Fresh Sriracha (aka, home made 'Rooster')

By • August 23, 2010 • 125 Comments

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Author Notes: Another Thai-centric sauce is the ubiquitous Sriracha, affectionately dubbed ‘Rooster’. Apparently, it’s not just for Thais anymore, as I have heard that is in just about every kitchen (from the Asians to Falafel stands and even in many fine dining establishments). I don’t have to go to Asian markets to pick up a bottle--Wal-Mart in Kennesaw, GA even carries it (I was on location last year and found it there!). It’s so popular that The New York Times has written about it and the ‘Rooster’ has a Facebook page with over 220,000 fans.
Don’t get me wrong--I love my Rooster and for the cost, why make it from scratch? I guess I’m just into testing out flavors and how they blend together--just curious, with some late summer time on my hands and gorgeous peppers available in my garden and at the farmers market. Plus, upon inspection of my ‘Rooster’ sauce, I found it contains Xanthan Gum and Sodium Bisulfite. I suppose it means that the commercial ‘Rooster’ is fermented, and uses the Sodium Bisulfite similarly to wine, as a preservative. - edamame2003

Food52 Review: Warning: once you make edamame2003's version, you may never be able to go back to commercial sriracha again. The vibrant color and piquancy of the fresh fresno peppers, combined with plenty of garlic and a boost of vinegar, make for a zippy, versatile condiment that would be great with anything from banh mi to scrambled eggs. We'd never used palm sugar before and were intrigued by its gentle sweetness, which helps to round out the heat of the sriracha. - A&MA&M

Serves 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/2 pound red fresno chiles, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar
  1. Place all the ingredients except the sugar in a jar and let sit overnight to mellow the heat of the peppers. I guess one could consider this a brine.
  2. Place the mixture and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Transfer to a blender and puree for about 5 minutes, until a smooth, orange-red mixture forms. Run through a strainer and smush out as much juice as possible.
  4. Once refrigerated, the sauce should have the same consistency and texture as the 'Rooster', but less salty and a whole lot fresher tasting!
  5. I've also adapted a spicy Sriracha spread recipe combining a 1/2 cup vegenaise (or mayo, if you prefer), 1/8 cup of this fresh sriracha, and a Tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk. Yum for anything you'd use mayo on, but with a kick.

Tags: savory

Comments (125) Questions (5)


4 months ago Elizabeth Ellis

you can order the red fresno chili peppers online of they are not available locally


4 months ago Elizabeth Ellis

your local store may also get them for you if they order items from Melissa's


5 months ago lawprof

I've kept it in the freezer for a year without noticeable degradation. It does separate when you thaw it, but a good shake restores its consistency. I've also stored it in my refrigerator (both fresh made and thawed) for three months without problems. It contains enough acid in the vinegar to forestall bacterial growth.


5 months ago Basil Glew-Galloway

How long does it keep?


7 months ago John

Who cares about less salty. Sriracha is too gag nasty sweet. Recipe fail.


7 months ago TheManMachine

To all the people wondering about the chili types, palm sugar etc: Don't worry so much about the exact type of the ingredients. I have made the sauce with other chillies of differing strengths. I have done it with other types of sugar, with regular table salt, with white wine vinegar and with apple cider vinegar. It all turned out excellent. Since I am impatient I also pass on the overnight brining and just boil the stuff in the pan right away. I did not notice any difference doing this. The sauce strength will obviously be directly affected by the chili type, though, but don't be afraid to experiment or stray a little. And cpkog, yes, the smushed juice is the sauce. Just refrigerate it and shake a little before using.


7 months ago cpkog

So the juice that you smush through the strainer is the sauce? After refrigerating?


7 months ago angelitakarmalita

Yep, that's it!


8 months ago Zo

Don't get those chillies here. What would be the alternate?


7 months ago angelitakarmalita

Red jalapenos would be a good substitute. Their the right color and they've got some heat.


7 months ago Zo

Can this be made with round red chillies. We get only those red chillies here and that too dried ones.


8 months ago epicureanodyssey

Oooooooo, I just made this! Fantastic! I have never made the recipe before because I have never found that many red chiles where I live. I recently hauled them back from the Oakland Farmers Market. YUM!


8 months ago Debutante Daisy

I live in MD and for some reason Fresno Chiles are hard to come by. So I planted my own this year. I tried this a few years ago and found it wasn't spicy enough for my liking. So, this year I tripled the recipe using 1 pound Fresnos and 1/2 pound Thai Dragon Chiles. I used a combination of white vinegar and cider vinegar but lessened the amount by a half cup. The sauce came out much spicier than previous years which made me very happy. The basic recipe is already great and I thank the author for posting it because it is hard to go back to regular Rooster once you've had the pleasure of this sauce on your taste buds!


8 months ago Amber Roth DeGrace

I adapted this recipe to make my own and blogged about it here: http://www.amberdegrace...


8 months ago angelitacarmelita

It's August here in NOVA, and I just found the first Fresno's of the year. I bought a pound and a half, and am making a triple batch today. I make it exactly as the recipe is written. This keep so well, if you find Fresno's make a big batch.


10 months ago msgruvn

i've made this sauce several times and always make a giant batch when i find the chilis. it keeps beautifully in the fridge and just gets more mellow. it is wonderful for gifts. i have used combos of the chilis-green and red- prefer fresnos but i have used jalapeno. brown sugar honey or agave, and use a little less sugar with bragg's apple cider vinegar. i have been meaning to comment on this forever and thankyou so much.


12 months ago angelitakarmalita

It's spring here in NOVA and I don't have access yet to Fresno's, but what I do have is amazing access to a lot of Asian markets. I picked up a huge bag of Thai bird chilies, and am trying the same recipe w/them. It's about to get hot up in here!


about 1 year ago Butternut

Had to skip the step of letting everything "brine" overnight, but using red jalapenos (nine came out to a half pound), it wasn't overly spicy. A really nice, tasty hot sauce. Substituted maple syrup (Grade B) for the sugar. After processing and straining, the sauce was smooth and a beautiful color. Will make again!


about 1 year ago Pauly

How many peppers equal 1/2 pound?


about 1 year ago edamame2003

hi pauly-
I just happened to be making this today and using medium sized red jalapenos; i counted about 10-12 peppers in a half pound. good luck!


about 1 year ago Keith Petersen

Do you seed the peppers before adding them?


about 1 year ago edamame2003

hi keith- no, don't seed them...well, unless you want a non-spicy sauce. The vinegar bath will mellow them out and then you can also strain out some of the seeds.


over 1 year ago Awb08

I made a half batch of this recipe, except I added two habanero peppers and a little ginger, and replaced white vinegar with apple cider vinegar and palm sugar with dark brown sugar. I also roasted the peppers and garlic before letting them sit in the fridge overnight. It was DELICIOUS and extremely hot!


over 1 year ago MikeeLikesIt

to lawprof: thanks for the jalapeno tip--just bought a pound with a few serranos to try the "green rooster" !


over 1 year ago lawprof

Adding to MikeeLikesIt's freezing update. I am still using parts of a double batch I made and froze a year ago. It does separate when thawed, but a quick shake and it was fine. Still has the same deep, rich flavor.

I used the very same recipe substituting Jalapeno peppers and produced a rich, vibrant, spicy and not salty green hot sauce. I froze that also with similar results.


over 1 year ago choudin

Awesome recipe! Try growing or using these peppers!


over 1 year ago TheManMachine

I just wanted to join the choir and state that this recipe is truly excellent in its simplicity. I had never tried the real Sriracha sauce since it is difficult to come by here (I live in Brazil), but I was curious what all the hype on The Oatmeal was about, and so I tried this recipe. I couldn't find Fresno peppers so I mixed half and half with a stronger red pepper type known here as "Dedo de moça" together with a heatless green pepper type. I also substituted the palm sugar for mascavo sugar (raw, unprocessed cane sugar). The end result was great.

Then a week later I happened upon the genuine Sriracha sauce in an Asian supermarket. I was really eager to taste "the real thing". It was a letdown. The commercial product is salty and kind of flat tasting in comparison, while the home made stuff tastes fresh and a bit more garlicky. This will be a staple product in my fridge from now on.

It feels like the sauce loses some heat in the fridge (oh my, what a pun!). After a week or two it tastes mellower than when it's completely fresh. I guess this is normal with vinegar based pepper sauces. I compensate by using more of it. :o)