Food & Drink

18 top chefs reveal their sneaky sriracha showstoppers

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Chris Sayer
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sriracha showstoppers

Ride your spicy food offerings straight into the god leagues with these Sriracha tips from high-flying, all-knowing Super Chefs

You do know that we almost lost sriracha sauce forever, right? That we could’ve been kissing goodbye to the sweet, zingy, fiery little tinker? Truly terrifying.

Back in 2017, the production of Huy Fong, the famous green-capped red bottle with the massive chicken on it, was under threat thanks to a lot of complicated legal bickering and some chilli harvest equipment hostage taking. Sure, everything got sorted in the end (God Bless rootin’ tootin’ all-American suing culture!). And suuure, The Great 21st Century Sriracha Supply Scare isn’t likely to make it into the school history books but, nonetheless, let’s never forget. The episode should serve to remind you just how much the famous hot sauce hybrid means to you and your dinner plate.

Related: The coolest food holidays in the world (according to top chefs)

With this (always) in mind we asked a slew of top-drawer chefs to reveal their secret sriracha showstoppers - the inventive, surprising and the sorta mad: There’s ice cream. There’s tinned fish. There’s booze. There’s flippin’ prawn cocktail crisps, mate! Cast your eyes down the list, and give your bottle of the good stuff what it deserves…

Prawn Cocktail Crisps 

“For the best ever TV snack, open a big bag of prawn cocktail crisps, and dot Sriracha on each crisp before eating. I first discovered prawn cocktail when I moved to England - they don’t exist in America - I think they’re one of England’s best inventions. When I make Marie Rose sauce for a prawn cocktail, I like it extra spicy, so this is the perfect flavour combination. It’s the ultimate grab-and-go sofa food, as all you need are the crisps and the sauce. Nothing else needed.” - Sandia Chang, co-founder of Bubbledogs and Kitchen Table

Ice Cream

“Last summer, I made a big bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with chunks of watermelon for my kids to eat after a BBQ. One of them knocked the sriracha over without anyone noticing, and it started to drip over the dish. Best accident ever. It was really great! The creamy vanilla works as the perfect foil for the sharp, hot sriracha. Watermelon and chilli are old friends anyway, so I shouldn’t really have been so surprised by it.” - Scott Hallsworth, founder and head chef at Freak Scene

Mussels

“My wife, after a trip to Thailand, introduced me to sriracha and mussels. You stir it into the cooking liquor with fresh coriander and lime juice, and you’re left with a quick but brilliant sauce to toss your fresh shellfish through.” - Ben Tish, culinary director at The Stafford

Sweet Potato 

“I go through phases of putting sriracha on everything at home. One amazing thing I like to do regularly is roast up some sweet potatoes, then crush and mix them with sriracha and hummus or yoghurt. It works so well - you’ve got this amazing balance of sweetness, acidity, spicy and savoury. I use it as side with grilled steak or chicken, and find the addition of meat juices only improves the random mixture. Not sure it’ll ever make it onto the restaurant menu though.”- Steve Groves, head chef at Roux at Parliament Square

Broccoli

“Tenderstem broccoli, cooked on a charcoal BBQ with lime and coriander, then streaked with sriracha. Uh, it’s so so good. The smoky BBQ flavour and the sauce were meant for each other, and the sneaky little kick you get is such a bonus.” - Hus Vedat, head chef as Yosma (who’ll be appearing at Taste of London 13-17 June).

Eggs Royale

“Sriracha in the morning is great. Its salty, tangy and sweet flavour can be really uplifting, especially on a hangover. It’s part of the reason why we have a Sriracha Royale on our menu - smoked salmon, rye soda bread, poached duck egg, greens, and sriracha hollandaise. We added it to the menu a couple of years ago because we wanted to jazz up a hollandaise sauce, and it quickly became a menu staple.” - Nick Balfe, head chef at Salon

Mac & Cheese 

“After a busy morning in our prep kitchen, there’s nothing my team loves more than our staple lunch - a super easy mac and cheese with leftover oyster mushrooms, and topped with lashings of extra hot sriracha! It’s waste-not-want-not power food, and just the thing to get everyone through a long evening service.” - Meriel Armitage, founder of Club Mexicana

Taco Mayo

“Sriracha mayonnaise sounds pretty obvious, but it’s so essential to a true Californian taco experience. Back when we were playing around with fish tacos, we knew we needed a fiery kick to make it right. We blended homemade and fermented sriracha with mayo, added it to some cured trout and raw onion, and a legend was born!” - Remi Williams, chef & co-owner of Smoke & Salt

Hot Nuts 

“I’ve had sriracha since the 80s, eating in the neighbourhood vietnamese restaurants in the States as a kid. For me, it was the go-to for pho. Now, I make amazing spicy and sweet maple-baked nuts, using sriracha for heat. It’s a simple mix of brown sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, salt, pepper, butter and sriracha sauce, and it makes the most addictive Christmas hamper gift. Everyone loves them.” - Bea Vo, founder of Boondocks

Margaritas 

“I love a sriracha chilli margarita, made using grilled lemons to add a little sweetness - a tip I learnt from the one and only Tony Conigliaro. I was at home with friends one evening talking about how amazing this drink was, but I didn’t have any chilli to make them. The closest thing I had in the cupboard was sriracha, so I mixed it with the sweet grilled lemons, reposado tequila and a splash of agave syrup… and it instantly became firm favourite.” - Fin Spiteri, bar manager at Rochelle ICA

DIY Banh Mi

“Like a lot of people, I first came across the ubiquitous squeezy bottle of sriracha in a local Vietnamese restaurant, a long time ago. Then, a little later on I tasted the real-deal-hard-to-find-stuff when working for David Thompson at Nahm restaurant - he had them shipped in at the same cost a good bottle of wine. Worth every penny, though. I love to make my own bastardised banh mi sandwich with it, piling up any leftover grilled meats (think yesterday’s BBQ leftovers), a handful of pickles, sprigs of herbs and a splodge of mayo, then going nuts with the sriracha and slapping it all together in a baguette.” - Andy Oliver, co-founder of som saa

Tuna

“I discovered sriracha on my first trip to Thailand, after I finished cookery school. We put it in every single pad thai! Nowadays I use it at home when I’m using tuna - it gives it a surprisingly great little kick. Try it!” - Angel Zapata Martin, executive chef at Barrafina

Cold Pizza 

“In 2010, my mum told me “Ramael, you’ve got to try this chilli sauce - it’s the best I’ve had” - a huge claim, as she’s Malaysian and uses chilli sauce on everything. She gave me some, but I wasn’t sold on the squeezy bottle so I carried on using Tabasco. It just sat on my shelf for a month, until my Tabasco ran out, and I finally opened it up. I used it a lot, especially on cold pizza. Now I infuse it with blackberry and vinegar, letting it rest for a few weeks before blitzing it up and using it as a ketchup. The balance of fruitiness and vinegar is amazing.” - Ramael Scully, founder of Scully

Scallops

“Fried eggs, avocado and sriracha on toast. I’m a big fan of using sriracha to spice things up at breakfast! You can mix it through the smashed avocado, or just drizzle over the dish. Then, for lunch or dinner, add a bit of sriracha to the pan when cooking scallops. When they’re done, drizzle the spicy cooking oil back over the scallops, and serve in the shell. Add some toasted peanuts and torn coriander, and you’ve got yourself a date-night winner.”- Jimmy Garcia, founder of The BBQ Club

Bloody Mary 

“Oh, it’s got to be my sriracha-spiked Bloody Mary. It’s a tweaked-out and super fast classic recipe that I turn to whenever I’ve got a lazy sunday at home. Put 50ml of vodka, 25ml sriracha, 25ml lime, 15ml Worcestershire sauce and 100ml of tomato juice into a cocktail shaker with ice and give it a hard shake. Pour it all out - ice included - into a highball glass that’s been rimmed with chilli flakes (ideally Japanese shichimi togarashi), and bang a stick of celery in there to garnish.”- Brett Redman, chef and co-founder of Jidori

Buttermilk

“Sriracha was born for my buttermilk dip. I came across this recipe by accident, using up leftovers and cupboard staples, and sriracha turned out to be the secret ingredient to make it the perfect dipping sauce for fried chicken. Bang together 300g of buttermilk, 20g of thai basil, 1 lemongrass stalk, 75g of sriracha, 15g of toasted cumin and one head of roasted garlic, and blitz it in a blender. Pop it next to a tower of fried chicken, and your friends will absolutely love you forever.” - Jeremy Chan, co-founder and head chef at Ikoyi

Bolognese 

“We make our own that’s really similar to sriracha, and I’ve seen my chefs eat the stuff with pretty much anything going. My favourites, however, are with a bacon omelette or on top of scrambled eggs -  I like a little fiery kick to start the day. One thing you have to try though, is adding it your tomato sauce next time you make a Bolognese. Oh boy, it’s banging.” - Sebby Holmes, founder of Farang

Peanut Butter

“We add it to our homemade flatbread, crispy duck, fried egg and creme fraiche dish in the restaurant, and it’s by far the most popular item on the brunch menu. But I have to introduce you to the idea of peanut butter and sriracha - a surprising mix, but they work so well. Imagine a fiery take on PB&J, and a mix that, I have discovered, makes awesome fritters.” - Ian MacIntosh, co-founder of The Black Hamberg and Heirloom

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