The Spicy Condiments People Put On Everything
One (or all) of these cult-favorite sauces deserve a permanent place in your kitchen.
From sriracha to curry ketchup, you could argue that condiments are the spice of life personified. (After all, what would a taco be without hot sauce?) Fiery fixings come in many forms; whether you crave the sweet heat of chili-infused honey or the numbing burn of Sichuan peppercorns, there’s always something out there for you to dip, spread or drizzle. Yet some get more love than others, earning chef endorsements, cult-like followings and even their own merch. Here are nine condiments that really bring the heat.
One of the few condiments to have its own cookbook, fans panicked on social media when a shortage was announced earlier this year. Though there are multiple sriracha producers, most Americans have come to associate the tangy, garlicky Thai hot sauce with this brand, also known as “Rooster Sauce” for the bird on the bottle. In Southeast Asia sriracha is most commonly used to spice up seafood, eggs, noodles and rice, but you can add it to just about anything that needs a kick, including burgers, nachos, soup, and even mac and cheese.
A favorite of Italian chefs like Giada de Laurentiis, these crushed calabrian chilis in oil add a dash of smoky heat when dolloped onto dishes like pizza, soup, bruschetta and pasta. Get creative and spread it onto your sandwich and stir it into hummus for punch.
Curry ketchup is a hit on dishes like sausage and fries in its homeland of Germany. Red Duck, a Portland, Oregon-based company, makes an organic version that’s just as good (if not better) than anything you’ll find in Berlin. If you like the heat level amped up, Red Duck also makes a Spicy Ketchup.
Undoubtedly one of the most popular chili crisps out there, obsessives swear by this mouth-numbing condiment for its umami flavor and addictive texture, created by chili flakes, Sichuan pepper and fermented black beans. Scoop a few spoonfuls to amp up your dumplings, scallion pancakes, stir-fry, fried chicken and more. Diehards even like to drizzle it on their ice cream for a savory sweet balance.
Made from roasted red peppers and chilis seasoned with coriander, caraway and garlic, harissa offers a relatively modest level of heat that complements stew, couscous, tagine, grilled meat and other North African dishes. It’s also easy to stir into soup, scrambled eggs and mayo for a quick, zesty sandwich spread.
The legendary French mustard brand joined forces with the cult-favorite hot honey from Brooklyn to create this new hot honey Dijon infused with honey and chili peppers. Spicy and sweet, use it as a dipping sauce, sandwich topping in a vinaigrette or even on barbecue for a quick and easy marinade.
Made in Guadalajara, Valentina is just one answer to the eternal question, “What is the ultimate hot sauce?” While everyone has their favorite, this classic has been topping lists for nearly 60 years due to its fresh flavor, modest price and pure ingredients (water, chili peppers, vinegar, salt, spices, and sodium benzoate). Whether you prefer the mild, citrusy Red Label or the fiery Black Label, Valentina adds just the right amount of zing to burritos, tacos and just about anything else you can think of.
Ranging from the mild lemon and herb sauce to flamingly hot, this pack — all made from peri-peri or African bird’s eye chili — boasts savory garlic, citrus and vinegar notes that works especially well as a marinade on grilled meat or fish. You can also use it as a dipping sauce or drip it on salads, toast, and more.