Literally ubiquitous at Asian restaurants in the United States, sriracha chili sauce has gained citizenship recently when the mainstream foodservice such as Jack in the Box, Denny’s and even McDonald’s jumped on the bandwagon so quickly offering new items like sriracha burger and sriracha sandwich for everyday meal.
The spicy condiment is no stranger to Japanese cuisine; in fact the two have a long-established relationship. Over the course of development in the U.S., Japanese cuisine has incorporated sriracha into traditional seasonings, as sushi chefs had begun applying creamy spicy sauce for tuna rolls and dynamite (casserole dish) to mask fishy smell of seafood unfavored by some American customers.
When it comes to brand name, nobody would argue that Huy Fong Foods is most venerable and a synonym to sriracha sauce by all means. Founded in 1980 by a Vietnamese immigrant in Los Angeles, Huy Fong gradually expanded its market and penetrated into Asian dining scenes nationwide. When Huy Fong’s Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce and Japan’s Kewpie Mayonnaise met, the star sauce was born (In case you like to replicate the spicy mayo sauce at home, here is a recipe from Just One Cookbook).
|There is no reason for condiment manufacturers to leave the lucrative market dominated by one brand, therefore companies like soy sauce giant Kikkoman and even Tabasco entered the competition. Kikkoman’s Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce boasts bold spiciness and claims “wakes up your taste buds with fiery flavor” on the label. It’s interesting that the company is fired up for the hot sauce battle when it manufactures no spicy product at all in Japan.|
|Unique sriracha products are also appearing at store shelves, such as Scriracha Chicken Potstickers introduced by Los Angeles-based brand Crazy Cuizine. The frozen gyoza product features the chicken stuffing already seasoned with sriracha sauce and can be pan fried, deep fried, microwaved, steamed or cooked in soup.|
|Nissin Foods, whose instant noodle products include Top Ramen and Cup Noodles, also added a sriracha flavor to the Chow Mein series. This makes whole lot of sense because many like to drizzle sriracha sauce on chow mein or other pan-fried noodles.|
Considering the fact that the spicy mayo sauce is now staple to sushi worldwide and Japanese products are embracing sriracha flavor, we can affirm that Japanese cuisine has become global in a true manner and is continuously evolving with local variations and expanding its horizon. That’s pretty fascinating.