Plated + Served: Sriracha Potato Salad


Your potato salad is about to get a kick in the chops.

This summer, you’ll probably eat a lot of forgettable (but hopefully not regrettable) potato salads. Here’s one you’ll remember.

You start with the usual: mayo and potatoes, of course. But then, you’ll take a sharp left turn: mint, carrots and lemon juice. Oh, did I mention: Sriracha Sauce?

The garlicky sweet and salty Sriracha Thai chili sauce brings a bright umami curiosity to this usually reserved (and often bland) summer salad staple.

You’ll be tempted to go overboard with the Sriracha. Don’t… you’ll blot out the cool freshness of the mint. I threw in carrots for crunch, but, you can add celery to keep some semblance of the traditional recipe.

The summer heat is coming… in more ways than one.



What is Sriracha?


Sometimes our assumptions leave others confused… like last week when I used Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce in a recipe and thought everyone was familiar with the spicy condiment.20110111_zaf_m42_031.jpg

Wrong… and Mama apologies for being so foodie presumptuous. How snobby.

Here’s the download on the question: What is Sriracha (and why you really should try i).

Though it’s been around since the early ‘80s, Sriracha sauce has only recently become the darling of chefs (Bon Appétit named it ingredient of the year in 2010). Sriracha is turning up everywhere: in popcorn, salt, potato chips… even in cocktails!

Sriracha is made with chili, sugar, salt, garlic and distilled vinegar. It also contains potassium sorbate (preservative), sodium sulfite (to preserve the bright red color) and xanthan gum (thickener).

The chilies and garlic give it a fuller, more balanced flavor than say, Tabasco or other similar hot sauces. On the Scoville Scale (used to measure the heat of a chili pepper), Sriracha ranks between 1,000 and 2,500. That’s above a banana pepper, but below a jalapeño pepper. The hottest chili, a ghost pepper, ranks 855,000.

You’ll find Sriracha in the ethnic section of many supermarkets or in Asian or Latino markets. You can also order it online here.

Oh, and one other thing… contrary to popular belief, Sriracha sauce doesn’t come from Asia. It was invented in Los Angeles and is made in the United States. The distinctive plastic squeeze bottle with bright green cap is labeled in five languages (English, Vietnamese, Chinese, French and Spanish), which is probably where the confusion originated.

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Plated + Served: On The Tenth Day of Christmas…


Only two days left as we continue counting down the 12 Days of Christmas, and today Mama’s here to tell you: The Lords are a-Leaping!

Why? Because of this spicy salsa!

It’s a real eye-opener (especially at breakfast) because it’s made with dried arbol chilies, which have a beautiful deep red color, but are searing hot! Arbol chilies are 2 to 3-inches long with a pointed tip. You can buy them fresh, dried or powdered.

Don’t forget, a little bit of this salsa goes a long way… that’s what keeps the Lords a-leaping!






I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: