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Put Sriracha on Everything

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sriracha2
Photos: Eliza Mills

Sriracha is so much more than hot sauce: sriracha is magic. It's on the table at any self-respecting, pho-serving Vietnamese place, and most college students have used it to spice up their ramen and mac n' cheese. The sauce has a cult following on the internet and off -- it's inspired a cookbook, a blog, and countless spicy recipes. One of my favorite cookbooks is a beautiful, hulking guide called The Flavor Bible. Instead of giving you recipes, the book tells you how to use different foods and flavors together -- how and why certain combinations work. One can only imagine that it's the result of countless failed combinations, but hey, you have to sort through the bad to get to the good. Inspired by The Flavor Bible and some completely serious instructions from my hot-sauce-loving friends to "put Sriracha on everything," I put Sriracha on everything. This is the resulting guide: a rundown of what's good and what's not, plus a few potentially surprising recipes. What do you put Sriracha on?

Squirt it on:
Potatos (cooked any way)
Eggs (same deal)
Cheese
Meat
Eggplant
Squash
Zucchini
Avocado
Pineapple
Mango
Melon
Peas
Pho (and other clear, mild soups)
Sushi
Pizza
Macaroni and Cheese
Peanut noodles
Stir fry
Sorbet (peach or raspberry is best)

Mix it into/infuse it with:
Beans
Honey
Greek yogurt (with honey!)
Peanut butter
Jam (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, peach, and apricot are all great)
Hummus or tahini
Guacamole
Tomato sauce (instant arrabiata)
Cream cheese
Olive oil
Butter
Melted dark chocolate

Maybe avoid:
Unmelted chocolate (chocolate and spice go well together, but these flavors need to blend to truly complement one another -- melt first!)
Uncooked apples, pears, and berries (if you want sriracha on uncooked fruit, stick with stone fruits, pineapple, and melon)
Ice cream, chocolate or vanilla (this wasn't actually so bad, but it's best to limit it to a couple bites, after the novelty of spicy ice cream wears off and you just want something sweet)

Recipes:

Sriracha Cream Cheese with Chives
Mix about a spoonful (or more) of Sriracha into a few spoonfuls of cream cheese. Stir in a tablespoon of finely chopped chives. This is great spread on a bagel and even more delicious scrambled into your eggs.

popcorntwo

Sriracha Popcorn
Melt two tablespoons of butter and stir in a teaspoon of Sriracha. Then toss your popped corn (stovetop fresh or hot from the microwave, who cares) with the mixture, sprinkle with salt.

spicymangolime

Mango Avocado Salad with Sriracha-Lime Dressing
Cut up one mango and one avocado into roughly bit-sized pieces. In a small bowl, mix the juice of one or two limes with a squirt of Sriracha, and stir, then toss with the mango and avocado.

hamnjam

Sriracha Blackberry Jam and Ham Sandwich
Spread jam, on your favorite bread and add some Sriracha, as much as you'd like, and spread the mixture together. Top with cheese (cheddar, Gruyere, and Jarlsberg are all great) and black forest ham; grill if you'd like, or eat it cold.

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