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The Hot Sauce Topic


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For my entire life (at least as far back as I can remember), El Pato (in the yellow can) has been a staple, go-to, and necessary ingredient.

 

It's not very hot, but just has that "lil' somethin' somethin'" that many meals need!

 

When we lived in India, we couldn't get it and so the occasional can smuggled in a suitcase was treasured and meted out in careful doses. Now that we live in South Africa, again we can't find it, but there are many great hot sauces (many very local) that we use and love. Every little market and grannie has their own achar blend that is delightful. One of the seafood restaurants near us (Harbor Fish and Grill in Meyersdal, Johannesburg), has an absolutely incredible chili they serve with their rolls and you can also buy by the bottle. Another interesting note about South Africa: Tobasco is everywhere. Nearly ever restaurant has it on the table, and often multiple flavors.

 

Back to El Pato: It's affordable, tasty, and goes great on almost everything. I've even marinated chicken in it to make pulled chicken chimichangas. I think I've mentioned before, but dipping plain Lay's Potato chips in it is very addicting...

 

 

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On 12/5/2022 at 6:19 AM, Dr. Teeth said:

In my rotation:

 

Crystal, to cook with.   I will substitute Texas Pete if Crystal is unavailable.   Mild heat, lots of acid, otherwise clean.

 

For the table I like Cholula or Valentina’s with Mexican food or anything else where I’m ok with the strong cumin note.

 

Rancho Gordo’s Chipotle Sauce is also excellent.

 

I have the same bottle of Siracha everyone seems to have,  though I work through it slowly.

 

I usually have a bottle of habanero sauce around somewhere, but I’m not brand loyal and usually just buy whatever looks fun

 

I don’t have a lot of use for Tabasco (bland) or the concentrated capsaicin sauces (heat no flavor)

 

That pretty much describes my usual pantry collection.  Crystal is my go-to if nothing else is specified.  

I like to make Soldadera's Hot Sauce from Josef Centeno's Amá but when I'm out, Cholula, Valentina or Tapatio are easy to grab.  

Some kind of chipotle sauce like the RG Felicidad mentioned above or just a tin of chipotles in adobo blitzed in the blender and thinned with a bit of vinegar or other liquid.  

Inner Beauty is my choice for a Caribbean-style, fruity, Scotch bonnet sauce but I like to try others.  

I like to have a fresh, green sauce on hand and like the Green Chili Adobo from More Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless.  It's just garlic, serrano chiles, cilantro, parsley, olive oil and salt and easy to take in different directions. 

 

I've also got Hoy Fong Sriracha, Sambal Oelek and Chili Garlic sauce, Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp, Gochujang, Harissa, Calabrian Bomba sauce, Thai Green Chili sauce...

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27 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Inner Beauty is my choice for a Caribbean-style, fruity, Scotch bonnet sauce but I like to try others.  


I had no idea they were making Inner Beauty again.    The lovely Mrs Dr Teeth lived in a an apartment 1 block from the east coast grill when we met.   A number of our first dates were there.

 

I need to find a bottle or two.   Thank you.

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10 hours ago, pastameshugana said:

For my entire life (at least as far back as I can remember), El Pato (in the yellow can) has been a staple, go-to, and necessary ingredient.

 

It's not very hot, but just has that "lil' somethin' somethin'" that many meals need!

 

When we lived in India, we couldn't get it and so the occasional can smuggled in a suitcase was treasured and meted out in careful doses. Now that we live in South Africa, again we can't find it, but there are many great hot sauces (many very local) that we use and love. Every little market and grannie has their own achar blend that is delightful. One of the seafood restaurants near us (Harbor Fish and Grill in Meyersdal, Johannesburg), has an absolutely incredible chili they serve with their rolls and you can also buy by the bottle. Another interesting note about South Africa: Tobasco is everywhere. Nearly ever restaurant has it on the table, and often multiple flavors.

 

Back to El Pato: It's affordable, tasty, and goes great on almost everything. I've even marinated chicken in it to make pulled chicken chimichangas. I think I've mentioned before, but dipping plain Lay's Potato chips in it is very addicting...

 

 

I love El Pato and keep some stocked at all times. Growing up in KC, it was not available. My dad would take a couple weeks off in the summer and we would drive route 66 to LA for to visit my uncle and his family. Along the way, we would pick up a few cases of Coors that was illegal in California and we would bring back a couple of cases of El Pato. 

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That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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For Chinese dishes I like Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce. We keep chili crisp around as well. For Bloody Mary's I still find original Tabasco to be my favorite. For general use I use Frank's. I used to use Crystal but now I find it too vinegary; Frank's seems less so, and more complex altogether. Tapatio and Cholula are both good, but they tend to languish in the cupboard. Seeing a long row of interesting and graphic hot sauce bottles is always so fun; I love it when I see someone's collection! But really I would never use most of them. The super hot macho creations are hilarious, blow your head off cartoons. But my head needs to stay on.

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There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of commercially prepared hot sauces in China. I guess most people know 老干妈 (lǎo gān mā) but there are many more which are worth exploring. Many people and many restaurants also make their own.

 

My own favourite is this. It may not technically qualify as a sauce (I'm not sure what criteria are being applied) but I certainly use it like a sauce - almost every day.

 

1138312579_duolajiao.thumb.jpg.2732967818cf765f3b7da7682184d66b.jpg

 

Known as 剁辣椒 (duò là jiāo), literally "chopped hot peppers", the ingredients are chilli peppers, water, salt, garlic, MSG and some preservatives - much like a sauce. It is from Changsha, capital of Hunan province, one of China's spiciest provinces and 坛坛香 (tán tán xiāng) is the largest chilli processing company in the province and has several products. The company name refers to 'earthern jar fragrance' as chilli sauce was traditionally made in earthern jars as can be seen in their logo. Now it's made in traditional factories.

 

I don't know for sure that it's exported, but it would surprise me if not .

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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On 12/6/2022 at 10:44 PM, pastameshugana said:

El Pato (in the yellow can) has been a staple, go-to, and necessary ingredient.


I never thought of it as a hot sauce but I guess you are right! It was in something that was always in the pantry of my mom's Mexican American kitchen for dinner like my mom's baked chicken thighs that got cooked with El Pato mixed with a little sour cream and baked with thinly sliced onions if I'm remembering correctly. It was that short cut sauce that helped get dinner on the table but usually doctored up with other things! 

 

Brings back the memories 

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I have no idea where or when I bought this Peri Peri sauce, but it's delicious. A fair amount of chili heat, combined with acidic lemon and some sweetness. My husband and I have often talked about the way some hot sauces (Huy Fong Sriracha, for example) have good flavor but too much heat to appreciate it. This has a very nice balance.

 

20221210_205837.jpg

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1 hour ago, Smithy said:

My husband and I have often talked about the way some hot sauces (Huy Fong Sriracha, for example) have good flavor but too much heat to appreciate it.

 

If you think Huy Fong Sriracha is too hot to appreciate, don't go to actual Sriracha in Thailand! The locals there wonder why they forgot to put the chillies in it!

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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I was not raised in a culture that has much to do with hot sauces. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested so I logged on to my online grocery store, expecting to find Tabasco and Frank’s and not much else. I was amazed to find how many different hot sauces I could have access to should I wish. From Peri Peri to ghost pepper hot sauce. I am sure not even close to the number available to many of you who live south of the 49th parallel. Still I was impressed.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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10 hours ago, Senior Sea Kayaker said:

I picked up a bottle of Cholula green pepper sauce yesterday to give it a try.

To my taste it's mild with a very nice flavour. Had it with scrambled eggs this morning and will soon try it on fish tacos.

I'll pick up a bottle of the red on my next shopping run and give it a try.

 

Red Cholula was my constant travel companion for a decade.    It makes any airline meal palatable.    For me, at least.

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IMG_20221218_120548.thumb.jpg.650e70b0083f6d143538748b7dffcb96.jpg

Encona is a West Indian brand widely available in the UK. This is Carolina Reaper, which is a new version to me. Encona is incredibly reliable across different chillies. They label the heat level from 1 to 5 chillies as above. I have to say 5 chillies is hot, but not insane. The original Scotch Bonnet is great, but each of the peppers really carries its distinct flavour.

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About 30 years ago my older sister bought herself, my younger sister and me a terracotta pot each of Italian chopped chillies. That was the first really hot European thing I'd ever eaten. It was from John Lewis. Never seen again. I keep an eye out on my travels. Peperoncino? Any brand recommendations? Truly hot.

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Not all hot sauces are red. Here is a great green one from Sichuan.

 

The larger writing on the label reads 烧椒酱 (shāo jiāo jiàng) which means 'roast pepper sauce'. The smaller writing under Wa! reads 川娃子 (chuān wá zi), meaning 'Sichuan baby!'

 

1462766300_greenhotsauce(2).thumb.jpg.511d67a3166f05d07f7b47d2895ea542.jpg

 

986020090_greenhotsauce(1).thumb.jpg.559ae142d5316f0e6e401c6711e23147.jpg

 

It's  good stuff - hot with a smoky flavour.

 

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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On 12/11/2022 at 3:22 PM, Anna N said:

I was not raised in a culture that has much to do with hot sauces. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested so I logged on to my online grocery store, expecting to find Tabasco and Frank’s and not much else. I was amazed to find how many different hot sauces I could have access to should I wish. From Peri Peri to ghost pepper hot sauce. I am sure not even close to the number available to many of you who live south of the 49th parallel. Still I was impressed.

 

Chatelaine magazine did a little piece on 15 fave Canadian hot sauces. They say they sampled more than 120 made-in-Canada sauces. 

https://www.chatelaine.com/food/best-canadian-hot-sauces/

 

There's an impressive store in Ottawa that sells a gazillion different sauces. They say they have Canada's largest hot sauce collection and they have online ordering if you want to try some of them out.  😄

https://chillychiles.com/

 

I bought some hot sauce at the local Farmers' Market last year. It was a delicious fermented sauce that I really enjoyed (my husband isn't a fan of 'hot'). It was made by some of the people that operate the local Yellow Deli restaurant, a place I didn't really know. Then I looked it up and it seems to be operated by some kind of cult. I don't really want to support the cult, but I did like that sauce.   🙂

 

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50 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

Chatelaine magazine did a little piece on 15 fave Canadian hot sauces.

Fascinating. I’m really not a hot sauce fan. But I do know that Frank’s hot sauce gets old very quickly. Perhaps a more complex hot sauce would bring me over to the dark side.  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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1 hour ago, FauxPas said:

 

Chatelaine magazine did a little piece on 15 fave Canadian hot sauces. They say they sampled more than 120 made-in-Canada sauces. 

https://www.chatelaine.com/food/best-canadian-hot-sauces/

 

There's an impressive store in Ottawa that sells a gazillion different sauces. They say they have Canada's largest hot sauce collection and they have online ordering if you want to try some of them out.  😄

https://chillychiles.com/

 

I bought some hot sauce at the local Farmers' Market last year. It was a delicious fermented sauce that I really enjoyed (my husband isn't a fan of 'hot'). It was made by some of the people that operate the local Yellow Deli restaurant, a place I didn't really know. Then I looked it up and it seems to be operated by some kind of cult. I don't really want to support the cult, but I did like that sauce.   🙂

 

 

 Chilly Chiles is a great spot.  

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@Anna N 

 

interesting points .

 

by ' old '

 

do you mean oxidized ?

 

as its been on he shelf 

 

for some time ?

 

I like Green , and I like acid 

 

understanding   that there are many items to try

 

that are not 

 

Tobacco Green.

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4 hours ago, rotuts said:

@Anna N 

 

interesting points .

 

by ' old '

 

do you mean oxidized ?

 

as its been on he shelf 

 

for some time ?

 

I like Green , and I like acid 

 

understanding   that there are many items to try

 

that are not 

 

Tobacco Green.

I mean old as in it appeared too many times in too many places. It is one dimensional, but my brother-in-law was very fond of it. I stopped eating chicken wings for years because they had always been served drowned in this sauce.  At that time almost every restaurant knew no other way of serving wings.

Edited by Anna N
Typo (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Here is what the Sichuan roast pepper sauce really looks like as opposed to the image from the ad.

 

1372472803_SichuanGreenHotSauce.thumb.jpg.a979ea0dd3324eb0055f4eb0cf2fcf5d.jpg

 

Still tastes great and not for chilli-wimps. It is very vegetal in taste, so I've convinced myself that it tastes green!

 

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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