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Tasty Trends: Sriracha

by Elisha Machado

Photography by Elisha Machado

There’s always that person who decides to show off by ordering the spiciest thing on the menu—it can often be seen as a badge of honor to eat the hottest wing there is without reaching for a glass of water. If you’re that person, then the five little chili pepper symbols next to menu items has never fazed you. Lucky for you, this season is all about the spice with Sriracha coming out as the hottest trend on menus across the city.

Sriracha is a simple yet flavorful hot sauce that combines chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, salt and sugar. But don’t let the short list of ingredients fool you; even the smallest drizzle of this red paste, also known as Rooster Sauce, packs a punch.

Beixi Jia (Questrom ’18) enjoys the versatility of the sauce.

“I put Sriracha on almost everything,” said Jia. “I like the kind of spicy of the sauce, which is not too hot and it has some sort of salty and sour taste in it too.“

Sriracha can turn anything into a flavorful meal for Jia.

“Sometimes if I get lazy for cooking, I can just eat some leftover rice with the sauce,” said Jia. “It’s super tasty and convenient.”

Sriracha’s ability to spice up all styles of cuisine has made it one of the most popular sauces around Boston. Some restaurants let the sauce speak for itself by leaving a bottle of sauce out for patrons to slather on. Others have gotten creative in the kitchen and have come up with innovative ways to incorporate the sauce into their menus.

If you think you can handle the heat, try the Sriracha and Honey Wings from Vito’s Tavern. Grab the gang and head on over to this sports bar in the North End for a night of football and Sriracha wings. If you’re licking your fingers and want more, then go to their Wing it Wednesday for half-off all wings.

Sriracha aiolis have become a popular addition to many menus, including Mei Mei, a Chinese-American restaurant located in Boston University’s South Campus. Mei Mei serves up Sriracha aioli with sweet corn fritters. The sauce adds the perfect amount of savory to these crispy, fried bundles of sweet corn and dough. The sweet corn fritters are offered as an appetizer on its lunch and dinner menu, but make the perfect snack between classes.

If you’re still looking for more Sriracha, then fear not, Mei Mei has you covered. Mei Mei offers dumpling bowls on its lunch menu with various meats and veggies atop a bed of Sriracha rice. Try the cranberry sage pork dumplings served with Sriracha rice and the house pickles.

If you’re still craving Sriracha aioli, head over to Shojo to try their rendition. Shojo serves their Sriracha aioli with duck fat fries on its lunch and dinner menus. These are by no means your regular fast food chain fries, but fries that are elevated to the next level once fried in duck fat. Different than baked fries or fries fried in other oils, these fries have an added flavor component and new taste. To top it all off, the Sriracha aioli adds a touch of spice. You’ll find yourself wanting these fries as your whole meal rather than an appetizer.

Instead of using Sriracha as a side, Red Lantern Restaurant and Lounge uses Sriracha as the star ingredient of its dragon fire drink. This pungent potion combines Ketel One, St. Germain, Mango Nectar and Sriracha for a fiery fusion you’ll want to sip.

If you’re looking to take your Sriracha addiction one step further, try UV Sririacha, a vodka flavored after your favorite hot sauce. According to UV Vodka, it’s the “Bloody Mary’s new best friend,” but we’ll let you be the judge.

With Sriracha popping up on so many menus in Boston, you’ll find yourself taking a bottle home to make your version of these chili creations. If you aren’t as creative in the kitchen, don’t worry, because this tasty trend is here to stay. There are so many Sriracha options that you won’t find it difficult to spice up your life this fall!

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