This spicy little number might look like regular old cayenne. But make no mistake: It's the most powerful new player you can add to your salt-and-pepper rotation—for your eggs or anything else at risk of being humdrum. Humdrum stops here!
Unlike cayenne—a fairly straightforward, wall-of-heat experience—this mysterious red powder is tangy and salty and smoky, too, as well-rounded as singular-seeming spices come.
That’s because it’s distilled straight from Sriracha, the beloved squeezy bottle of hot sauce with the rooster on it (although how good would it be made with the homemade stuff or this fancy Gochujang Sriracha)?
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Spice companies actually bottle and sell sriracha powder, but it’s astonishingly easy to make it yourself—especially because I’m pretty sure you have a bottle of rooster sauce in your fridge door right now.
The trick comes from Top Chef alum Dale Talde and his eponymous Brooklyn restaurant Talde, where, back in 2012, he took to drying out Sriracha in the oven and crumbling it into into a feisty powder. He then folded this into ranch dressing (as he called it, Sri-rancha) for what turned out to be a very exciting wedge salad.
Why not just use a squirt from the bottle of Sriracha instead, like you always do? For one thing, in coaxing all the moisture out, the heat and tang and everything else we love about Sriracha concentrates, and the powder left behind is even more intensely Sriracha-y.
It also has an entirely novel texture that you get to control. Crunch it up fine, like you see here, or leave it flakier and you have what Eunice Choi, our Director of Brand Activation, called the fleur de sel of Sriracha. So fancy! Plus the effort-to-reward ratio for this whole endeavor is tipped emphatically in the right direction.
There’s no need for a dehydrator or other special equipment, just that you take advantage of a little down time. Spread sriracha into a thin thin layer, then stick it in the oven at 200° F to dry out. Your kitchen will be filled with a gentle eau de rooster for the next hour or so, and then poof! You have a little jar of firecrackers to dispense in pinches onto anything you want. Starting with eggs. Lots and lots of eggs.
Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected]—thank you to Elana Carlson for this one!
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I'm an ex-economist, ex-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."