Tuong Ot Sriracha is American?

Wow, that’s one of my favorite sauces. I knew there was a southeast Asian influence in the mix but I never noticed it came from the US of A. I love rolling chicken wings in this stuff and dip fries in it all the time. Whenever I have something that needs a red sauce I try it and usually like it. I’ve mistakenly also picked up the Flying Goose (it’s in my fridge now) but always prefer the Tuong Ot Sriracha. When I stop for a bowl of phở on the sidewalk near the Asian grocery stores in Paris, it’s always there on the tables.

Anyone else use it? What do you do with it and do you prefer the red or green or both? Mixing it with other condiments makes perfect sense but it never occurred to me to try. It makes me hungry just thinking about it. NY Times:

The lure of Asian authenticity is part of the appeal. Some American consumers believe sriracha (properly pronounced SIR-rotch-ah) to be a Thai sauce. Others think it is Vietnamese. The truth is that sriracha, as manufactured by Huy Fong Foods, may be best understood as an American sauce, a polyglot purée with roots in different places and peoples.

It’s become a sleeve trick for chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

At the restaurant Perry St., in New York City, Mr. Vongerichten’s rice-cracker-crusted tuna with citrus sauce has always relied on the sweet, garlicky heat of sriracha. More recently, he has honed additional uses. “The other night, I used some of the green-cap stuff with asparagus,” Mr. Vongerichten said. “It’s well balanced, perfect in a hollandaise.”


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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32 Responses to “Tuong Ot Sriracha is American?”

  1. comsympinko says:

    He’s talking about the brand name Tuong Ot, which is made in California.

    Sriracha is a type of sauce, not a brand name in itself, and has numerous manufacturers outside of Thailand.

    Period. End of story.

  2. comsympinko says:

    One of the few first-class products still made in the USA.

    Best low-heat chili sauce available.

    Here in Oz and elsewhere in the Commonwealth it’s pretty hard to find, so you’ve got to go with Lingham’s, a great chili sauce company in Malaysia with about 15 or so varieties, some of them mind-blowingly hot.

    Their sriracha is good, but it’s no Tuong Ot.

  3. Russell says:

    Asian Americans have been here for a long, long time, and they’ve always been innovative. Asian American cooking has been influencing cooking in Asia for a long time.

    Behold, the fortune cookie, or General Tso’s Chicken, both of which are Chinese American inventions, and now found all over the place in China.

  4. RobertSanDimas says:

    Whew. Had to run into the kitchen to check. I have Huy Fong sambal. It’s great in SMALL quantities. :) Good to hear I have the “real thing.”

  5. vkobaya says:

    Live here in Anaheim, Orange County California. Sriracha sauce is common here made by Huy Fong Foods. They also make Sambal Oelek, a coarser red chile paste which is the next notch up in heat. Be careful to buy the Huy Fong brand Sambal Oelek, as there are many, many copycats, none of which are as hot and also lack the flavor of the Huy Fong version. Have not seen any copycats of Sriracha sauce however.

  6. BobKay says:

    I was in Sriracha, Thailand last year. When I mentioned the hot sauce, all I got was a blank stare. I described the bottle and the rooster logo, but it was clear that the locals had never heard of it.

  7. earltrowbridge says:

    Sriracha sauce is from Thailand. It is from the town of, surprise, Sriracha. It is pronounced “See rah cha”. Period. End of story.

  8. RobertSanDimas says:

    I lived in Thailand during the mid ’60’s (yes, that long ago). There was always a bottle (or bowl with a spoon) of the hot sauce on all tables in restaurants and on vendors’ carts. I don’t remember if it was Sriracha, but the same thing, because it’s on every SE Asian restaurant table here in LA area. Good memories of that time.

  9. RobertSanDimas says:

    Don’t get the “ieww-ies” but that’s very similar to a sauce I recently used on slaw. I first thought it would be awful, but it is wonderful along with Thai curries, sate, and even middle eastern kabobs. (I used rice vinegar and splenda).

  10. SeanMalloy says:

    Huy Fong Foods
    http://www.huyfong.com/frames/index.htm

    From an Amazon reviewer:
    Sriracha…is a common sauce in Thailand and is named after the largest harbor in that country. This version, made in California, is a wonderful diversion from Tabasco-like sauces. Although made with peppers and relatively hot, the sauce has a generous helping of garlic taste that really perks up food. It’s ideal for Asian recipes, but it can be used with any food to which you want to add some heat, including soups, pasta, and chicken wings (the company also has a website that includes some excellent recipes).

  11. SeanMalloy says:

    Try this sauce…It’s delicious on fish or chicken:

    1 cup unflavored rice wine vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    1/3 cup sugar
    4 cloves of garlic (minced)
    Red pepper flakes to taste

    Bring vinegar, water, garlic and sugar to a boil and simmer until the mixture reduces to a 1/3rd of its former volume and becomes syrupy. Stir red pepper flakes into hot mixture. Cool and eventually refridgerate in a bottle.
    Excellent as a dipping sauce or drizzled…

  12. TrappedinaRedState says:

    LOVE the stuff! I first found it on the table at my favorite Chinese restaurant – one squirt and I and fell head over heels.

    Fortunately the restaurant has a small area where they sell condiments so I took a bottle home with me the first night. We’ve been together ever since!

    Does that make me a slut… or just easy?

  13. tom says:

    As an American living in Thailand, I too love the ‘see-Ra-cha’ sauce, which is abundantly available here. Though I am not certain of it’s origin, I might note that there actually is a small town here with that name – spelled in English as Sriracha.

  14. Indigo says:

    It’s every bit as American as chop suey but no! not in a hollandaise sauce!

  15. PWAX says:

    It is extremely good on grilled salmon. Mmm yummy! But beware, it is addictive (I’ll explain) and does suppress subtler flavors so I limit my use of it to once per week, I do not want to lose the capability of enjoying other things.

    It is addictive because it simulates burning of the tongue, which the body reacts to by issuing a “cease and desist” mechanisms for the pain receptors – which lasts … days… weeks… however long the body thinks it takes to heal from a burn. I can still feel sriracha on my tongue days later.

  16. Nile says:

    I just bought a bottle of the red Tuong Ot Sriracha sauce last week. I typically use it to spice up vegetable rolls and dim sum, along with rice vinegar.

  17. manman says:

    I eat pho all the time and use a little of it in my favorite pho ga, but love to dip the chicken into a sauce made with jalapenos (thin sliced is best, eat along with the chicken), lemon juice, white vinegar, fish sauce, and sriracha! mmmmm! and i’ve been using it increasingly in stuff i make, like soups and salad dressings. the stuff is great, but super intense, be conservative with it if you’ve never tried it before!

  18. scottinsf says:

    FYI:

    Dijon mustard is not covered by a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) under the auspices of the European Union; thus, while there are major mustard plants in Dijon and suburbs, most Dijon mustard is manufactured outside of Dijon.

    Wiki that missy ;)

  19. Phil says:

    Read the article again.
    It’s based on the Thai Sriracha sauce. What happened was the American company registered the sauce.
    It’s like saying Dijon mustard is American and not French if some American company took out a copyright on the name.
    All you have to do is a wiki search.

  20. WillnPL says:

    I’ve been known to put a squirt in spaghetti sauce to give it a little kick.

  21. ShortWoman says:

    Oh yes. You’ll find a bottle of it on the counter of our kitchen next to the salt, pepper, and olive oil. We use it in stir fries, teriyaki marinades, all kinds of Asian foods. We’ve been known to put it on tacos and eggs and pretty much anything that needs a little flavor.

    Their chili paste is also good stuff.

  22. cowboyneok says:

    Well, you live in San Francisco. Here in Oklahoma, its called “Penis Sauce.”

    JUST KIDDING! bwahahaaaa!

  23. scottinsf says:

    If it’s any consolation to Gary, everybody I know calls it Cock Sauce too.

  24. Mini Clover says:

    The red stuff… on pretty much anything. That stuff is delicious. (I never knew how to pronounce it tho… always thought of it as the bottle with the rooster on it.)

  25. cowboyneok says:

    I thought that stuff was Korean! I like it…

    I like anything that is spicy and Asian, so I like Thai and Korean foods. Oh, and I like Vietnamese because a lot of it seems to be a fusion between Asian and French.

    I think I thought it was Korean because it sort of reminded me of Kimchi, in a way…

    WARNING: Never open a jar of Kimchi and immediately close it without removing some of it! I did that once and it exploded all over my kitchen!!!

  26. Philip says:

    I love sriracha sauce as a steak marinade. Maride a NY strip or ribeye (my fav) in it for a day. I usually wipe off excess before I cook it, ’cause it’s pretty hot. But it gives the beef a wonderful, flavorful bite!

  27. cowboyneok says:

    “I have always called it “Cock Sauce” much to my girlfriend’s dismay”

    bwahahahaaa! good one.

  28. mirth says:

    In my huge cookbook – Sauces, by James Peterson, which in 1992 won the James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year – sriracha is not listed. :(

    But here’s an article about the sauce with what seems like a good and easy recipe – not actual, but close:

    http://www.whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/sriracha-chili-garlic-hot-sauce-recipe/

  29. Gary says:

    Because I could never pronounce the name and there is a rooster on the front of the bottle, I have always called it “Cock Sauce” much to my girlfriend’s dismay at restaurants. Love the stuff!!! Speaking of Asian delicacies, if you ever come across a can of “Basil Seed Drink” you have to try it–weird texture, but kinda fun!

  30. scottinsf says:

    That red stuff is great on anything. I don’t care if it’s American.

  31. Asterix says:

    Love the (red) stuff–just had it on a felafel. I’d always assumed it was Thai or Vietnamese.

  32. NMRon says:

    Wherever it’s available, I use it.

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