I’ve gotten tons of positive feedback about the Paleo Sriracha recipe I posted back in December (thank you!), and I love hearing that many of you have whipped up batches of the stuff to serve with…well, everything. After my recipe was picked up by websites like BuzzFeed and Grist, even non-Paleo eaters have been making their own junk-free versions of the famous Rooster Sauce. Yay!
BUT…what if you’re a sriracha lover who’s doing a Whole30®, and can’t have honey for a month? It’s your lucky day, ‘cause I have a solution:
Just like the original recipe, this’ll take just 20 minutes, and yield 2¼ cups of what Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal calls “a delicious blessing flavored with the incandescent glow of a thousand dying suns.”
Ready for the recipe?
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1½ pounds fresh red jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 large dried Medjool date, pitted
- 2 tablespoons Paleo-friendly fish sauce (Red Boat!)
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
Here’s what you do:
First things first: use gloves when handling the peppers to avoid burning your hands and eyes. (I use non-latex gloves; similar ones are available on Amazon.)
I remove the seeds and most of the ribs from the jalapeño peppers to make a sauce of moderate heat, but if you want to breathe fire, feel free to keep the ribs and seeds, and/or use hotter peppers (like serranos or Lumbre peppers).
Throw everything into a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) or a turbocharged food processor. Purée until smooth.
Yes, a regular food processor will also work—but you’ll want to cut the peppers and garlic into smaller pieces, and blitz the ingredients longer. Otherwise, your sauce may end up on the chunky side.
Pour the purée into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as it boils, reduce the heat to low and maintain a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cooking the sauce concentrates and deepens the flavors, and cuts the sharpness of the raw garlic. Once the foam subsides, the sauce should be a vibrant red color, and you shouldn’t be able to detect any raw vegetable smell.
Taste and adjust for seasoning if necessary, and then transfer the sriracha to a jar (or three) and allow the sauce to cool. You can keep it in the fridge for up to a week.
Eagle-eyed readers with Clark’s Nutcracker Bird-like total recall will notice that this recipe is essentially unchanged from my original one, with one critical exception: the substitution of the Medjool date for the honey.
Under Whole30® rules, dates are A-OK when used to add a little hint of sweetness to sauces:
Unlike dates, honey is not on the Whole30-approved list during your month of super-clean eats because it’s all too easy to use it to “treat” yourself to Paleo-fied sweets. Keeping honey out of your kitchen during a Whole30 is a good way to keep from sabotaging your own hard-earned nutritional reset.
(Of course, having a container of dates on the counter ain’t a great idea either if you’re going to be tempted to gorge on them. After all, sugar is sugar is sugar.)
To be honest, when Henry suggested that I try making a Whole30-friendly sriracha, I didn’t think it could possibly taste as good as my original version. But after making this new recipe numerous times and taste-testing it against both my honey-sweetened sauce and the store-bought variety, I have to tell you: this Whole30 sriracha tastes just as good.
So go crazy, Whole30ers! (And tell me: what do you like to eat with sriracha?)
Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).