What’s a Serrano?
A serrano is a chili pepper originally from Mexico that is similar in shape to a jalapeno pepper, but smaller and hotter. The word sierra is Spanish for mountain, and serrano is a derivation of that word which refers to the mountainous region of Mexico where the chili originated. They can be harvested green, but we prefer to wait until they are fire-engine-red. Read on to learn about how we’ve used these fresh serranos to develop this must-try homemade Sriracha sauce recipe!
Sriracha is a hot sauce made from a fermented chili paste that became a kitchen must-have when David Tan reworked a traditional Thai dipping sauce recipe and mass produced it through his company, Huy Fong Foods out of California. The basic ingredients are a red chili pepper (We’ll use the afore mentioned serrano, which was Tan’s original choice. He uses jalapeños now. A cost saving decision), garlic, light brown sugar, salt and white vinegar. We’ll follow the process described by Joshua Bousel on the Serious Eats website.
Homemade Sriracha Sauce Recipe
Ingredients & Supplies ~
- 2 pounds serranos
- 6-8 cloves of garlic
- 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt, we always use sea salt
- 1/2 cup of organic white vinegar
- Blender or Food Processor
- 1-quart ball jar with plastic lid
- Wooden skewer to stir
The Process ~
- We used a blender to make our starter paste because we have a little 2-person Cuisinart food processor that is too small for this recipe.
- Trim the stems from your serranos, but leave the flat green tops. This will protect your fingers from getting burned by the chilis.
- Place them in your blender or food processor.
- Add garlic, light brown sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon of the vinegar.
- Pulse to begin emulsifying the ingredients, then work your way to a full and liquefying blend. You will have a beautiful red paste with little texture from the seeds.
- Place the paste in your mason jar and cap with the plastic lid. Set in out of direct sunlight, but in a place that you will remember to stir daily. The lid should be a little less than finger tight to allow the ferment to vent.
- Stir daily to ensure no mold growth on top of your paste for 3-5 days. We went 5 to allow for a bit more tanginess in the flavor. The temperature will also impact this decision. A hot summer kitchen will allow this step to be complete within 3 days.
- Pour the paste back into your blender or food processor, add the remaining white vinegar and pulse to liquify. If the paste is thick, add another tablespoon of vinegar and blend.
- Bottle up and refrigerate. Can be used immediately.
This breakfast is 100% locally sourced. Scrambled eggs from our chickens, fermented asparagus and garlic scapes, and virgin Bloody Mary from my kitchen, freshly harvested sunflower shoots, fermented onion from Kat’s Garden. All sits on a beautiful plate from local potter Joy Bridy. Finally, a nice smear of homemade Sriracha on the eggs and a drop in the Bloody Mary to round out the flavor and aesthetics. Yum!
Here at Stony Ridge Farm, hot sauces are a regular condiment on the table for just about every meal. Sriracha is our favorite. Potatoes, scrambled eggs, sweet potatoes, quiches, in our tomato and watermelon salad, mixed into your favorite ketchup to balance out its sweetness, in grilled cheese sandwiches, in your Bloody Mary mix...the sky’s the limit!
Food often tastes too sweet to me. I like to add sriracha to balance out the flavors in my meals and cocktails.