Transplanted Sriracha Sauce

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A table condiment to similar to ketchup–but much more pungent–sriracha sauce is named after a seaside town in Thailand. Increasingly popular, this sauce is found on the tables of Thai and Vietnamese restaurants all over North America. Fresh red chiles are the key to the flavor of this recipe.


  • 1 pound fresh red serrano, cayenne, Thai, or chile de arbol chiles, stems removed

  • 2 1/2 cups rice vinegar (substitute white distilled vinegar)

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon salt


Remove the stems from the chiles. Place the chiles and vinegar in a saucepan and heat to boiling. Turn off the heat and add the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Place the saucepan contents in a food processor or blender and puree until a smooth thin-paste consistency. Add additional rice vinegar if the mixture is too thick. Allow the mixture to steep for several hours, place in glass containers, and refrigerate. The consistency should be slightly thinner than ketchup.


Optional: Strain the sauce through sieve and discard the solids for a smooth, seedless consistency.


W.C.’s Green Chile Sauce

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This recipe dates to 1976, when W.C. created it for his first restaurant, the Morning Glory Cafe. It is meatless and dairyless, but “designed for a meat-eater’s taste,” according to W.C. It is easily frozen or canned.


  • 6 cups chopped hot New Mexican green chile

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 tablespoon red chile powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 10 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 1/2 cups water


In a large pan, combine the green chile, garlic, onion, coriander, red chile powder, white pepper, cumin, salt, and water. Bring to a boil and boil, uncovered, for 1 hour.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water and mix thoroughly. Add to the chile mixture and cook until the mixture clears, about 20 minutes.

Homemade Tabasco Style Sauce

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Because the chiles are not aged in oak barrels for three years, this will be only a rough approximation of the famous McIlhenny product. You will have to grow your own tabascos or substitute dried ones that have been rehydrated. Other small, hot, fresh red chiles can also be substituted for the tabascos.

Note: This recipe requires advanced preparation. 


  • 1 pound fresh red tabasco chiles, chopped

  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons salt


Combine the chiles and the vinegar in a saucepan and heat. Stir in the salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, and place in a blender. Puree until smooth and place in a glass jar. Allow to steep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Remove, strain the sauce, and adjust the consistency by adding more vinegar if necessary.


Tofu and Cucumber Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce

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This super spicy salad was created using a hybrid of Indonesian/Thai satay and Sichuan/Hunan peanut sauces. It transforms mild-mannered tofu and cukes into a memorable salad. Serve it with grilled meats or seafood. From the article Exotic & Spicy Salads.


For the Spicy Peanut Sauce:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil, or sesame chili oil

  • 1/4 cup ground red New Mexican chile

  • 1/2 cup mushroom soy or regular soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce

  • 1/4 cup sambal badjak (found in Asian markets) or substitute 1/4 cup sautéed onions

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, or substitute 2/3 cup chunky peanut butter

For the Tofu and Cucumber Salad:

  • 1 medium Napa cabbage, green or red cabbage or iceberg lettuce, shredded

  • 1 pound block firm tofu, cut in 3/4-inch cubes

  • 3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cubed


Sauté the garlic in the oil in a pan until golden. Stir in the chile powder and then stir in the soy, hoisin, sambal badjak, vinegar, and peanuts. Bring the mixture to a simmer, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly. Using a hand blender, food processor, or standard blender, process the mixture until it is very smooth and let it cool thoroughly.

Divide the cabbage between 6 salad plates and arrange the tofu and cucumber in an attractive pile on the top. Drizzle with the peanut sauce and serve immediately.