It’s Thai. It’s trendy. It gives your food a tangy kick in the taste buds. And you’ve probably heard about it and seen it on the tables of many New York eateries far and wide these days. Sriracha sauce is indeed all that and a bag of…peppers. But there’s more to this sauce than something you slather on your rice for punch and flavor.
Sriracha the sauce is named for the city of Sri Racha in Thailand and is made of a simple combination of chili pepper, garlic, salt, sugar, and distilled vinegar. This pungent drizzle is most often seen at Asian restaurants and seafood joints, but can also be found in specialty food stores, diverse restaurants, and even in the international section of your local supermarket if you wanted to take home a bottle and use it in your own kitchen. More and more, local culinary folks are bottling their very own like Jojo’s Sriracha, a Brooklyn favorite.
We actually had the chance to speak with Jojo about her Sriracha, “I find Sriracha to be very cleansing. As the seasons change and our bodies begin to adjust, many people get out of balance and end up getting sick. Whenever I’m feeling under the weather, I always crave Pho with tons of Sriracha. It clears my nasal passages, warms my body, and encourages a healthy sweat. It always feels like the right choice.”
So what is it about this hot sauce that is so unique? Well, we’ve always known that peppers carry health benefits-a-plenty. But sriracha, with its various ingredients, carries a lot of positives when you put a dab on your dish. First off, this will not set your palette on fire. Traditional American hot sauces can bring a tear to your eye, while the more subtle kick that Sriracha carries adds flavor without the desire to extinguish the inferno inside your mouth.
The spice it carries is familiar to a lot of people. Jojo mentioned that “since I make my own Sriracha, people also like to tell me their experiences with it. Most of these experiences include eating a large quantity of Sriracha (you know, because it’s delicious and addictive) and then having a, well, “eventful” time on the toilet. When I first started hearing this, I was a little worried. But now I get it – Sriracha is powerful stuff and can elicit strong reactions from our bodies. This can also serve as a message from our bodies about how it’s feeling and how we can better take care of ourselves.”
Ingredient by ingredient, this sauce could be everything your meal and your body needs and more. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that packs both a lot of heat and healing power. This is why it is used topically to treat conditions like arthritis or muscle pain. But peppers, when consumed, can also aid in treating conditions like prostate and lung cancer and can thin the mucous secretions in some respiratory conditions. For more information on the healing powers of peppers, head here!
It won’t be long before winter arrives, and with it comes the threat of a cold or flu. If your sinuses are suffering, whether you’re on the tail end of a cold or are feeling one come on, chili-rich foods like this Baked Salmon with Sriracha, Honey, and Lime Glaze recipe from Jill Blakeway will add healing powers to your diet. Salmon, with its anti-inflammatory qualities packed with Omega-3s is an ideal match for the heat of sriracha. And any foods that add a little heat and sweat to your brow can only help to chase the cold away faster than you can say “achoo.”
Sriracha, Honey, and Lime Glazed Baked Salmon
- 1 1/4 lb salmon cut into 4 filets
- 3 tbsp sriracha
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- A pinch salt
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- Rinse the salmon gently under cold running water, drain off excess water and dry with a paper towel. Place salmon in a glass or non-reactive container.
- To make the marinade mix together the sriracha, honey, and lime. Add a pinch of salt.
- Pour the marinade over the salmon and put it in the fridge for 1 – 2 hours. If you’re short on time you can skip this step and just use the marinade as a glaze.
- Preheat the oven to 425° F and transfer the salmon to a baking tray.
- Bake the salmon until it’s done to your liking. We like ours to be just cooked through and that usually takes about 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.
- We like to serve ours on a bed of rice with either a crisp salad or some wilted greens on the side. Delicious!