Sriracha, my dear friend.

31 Jan

Spicy foods and I get along pretty well, although that wasn’t always the case.  For a long while, foods seasoned with peppers were almost always dismissed and the mere mention of the words “hot sauce” gave me the heebie-jeebies up through college.  However, somewhere between living in Boston and then Seattle, I began to crave spicy things–I’m not talking so-hot-you-have to-sign-a-waiver, but enough to have me reaching for a glass of ice water every few bites.

It was in Seattle that I first met dear sriracha.  It was at a bit of a dive breakfast joint called The Wagon Wheel on Aurora, which is sadly no longer in existence.  It was owned by a Vietnamese couple who served traditional American diner fare with some small Asian influences, chief among them being a new-to-me hot sauce bottle with a green top and white rooster label.  Having become accustomed to putting hot sauce on my eggs and potatoes, I sprinkled a few drops across my plate, unaware of the taste explosion I was about to enjoy.

Sun-dried chiles + garlic = an amazing hot sauce that isn’t too spicy, too runny, too vinegary, or has any sort of weird, lingering aftertaste.  Since that fateful morning roughly 7 years ago, a bottle of sriracha has lived in my fridge.  So when I saw this recipe for a fish sandwich boasting sriracha mayonnaise, my head nearly exploded.

I’ve been watching a lot of Top Chef lately, with this season boasting five chefs from Chicago, and in poking around their site, I discovered that sometimes chef’s winning recipes are shared with us Top Chef wannabes.  This recipe is by Angelo Sosa, from season 7, and by all means looks to be delicious.  For me, it was . . . meh.

Maybe it’s because the fish wasn’t fresh (wild and “fresh” frozen from Whole Foods, but still) but the fish sauce was a little too salty and too overpowering for me and the fish was a little too underwhelming.  The sriracha mayo and the pickled red onions, however, were amazing.  I may just keep a container of the mayo on hand for future uses, like, for eating on whatever’s handy.  I might be tempted to make this again, but would try a different white fish and may opt out of the fish sauce marinade to let the other flavors shine.

Sandwich with Flounder Marinated in Fish Sauce, Spicy Sriracha Mayo, Pickeld Red Onions and Herbaceous Salad (From Angelo Sosa)

Sriracha Mayonnaise:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 8 oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 oz sriracha
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Sweet & Sour Pickled Onions:
  • 8 oz red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz Japanese (Rice) vinegar
  • 1 oz sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
Fluke / Flounder:
  • 8 oz fluke / flounder, raw
  • 1 oz Japanese fish sauce
Sandwich:
  • 1 small ciabatta loaf, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill
  • 2 sprigs fresh cilantro

1. (For the sriracha mayonnaise:) Whip egg yolks until smooth. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil until mayonnaise consistency. Stir in sriracha. Season with salt and pepper.

2. (For the Sweet & Sour Pickled Onions:) Combine all ingredients and let sit.

3. (For the Fluke:) Marinade fluke in fish sauce for 20 minutes. In a hot pan, sear fish on both sides and remove.

4.  Toast ciabatta bread. Spread sriracha mayonnaise onto bread. Top with fish, dill, cilantro, and pickled onions.

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One Response to “Sriracha, my dear friend.”

  1. kat January 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    I just bought a bottle of sriracha and am totally starting to love it! The mayonnaise sound tempting!

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