Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
Sriracha is trending among foodies and health nuts alike, and for good reason: The chili peppers that make up this spicy Thai condiment pack both tantalizing zing and capsaicin, a compound that may fight lung and gut tumors, prevent gastric ulcers, and rev metabolism.
Make your own sriracha sauce, and not only do you nix the preservatives and excess sodium found in some store brands, you can also get creative and adjust spice levels by using a mix of colorful peppers—from milder green jalapeños and red chipotles to super-spicy orange habaneros and yellow ají amarillo chilis. When it’s customized to your palate, you’ll want to eat it every day, says Jennifer Trainer Thompson, author of Hot Sauce! Technniques for Making Signature Hot Sauces. Here, Thompson shares her ways to turn up the heat in a variety of meals.
GET THE RECIPE Sriracha-Style Hot Sauce
Place tofu cutlets or skinless chicken breasts in a plastic bag with 1/2 cup hot sauce and shake to coat. Let sit 6 hours, then grill. You’ll cook off a bit of heat but still have plenty of flavor.
2. Vegetable Dip or Sandwich Spread
Mix 1 tsp hot sauce into 1 cup mayo. Add to canned tuna or chopped hard-boiled eggs for a salad with extra zip, or use as a veggie dip.
3. BBQ Sauce
Mix puréed tomatoes with homemade hot sauce, honey, and chopped fresh garlic. Adjust ingredient amounts for desired sweetness or heat. Use to top grilled meat, shrimp, or tofu.
4. Ice Cream Topping
In a bowl, combine 1 pint fresh, mashed raspberries, 2 tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp hot sauce. Strain and serve over vanilla ice cream or lemon sherbet.