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As a longtime devotee of the hot chili sauce, Sriracha, like many I was concerned after learning Huy Fong Foods, its producer, has temporarily suspended production due to a chili pepper shortage. The suspension is expected to last until after Labor Day. Add potential shipping delays in these strange times, and you have a hot mess. This shortage affects many foodservice businesses that regularly use Sriracha and many retailers who have seen the sauce flying off the shelves.

The problem stems from ongoing drought conditions where the peppers are sourced in Mexico, California, and New Mexico. In an April 19 written statement to its valued customers, California-based Huy Fong Foods shared this: “Currently, due to weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers, we now face a more severe shortage of chili. Unfortunately, this is out of our control and without this essential ingredient, we are unable to produce any of our products (Chili Garlic, Sambal Oelek, and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce). Therefore, all orders submitted on or after April 19, 2022, will be scheduled AFTER Labor Day (September 6, 2022) in the order it was received.”

Created in 1980 by Chinese- Vietnamese immigrant, David Tran, Sriracha was inspired by a Thai chili paste used as a condiment for noodle soups from the coastal town of Si Racha in Thailand. The original recipe calls for chilis, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic.  Over time, Sriracha achieved a huge following in the United States as a spicy alternative to ketchup. In 2019 annual revenues reached $150 million. Learn more about this brand’s back story by reading this article on Thrillist: Origins of Sriracha: What’s the History Behind the Sauce? – Thrillist

For anyone squeezing the last drops from their Sriracha bottle and waiting for a restock, here are some options:

Photo: Tabasco® Brands

TABASCO® Brand Sriracha Sauce | Hot Sauce is made with a base of TABASCO® Brand Pepper Sauce (distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt) mixed with red japaleño chili peppers, water, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled vinegar, and xanthum gum for thickening. Serving size: one teaspoon: 5 calories, 170 mg sodium, and 1 gram sugar. Gluten-free, Non-GMO, and Kosher-certified.

Sriracha Chili Sauce | Lee Kum Kee Professional US | USA (lkk.com) This version contains anchovies which adds some savory fish tang. Ingredients: red chilis, sugar, garlic, anchovy extract, acetic acid and ascorbic acid. One teaspoon contains 10 calories, 190 mg of sodium and 1 gram of sugar. Gluten free.

McCormick® For Chefs Culinary Sriracha Seasoning is a dry spice that offers the same piquant flavors with a shake of the hand to add heat to meat, kick up a sauce, soup, spread or salad and give spicy zip to a cocktail. Ingredients: paprika, Sugar, Salt, Garlic, Citric Acid, Corn Maltodextrin, Cayenne Pepper sauce (Salt, Aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Vinegar, Garlic), Extractives of Paprika, Calcium Silicate & Silicon Dioxide Natural Flavor, & Vinegar Solids. Serving: ¼ teaspoon. Calories: 0. Sodium: 75 mg. No msg. Gluten free.

Here is a recipe using this Sriracha seasoning from McCormick®

Sriracha Aioli

This recipe adds spice to aoli, a garlicky mayonnaise.

Serves one quart

Ingredients:

3 egg yolks

¾ cup fresh lime juice

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

1/3 cup yellow onion, rough chopped

3 tablespoons McCormick® Culinary Sriracha Seasoning

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon lime zest

3 cups canola oil, as needed, until thickened

Kosher salt, as needed

Preparation:

In a blender, combine yolks, lime juice, cilantro, onion sriracha seasoning, garlic, and lime zest. Blend on high until smooth.

With blender running, stream in oil slowly until mixture reaches mayonnaise consistency. Remove from blender. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate for service. Allow flavors to bloom for at least 15 minutes before serving.

McCormick® Sriracha Aioli
Photo: McCormick® For Chefs

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An engaging speaker and writer, Melanie Young hosts the weekly national radio shows, The Connected Table Live, featuring conversations with global thought leaders in wine, food, spirits and hospitality (a Feedspot Top 10 Food & Drink Podcasts for 2021), and Fearless Fabulous You, a lifestyle show for and about women (both on iHeart and more than 30 other podcast platforms). Young has contributed articles on wine, spirits, food, and culinary travel to Wine Enthusiast, Seven Fifty Daily, Wine4Food and Jewish Week. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Wine Media Guild, and Women of the Vine & Spirits. Young’s former marketing and events agency, M Young Communications, worked with global wine, food organizations, publishing companies and nonprofits. She had an integral role in the creation, launch and management of The James Beard Foundation Awards, New York Restaurant Week, and Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund (2001) which raised funds to provide for the families of restaurant workers killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks. www.theconnectedtable.com www.melanieyoung.com Instagram @theconnectedtable

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