whites
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
For the sauce:
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
1 pound spaghetti or other long pasta
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped, for serving
1. Heat broiler with rack in top position. Place pork, turkey, spinach, bread crumbs, egg whites, oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. With your hands, mix to combine; roll into forty 1-inch meatballs. Arrange meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Broil until golden brown, about 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.
2. In a large, heavy pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and Sriracha and bring to a simmer. Add meatballs and simmer 10 minutes. (To store, let cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.)
3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain pasta, add to pot with sauce and meatballs, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Nutritional information per serving: 520 calories, 13 grams fat (4 grams saturated fat), 65 grams carbohydrates, 40 grams protein, 8 grams fiber, 23 percent of calories from fat.
In a glass baking dish, whisk together 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon white vinegar, 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger and 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil. Add 1 1/2 pounds chicken wings, cut in half at joint (wing tips removed), or drumsticks, and toss to coat. Marinate 30 minutes, tossing halfway through. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bake until chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens, about 30 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through.
Nutritional information per serving: 360 calories, 16 grams fat (4 grams saturated fat), 4 grams carbohydrates, 47 grams protein, no fiber, 40 percent of calories from fat.