BOOK’S FOODIE: Thai And True Sarachee Hot Sauce (review)

 photo ThaiTrueSarachee_label_zpsa5348c3b.jpg Thai And True are a company based out of Portland, Oregon that I found out a few years ago in Portland at the Whole Foods on SE Sandy Boulevard. At the time I was looking for different sauces unrelated to hot sauces and this was within the local section. I liked the fact that their brand of sriracha is called “Sarachee”, very clever. However, for a 9 ounce bottle that looks like something you’d expect to see ketchup in, I felt at the time that it was a bit too pricey ($7) for me to get. Yeah, I know, “$7 is pricey?” but when you’re watching money, you have to be careful. With that said, I did notice that Thai And True also made curry pastes and I bought the yellow paste instead. The next time I returned to Portland, I bought the red paste, always eyeing the Sarachee. As I started getting more interested in hot sauces, I always had the Sarachee in mind so when I returned this past February, I knew I had to buy it, and I did.

Another Portland hot sauce that is available in a similar styled plastic bottle is Secret Aardvark, which I haven’t had in a few years yet but will get some when I’m back in Portland again. I know some hot sauce folks tend to prefer the sauces to be stored in glass bottles over plastic, and while it wasn’t much of an issue, I had never tried the Sarachee before and I wasn’t going to put it back on the racks just because. Upon getting home, I tried a tablespoon of and Thai And True Sarachee definitely has a sriracha-style flavor and aroma to it, but not to where it comes off as a copy cat. It doesn’t say it on the label, but the company’s website states the Sarachee sauce is “GMO-free, gluten-free and vegan”. Ingredients are listed as “chili sauce (chili peppers, water, sugar, garlic, salt, vinegar), habanero puree, water, organic cane sugar, 100% freshly squeezed lime juice, vinegar, sea salt, garlic, and rice bran oil. With the habanero sauces I have been trying as of late, I looked forward to getting into this, even though I also knew it was a sriracha. Upon first taste, the heat is there and lingers quite nicely. I immediately wanted to try it with something so I placed some on a tortilla chip and it complimented it nicely. As I started trying it out on different foods, I also noticed that I started to single it out for the habaneros and subtle sweetness. The more I tried it, the more I found myself tasting it without the need for it being a sriracha, even though that taste is still there too. I think by doing so, you may find yourself wanting to try this on other dishes that you might not have thought of otherwise. Whatever dishes you regularly use your favorite sriracha sauces on, you’re going to find Thai And True’s version quite amazing. If the company made bigger bottles, I’d want to pick up a box. Everyone who likes sriracha will have their personal favorites, but this will definitely become mine.

(To find out more about Sarachee hot sauce, head to the Thai And True home page, where you’re able to order via PayPal. You may also order through below.)

(NOTE: This review comes unsolicited, I paid for this sauce and wrote this review without compensation.)


BOOK’S FOODIE: Sriracha (from PBS Food Buzz)

Sriracha is a good hot sauce but is it the world’s best hot sauce, specifically the one made by Huy Fong? I like it but I don’t think it’s the best, and Huy Fong definitely don’t make the best variety of sriracha? However, PBS Food Buzz thinks it’s the bee’s knees, or the pepper’s knees or whatever pepper’s have, and you can have a look at how the hot sauce has become a national and international sensation.

BOOK’S FOODIE: Shark Brand sriracha (hot sauce review)

 photo SharkBrandSriracha_bottle_zpsab4f28dc.jpg People have been going crazy over Sriracha sauce or more specifically, Huy Fong Sriracha sauce, the one with the sacred green cap. In the days when Giant Robot was a publication, there was an article on how there were bootleg Sriracha’s, each with a different colored cap so you could tell the difference between makers, flavors, consistency… it was a way to let you know you were not buying Huy Fong. They were not “Huy Fong” by name so that was a dead giveaway, but it showed two things:

1) people wanted a different variation
2) people didn’t care they were having a variation

Yet once Huy Fong dominance grew, people realized they liked not only the knock-offs, but the other variations on the market. Years ago I was in Portland and saw a brand by Thai True that sold “Sarachee Sauce”. I finally bought a bottle last month and I like it a lot (review forthcoming). I also know Trader Joe’s have their own sriracha sauce, I obtained that two weeks ago and I’ll open the bottle very soon. Go online and look for sriracha variations and there are chili sauce fans galore. One brand was favored by some was one from Thailand called Shark Brand, whose logo is just a painting of a swimming shark. Some said this was better than the Huy Fong, so I headed to my favorite Asian store in town, found it but buyer warning. The first bottle I picked up had an expiration date in 2011. I or my stomach was not ready to try this out, so I found one that was more recent. It stated the sauce would expire in a month but I thought if it’s this good, it’s not going to last for two weeks. I was wrote.

Shark Brand Sriracha chili sauce immediately has the aroma of your regular sriracha, the peppers are strong so you know it couldn’t be anything but sriracha. It doesn’t list ingredients in a proper fashion, but it lists them this way:
Chili 35%
Water 25%
Sugar 20%
Garlic 10%
Salt 5%
Vinegar 5%

None of the ingredients phased me at first, so I tried it once I got home and the flavor is different. It’s sriracha alright, but there is also a sweetness that I liked, mixed in with a tartness from the vinegar and that is unlike the Huy Fong. I started having this in eggs, on sandwiches, in burgers, on tacos, on burritos, in soups, there were moments where I’d just grab a spoon just to gave a taste. The sweetness is nice but not dominant, it was to where I felt it could be my new ketchup. In fact, I would prefer this Shark Brand sriracha over ketchup any day.

I bought the 7 ounce bottle but they did sell a bigger bottle as well so you may want to buy big first if you want to go for the gusto, YMMY. After trying Kikkoman’s attempt at sriracha which I felt tasted like burned peppers, this was a complete 180 from this. The nutritional facts label states this has 470mg of sodium, which equals to 0.47g of sodium. As for the heat, it’s mild but occasionally it will hit you and that’s when the balance between heat and sweet fits perfectly. Because of this, I want to buy more, if not the bigger bottle, and prices are relatively cheap compared to a Huy Fong. I like this a lot.

(NOTE: This review comes unsolicited, I paid for this sauce and wrote this review without compensation.)

BOOK’S FOODIE: Kikkoman Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (review)

 photo KikkomanSriracha_bottle_zps3b3362bb.jpg Looking in the Asian section at a local supermarket, I wanted to see if the Huy Fond sriracha supply was low. It seemed lower than usual but as I was looking, I noticed Kikkoman had made their own sriracha. Unfortunately the price was a bit too high for a small bottle so I didn’t buy it. Heading to another market on another week, it was less than half the price of the first market, so I decided to give it a shot.

Im terms of shoyus (soy sauces), I love Kikkoman and prefer it over other brands. I had hoped for a similar experience with their version of the sriracha sauce, so I opened the bottle at home and tried a little dab. I did not like it at all. I figured okay, it might be better with food. Yet before I did that, I wanted to try a small dab again. Not good. The consistency seems similar to ketchup, thicker than the Huy Fong sriracha and each time I’d have small dabs, I kept on thinking “wow, am I really going to have to go through this bottle?” I like hot sauce with eggs so I decided to pour some of the Kikkoman sriracha into the pan and scramble some eggs along with it. It was not a good idea at all.

To me, it seems as if the peppers used for it were roasted a bit too long, almost to the point of being burnt. It’s rich in flavor and very different from how Huy Fong’s sriracha tastes. At least when you use Huy Fong’s in eggs or other dishes, it mixes well with whatever food you choose to join it with. I was light in the use of the Kikkoman sriracha and yet I felt it changes things to the point where I don’t want to eat the meal. It is possible that I have to find the right dish that would suit this sauce perfectly but then I figure: why? There are enough sriracha varieties out there and I don’t find a need to try Kikkoman’s version again.

(NOTE: This review comes unsolicited, I paid for this sauce and wrote the review without compensation.)

BOOK’S FOODIE: Slow Cooked Sriracha chicken Soup Recipe

The United States had been hit with serious cold weather in the last few weeks, and with winter only a few days away, more is to be expected and soup can often be a quick remedy to stay warm. There are lots of soup options, but if you’re also up to making something delicious, try putting together this recipe for something that isn’t just chicken soup. The chicken is slow roasted and you’ll add some sriracha to it. This video comes courtesy of The Protein Chef so while it is arguably much easier to just splash some sriracha or your favorite hot sauce in your can of soup, this is much better and definitely healthier, or at least you’ll know what you’re putting into your own bowl of soup.

BOOK’S FOODIE: Sri-Rancha: The Perfect Condiment

Sri-Rancha: The Perfect Condiment from Tasting Table on Vimeo.

The greatest food invention may very well be what’s already in your kitchen. What chef Richard Blais did was, well, I’ll allow him to tell you his story:
One day in the kitchen, I had a wiseass cook who was like, ‘Chef, I just squirted some Sriracha into ranch dressing, and I was like—genius! You just created Sri-Rancha!

You can definitely do the same with your favorite hot sauce of choice but now that you’ve seen this, go make some Sri-Rancha for yourself. I found this video over at

BOOK’S FOODIE: Turn Leftover Sriracha into Chili Oil (from

The popularity of sriracha in the United States has increased significantly, and you may be someone who has used it and wondered what to do with the parts of the sauce that are left at the bottom of the bottle. One solution would be to turn it into a chili oil. Watch this video from and see how it can be done. (Another quick solution, Hawaiian style, would be to add a bit of water in it and make the equivalent of “chili pepper water”.)