Sriracha sauce went mainstream this week.
The spicy chili sauce named after the city of Si Racha in eastern Thailand is now featured at Subway restaurants. The Sriracha Chicken Melt and Sriracha Steak Melt both feature Subway’s new creamy Sriracha sauce.
I tried both sandwiches this week and they do indeed deliver a kick. Order pepperjack cheese on your sub instead of more tame mozzarella or provolone and you’ve got some real heat. When I ordered my sub, the young man behind the counter gave me one of those looks that said: Are-you-sure?
I’m not running back to Subway just because they’ve now got a squeeze bottle of creamy Sriracha sauce. They don’t marinate their chicken strips or beef in Sriracha. I watched as a glop of plain chicken and then steak was dumped on the whole wheat rolls I’d ordered.
Still, it’s about time those of us who like some spice can now find it at Subway. Back in 2010, Bon Appetit magazine called it the ingredient of the year. I know I’ve got a bottle on my fridge door, which I've used on everything from Brussels sprouts to chicken wings.
Across South FLorida, it’s a particular favorite among the gastropub crowd. Sriracha sour cream is served with sweet potato fries at Kapow! Noodle Bar in Boca. Sriracha shrimp is on the menu at Soi Chinese Kitchen in Miami. Hot & Soul in Fort Lauderdale makes a tofu and soba noodle salad dressed in sriracha, sesame and rice vinegar.
I remember when Pei-Wei Asian diner added the hot sauce to many of its dishes. And according to a story this week in USA Today, Sriracha was seen on 47 restaurant chain menus in the last year.