Seriously, is there anything you can’t put Sriracha on? If it’s not on pasta, it’s on pizza. If it’s not on pizza, it’s in tacos. Sometimes it’s even on top of ice cream! This ubiquitous red condiment goes great with just about everything, making it a staple in kitchens everywhere.
While this bold, spicy sauce by Huy Fong Foods is more popular than any of us could ever dream to be, you’d be surprised at all the things you didn’t know about it. Like the fact that 1) it has been available in Philippine grocery stores for about a year now and 2) that it’s actually not made in Asia!
Huy Fong Sriracha Demystified: What it is, where it’s made, and where to get it in the Philippines
We’ve all been living a lie. As Asian as the name Sriracha (pronounced as see-ra-cha) sounds, it’s actually not made in China or Thailand, but rather in the sunny state of California! Check out the details on the bottle if you don’t believe us!
But it definitely does have an Asian touch to it. Its founder, David Tran, is a Vietnamese refugee who started his own hot sauce business in America. He noticed that his fellow Vietnamese immigrants liked their pho hot and spicy and so Sriracha was his way of helping them out.
What started out as manu-mano work (Mr. Tran would manually fill glass bottles with his hot sauce and personally deliver them all over Chinatown) eventually turned into the gigantic operation it is today. His company, Huy Fong Foods, now produces around 13,000 bottles per hour and that’s just one production line in the factory!
So what exactly is the famous Huy Fong Sriracha made of? It’s a combination of chili mash made from California jalapeños from Underwood Ranch, salt, vinegar, garlic, and sugar–an addicting concoction that has earned millions of fans worldwide. It has just the right amount of spiciness, making it perfect for beginner chili eaters!
All this time, Filipinos have been buying their bottles of Huy Fong Sriracha from specialty stores and certain restaurants for double the price.
But the good news is that you don’t have to anymore. Huy Fong Sriracha entered the Philippines May last year and they’re now found in local grocery stores like Robinson’s, SM, Waltermart, Landmark, Puregold, Unimart, Rustan’s, Iloilo Supermart, Metro, Makati Supermart, Cash & Carry, and Pioneer Center Supermart!
Visit these eight places if you have a Sriracha craving to satisfy
Through a food crawl hosted by Sriracha, a bunch of looloo reviewers got to go to different places around the hip new area of Poblacion (which some people call NOLA for North of Kalayaan or SOLA for South of Kalayaan) to try out all kinds of Sriracha dishes.
You can hit up these bars, cafes, and restaurants too whenever you’re in need of a Sriracha fix!
1. Z Hostel Cafe and Bar
Z Hostel is popular among tourists and backpackers for its roof deck where you can enjoy an amazing view of the city. But the cafe-cum-bar on the ground floor is worth trying out too!
One of the things you can order from the menu is their Sriracha Chicken Wings (₱285 for 6 pieces). They’re smothered in a Sriracha-infused glaze, giving them a sweet flavor with a bit of a spicy kick at the end (they’re about a 2 out of 10 on the spiciness meter).
Other popular entrees you can try here are the crispy and juicy Adobo Flakes and the flavorful Sizzling Sisig!
Z Hostel Cafe and Bar can be found on the G/F of 5660 Don Pedro St., Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila.
2. The Wild Poppy
The clear favorite among looloo reviewers the night of the food crawl was the Sriracha Pork Belly Bao Wow (₱175 per piece) from The Wild Poppy!
In between the white, pillowy buns, you’ll find braised pork belly glazed in a Sriracha sauce, topped off with radish, cabbage, and carrots, and drizzled in a sesame dressing. Despite how thick the slabs of pork are, they’re so tender you can bite into them with ease. This dish isn’t tongue-scorchingly spicy either and scores a 2 out of 10 on the spiciness meter as well.
Hurry up and try it out now because these baos are only going to be on the menu until February 2017!
The Wild Poppy can be found on the 2/F of 5666 Don Pedro St., Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila.
3. Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli
If you think you’ve got enough guts, down a shot of Sriracha Tequila (₱80 per shot, ₱500 per bottle) at Alamat Pub! It’s made with a slice of red bell pepper, Sriracha, triple sec, calamansi juice, and pomelo and lemongrass syrup–a mix that burns the throat and lingers in there for a while. This one’s only available until supplies last so better muster up the courage now!
Try pairing your alcohol with their Salted Egg Chicken Wings with Aligue Sriracha Sauce (₱200 for 3 pieces). The chicken is wrapped in breading made with salt, pepper, mashed salted egg yolks, and flour, while the sauce is a mixture of fish sauce, Sriracha, sugar, and crab paste. All the ingredients work together to make every bite flavorful, sweet, and not too spicy. This one’s also available for a limited time only!
Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli can be found at 5666 Don Pedro St., Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila.
4. The Smokeyard
Bored of the usual mac and cheese? The Smokeyard makes their version with an exciting twist! Their Sriracha Mac and Cheese (₱140 per small bowl) is smothered in four kinds of cheeses, namely American, Cheddar, Parmesan, and Mozzarella, as well as Sriracha sauce and cream. As if that’s not enough, it’s finished off with even more Sriracha! It’s an extremely cheesy dish with just the right amount of spiciness.
For some protein to go with your carbs, there’s the Smoked Sriracha Chicken Wings (₱60 per wing). Not the typical fried chicken Filipinos are used to, these are smoked for three hours using apple and hickory wood, basted with a dry rub, and flavored with Sriracha BBQ sauce!
The Smokeyard can be found at 5666 Don Pedro St., Makati, Metro Manila.
5. Bucky’s Counter
While Bucky’s Counter is widely known for, well, its Buckies, they have other interesting things on the menu you might not know about. Like their Pink Taco (₱100 per order)!
An order of this will give you porchetta, chimichurri, cilantro, onions, and chili, all on top of a softshell taco. The meat is well-seasoned and adds a playful crunch to the dish while the onions give it a bit of a spicy kick. If you’re wondering where the Sriracha is, it’s incorporated into the flour used to make the taco shell, hence its pink hue!
This one’s on the menu for a limited time only but if you don’t get to catch it, you can always just buy the Porchetta Taco.
Bucky’s Counter can be found at 5666 Don Pedro St., Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila.
6. Heckle and Jeckle
The usual crowd at Heckle and Jeckle are sports buffs but foodies should pull up a chair here too. This sports bar knows how to make good food!
For something tasty to slurp on, get yourself a bowl of their light, refreshing, and authentic-tasting Sriracha Pho Ga (₱280 per bowl). Rather than mixing the Sriracha with the broth, they hand you a bottle of the hot sauce, giving you free rein to squeeze as much as you want into your bowl!
If your taste buds can handle more spicy food, you have to try the Sriracha Chili Chicken (₱360 per order). This Indian entree, made up of tender chicken strips cooked in different spices and Sriracha, was deemed the spiciest dish of the entire food crawl!
Heckle and Jeckle can be found at Felipe St., Bel-Air, Makati, Metro Manila.
7. El Chupacabra
Hangouts at El Chupacabra are always fun but if you want to spice things up even more for everyone around your table, order up a plate of their Sriracha Fish Tacos (₱128 per order). These open-faced softshell tacos are topped off with Baja-style battered and deep-fried white fish fillet, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, chopped onions, and a special sauce made with Sriracha and mayonnaise!
They may look like your run-of-the-mill tacos but don’t let the simplicity fool you. The fish is cooked to perfection, the vegetables are crisp and fresh, and you get a ton of flavor in every bite! They’re best eaten with a splash of calamansi juice.
El Chupacabra can be found on the G/F of JVR Bldg., 5782 Felipe St., Bel-Air, Makati, Metro Manila.
8. Handlebar Manila
If you’re into live band performances, bikes, and booze, you’ll fit right in at Handlebar Manila. But even though you’re not interested in any of those things, it’s still a great place to hang out in if you love to eat. Whatever it is you’re craving for, you’re bound to find it in their international menu!
In the mood for something with a little bit of a kick? Their Sriracha Chicken Tenders (₱139 per order) might just do the trick. The chicken strips are breaded in cayenne pepper, chicken powder, flour, egg, and breadcrumbs and then deep-fried into sticks. Don’t forget to dip them into the sweet chili sauce that comes with the order, made with Sriracha, ketchup, chili flakes, and cayenne pepper!
Handlebar Manila can be found at 31 Polaris St., Bel-Air, Makati, Metro Manila.
For more information on Huy Fong Food’s Sriracha, check out their Facebook Page, call them at +63 2 831 4437, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.