Originally used as a dip for seafood in Si Racha, Thailand, this tasty garlic chili sauce has become universally popular in the last couple of years, appearing everywhere from noodle houses and taco stands to high-end kitchens, where it’s beloved for its unique tangy-hot flavor. Because it has flavors of hot, sweet and sour, it can fill in the missing element in any number of recipes. As far as the home cook is concerned, that makes this versatile sauce a great value. Use it to add a little heat to soups, sauces and stir-fries. Make a deliciously spicy mayonnaise for sandwiches. Mix with yogurt for a dish-finishing garnish. Or just drizzle a little over plain rice and veggies, and voilà – where there once was a mere plate of food, there is now a dish . You can find several brands of sriracha out there, but Lee Kum Kee is one of the only ones made without sulfite preservatives.
Look for it at Whole Foods or your local Asian grocery store for about $3 a bottle.