Saturday, February 7, 2015

Adam's (fermented) Sriracha recipe

Every year Adam plants a whole bunch of hard-neck garlic, originally sent to him by his dad in Pennsylvania, who's selected his favorite varieties over years of growing garlic. In another section of the garden, he plants lots and lots of peppers, all kinds of peppers, mostly hot but some sweet: cayennes, jalapenos, chilepenos, habaneros, Thai bird chiles, paprika peppers, Ho Chi Minh peppers, black Hungarian peppers and more. The list is different every year.

In this photo: Leeks, lettuces, radishes, ready-to-harvest garlic and teeny baby pepper plants (below the trellis)

By the time we harvest the peppers, the garlic has been hanging and drying in the garage for months. The peppers and garlic come together in Adam's fiery Sriracha, which I put on my congee every morning.

Towards the end of 2011--just a couple of months before we found out we were expecting Kamal--Adam and I went on a three-week road trip, in which we visited lots of good people, toured ten national parks, and cooked in a wide range of settings, from the well-equipped kitchens of our friends to campstoves set on bear lockers. On our very first day, driving up the coast on twisty Route 1, Adam suddenly gasped, then cried out, "Oh, God! I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry!"

Of course I thought something terrible had happened--that we were about to veer off a cliff, for example, or crash into a giant redwood. "What?" I squeaked. "What, what is it?"

"I forgot to pack the Sriracha!" wailed Adam. "What are you going to do for breakfast?" 

We debated getting some store-bought, but it really isn't anywhere near as good--I haven't actually touched the stuff since Adam started making his own. In the end, we called our housesitter and had some overnighted to us. It was totally worth it.

Sometimes Adam will draw me a Sriracha happy face.

Here's the link to the fermented Sriracha recipe Adam uses, as well as, in his own words, the adjustments he makes to it. (He's made the fresh version as well, but we've agreed--as does the author of the linked recipe--that we like the fermented better.)

Folks, here's my terrific Adam:

I started making this a couple of years ago to find a way to use up all our hot pepper. Now, it is the reason we grow so many hot peppers. I use a mix of peppers (typically 6-10 varieties), mostly hot, but will throw in a few sweet to provide balance.
I use the fermented version on Andrea Nguyen's blog found here
I add approximately 1 1/2 teaspoons of fish sauce to it also.
Last year I ran the finished sauce through a food mill as it was super seedy (I used a lot of thai and cayenne peppers last year).
We just freeze it in 1/2 pint jars, but I'm sure you could can it also. IF YOU DECIDE TO CAN IT, PLEASE FOLLOW SAFE PRACTICES (such as from the Ball Book of Home Preserving).

Salt and pepper are important, but this Sriracha has my heart. 

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