I was recently invited to a “hot foods” party, which is not to be confused with a cold dish supper. Attendees were asked to contribute a spicy dish, either hot or cold. I expected to find chili, various dips, and chocolate-chili dessert combinations, but I wanted to bring something unique. Knowing that our hosts and some of the guests were serious ice cream makers, I decided to contribute a few pints of chocolate cayenne (from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream) as well as an original flavor combination. But what would that flavor be?
After a week of diners that included phá»ŸÂ and Hainan chicken rice, I realized we had almost depleted our bottle of sriracha sauce. That’s when I got the idea to make fresh ginger ice cream with a sriracha swirl. Seeing this recipe for homemade sriacha solidified the concept, which would also let me claim the ice cream was completely homemade.
Huy Fong “rooster” brand sriracha – the version we all know and love – is made from red jalapeÃ±os, which are easily found year-round in California. I had to settle for a pound and a half of red fresno peppers instead.
After snipping off the stems but still leaving the green crowns, I tossed them whole into my food processor, along with six peeled garlic cloves, four tablespoons of light brown sugar, and a tablespoon of kosher salt.
I pulsed the peppers until they were finely chopped, then transferred them to a clean one-quart mason jar. I loosely screwed on a lid and set the jar in a warm place for a few days.
I stirred the peppers every day, and after the third day I noticed bubbles forming near the bottom, a sign of fermentation.
After a few more days, I noticed that the pepper pulp was floating on top of clear red liquid. I continued to stir each day until the level of the peppers in the jar stopped rising. I added the peppers to a blender along with half a cup of white vinegar and purÃ©ed the mixture until it was smooth.
I pushed the purÃ©e through a fine-meshed strainer, making sure to force through as much pulp as possible, leaving only seeds and pith behind.
I brought the purÃ©e to a boil, reduced the heat, and simmered for about ten minutes until it thickened. Although the reducing sauce lends an amazing smell to the kitchen, I advise against inhaling the fumes. I poured the sauce into a pint jar, let it cool, and stored it in the fridge. It has a six-month shelf life, but it never lasts that long at Chez Belm.
My homemade version tasted different than the canonical original. It was brighter and spicier, with a thinner texture. After examining the Huy Fong ingredient list, I see that I can improve the texture with the judicious addition of xanthan gum. I might be able to correct the taste if I can get my hands on some red jalapeÃ±os.
Why bother making the same thing that’s available in a plastic bottle? Because I can.
And what about the ginger-sriracha swirl ice cream? Were you at the party? It killed.
My friend Joe Niedbala brought some homemade sriracha made from fresnos as well as a bunch of different spicy pickles. That sauce was awesome, so fresh and bright
Did he bring them to the hot foods party, or to your place?
You should make the sauce, it’s very easy and low effort.
hot foods, but not until 9pm. I liked your chocolate cayenne. the other was interesting but heading into savoury sauce territory for me
We left around 6 pm, so I’m sure I missed some interesting stuff.
I’m glad you liked the cayenne. The ginger-sriracha was a first attempt, difficult to get the swirl to work.
awesome! I am super-impressed, hope to give this a try.
Let me know how it turns out.
“Because I can.” Brilliant!
Although I’d like to take credit for it, I only noticed the pun because you pointed it out.