Artisanal DIY Sriracha: HOWTO homebrew "rooster sauce," without the chemical preservatives

Oh god oh god oh god. I may join the hordes in gently mocking artisanal mayonnaise and overpriced bobo flour grinders, but this, this is important. Sriracha, the spicy red nectar of the gods that makes everything taste better, is awesome but contains various chemical preservatives that some of us prefer not to ingest with every single meal, because we put Sriracha on every single meal. Finally, a HOWTO video that breaks down how some obsessives brew their own. Oh god oh god. Video Link. From SkeeterNYC:
"Food is naturally different. So, I just really want to honor that variety and let the chili peppers do the talking." Meet Jolene Collins, the founder and artisan behind Jojo's Sriracha in Brooklyn, NY. Jolene is obsessed with sriracha. She discovered the chili sauce at age 15, when, in a hunger frenzy, she coated her tuna sandwich and potato chips with the unfamiliar condiment. When she recounts the story, you can see she remembers it as if time stopped. It was a moment she'll never forget. A moment that maybe, just maybe, foreshadowed her destiny. So, enjoy Jolene's spicy little story about the unlocked potential of the sriracha you know and, probably, love. She'll have you convinced that her artisan sriracha, is so much more than the average cock sauce. Thanks so much for supporting food. curated. and small artisans! Happy Eating!
To find out where to purchase this one-of-a-kind sriracha, visit: (thanks @friendlystinger)


    1. Looks like the chunkier style of Sriracha garlic sauce which is only sold in jars.  In my opinion its much better than the regular style sold in squirt bottles.  Less watery, more flavor.  Try some on your eggs, it’s heaven!

      1. Huh, do you have an actual brand in mind?
        Almost all of the Thai sriracha brands (like Shark Brand, Por Kwan, or Sriracha Panich) I’ve bad are actually runnier than the US-made Huy Fong. They’re also almost always smooth and without chunks.

    2. I have some “organic” gluten free sriracha that I am pretty happy about, and which also comes in a squirt bottle. Sky Valley I think is the name?

      And if you’re wondering I bought it because I thought… maybe it’ll taste good! I’m not sure really whether the amount of preservatives in the normal cock sauce are that significant. What I do know is the stuff tastes pretty good.

      1. “Gluten-free” sriracha?  Seriously?  

        If that isn’t emblematic of the triumph of marketing over substance, I dunno what is.  

        As for the regular stuff, the preservatives in it are pretty minimal.  A little potassium sorbate (mold/fermentation inhibitor), and a little sodium bisulfite (oxidation preventer).  Similar things are in many commercially-prepared juices, wines, and hard ciders.

        1. TBF I think the Rooster brand could slap a gluten free on there. Believe it or not though, sauces are often assumed to be gluten free when they’re not so I can’t really say I’m surprised that it is stated explicitly.

  1. Meh. Sriracha. I put it on my phở sometimes.

    And, really. The amount of “preservatives” you might be eating is minuscule, even if you eat it every day. 

    The only cost-effective way to make this is to make it in large batches, in which case it is going to go funky and moldy eventually, which is way, way, WAY more of a health problem than a few PPM of a mold-and-rope inhibitor.

    1. I agree on the preservatives, but not the “meh.”  I love the stuff.  Just squirted a glob on asparagus & eggs and it added something lovely. To each his own, though.

          1.  It’s not REAL asparagus.  That is only around in the (local) Springtime.  (Sorry, just a bit of food-snobbery). 

  2. For me the surprising thing about the Sriracha arch is when one goes full circle and realizes Frank’s Red Hot is the greatest hot sauce. Similar to Coke and Heinz Ketchup that way.

    1. After years of collecting all sorts of ‘artisan’ and obscure and oddball hot sauces, trying them on various foods… I’ve come back to two sauces. Frank’s Red Hot and Sriracha.

      1. Frank’s Red Hot has great flavor!  I literally buy it by the gallon and use that to fill up a squirt bottle.

    2.  I never quite got the cult following with Sriracha, considering the variety of peppers in the world  and the concoctions made with them that thickly populate the shelves of Asian and other specialty stores. There is no ‘perfect,’ best for all occasions hot sauce as far as I’m concerned. Let a thousand fires burn.

  3. n/t: Wow, f/1 lenses have made it into docuads now?

    Two things that could be improved upon for the home cook: 1) color should be among the last criteria for chiles – I know, she has a product to sell but flavor should be #1 for homemade – yeah, brown, yum.  2) palm sugar isn’t better for you than white sugar.  Jaggery might impart a unique flavor, but you’d think from the genesis of the company, a less glycemic sweetener would be more appropriate.  This is preserved by pH and fermentation, right?

    1. And looking at three adult New Yorkers with bandannas over their faces made you expect….. what?

  4. Folks:  if you’re cutting a lot of hot peppers, GLOVES keep the capsaicin off your hands so that you don’t touch sensitive body parts and impart HEAT to those sensitive body parts.  Once you’ve had that experience you will never forget!

  5.  Xeni, the scare of preservatives has gone too far. Sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate, and sodium bisulfide are as common in fine dining restaurants as they are in processed food, albeit in varying quantities. Used properly, these additives keep apples from browning, keep avocados green, and the addition of these is no different than adding lemon or lime juice, or just citric acid. Why would you not want to ingest something that makes your food better?

  6. Honestly, I just want a nice, pure habanero sauce. Or powdered habanero. For some reason, stupidly easy to find in Japan (in the equivalent of a dollar store!) but the ones I’ve found around here are all so watered down they barely have any kick to them at all for folks like me who need the raw power of habanero or an equivalent.

    1.  I really like el Yucateco green habanero sauce for flavor and kick of habs or Melinda’s naga jalokia sauce for true ass-kick, but real flavor as well. Even though it is made from the ghost pepper, it is not deadly hot (you can easily over do it, though – best to start out with little drops). Really hot peppers release endorphins and a “pepper high” is kinda fun!

      On topic, tho – sriracha replaced Tabasco on my eggs, and I would try to make my own to share with friends, I already grow the peppers.

    2. You have to go online to find anything except in a few places – here in Richmond, nobody stocks the good stuff. larger cities are better – my parents came back from Oregon with a gift for me from one of the hot sauce specialty stores. It holds place of pride in my kitchen now.

    1.  Well, someone’s doing it themselves. My disappointment was the all caps HOW TO apparently goes:
      1) Develop your own proprietary recipe after months of experimentation
      2) Follow that recipe

  7. Without the preservatives you’re just eating chilies and garlic – the salt, sugar, and vinegar make it into a delicious sauce.

    Oh, I see, demon preservatives, the kind with scary chemical formulas – like sodium chloride, α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→2)-β-D-fructofuranoside, and ethanoic acid.

  8. great.  thank you Xeni.   thank you for introducing me to something I never knew existed; artisan Sriracha,  that I very much want right NOW.  Sriracha,  makes EVERYTHING better.    (but don’t use it as lube!)

  9. Seriously, someone please ask them how they can handle peppers all day long without gloves and not get second degree burns.

  10. I’m all for people learning how to prepare and preserve foods, and very much for people taking an interest in where their food comes from.  But this is fetishization of food.  Sriracha is excellent stuff, but at the end of the day, it’s just…chili sauce.  

    Every time I read about this kind of stuff, I am always reminded of Garrison Keillor’s “95 Theses 95”:

    “I pour a round of Lowenbrau, being careful not to pour along the side but straight down so the beer can express itself, and they say, ‘Did you ever try Dockendorf?’ It’s made by the Dockendorf family from hand-pumped water in their ancient original family brewery in an unspoiled Pennsylvania village where the barley is hauled in by Amish families who use wagons with oak beds. Those oak beds give Dockendorf its famous flavor. These beer bores, plus the renovators of Victorian houses, the singer-songwriters, the runners, the connoisseurs of northern Bengali cuisine, the collectors of everything Louis Armstrong recorded between August 1925 and June 1928, his seminal period–they are driving me inexorably toward life as a fat man in a bungalow swooning over sweet-and-sour pork. You drove me toward them.

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