This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to what people in the food industry are obsessed with eating, drinking, and buying right now.
The first time I tried Three Mountains yellow sriracha I was in Savannah, Georgia, at a create-your-own poke bowl spot. Like the spice fiend that I am, I asked the woman behind the counter for a side of sriracha. At first, when she handed me an unfamiliar yellow bottle, I was confused. The bottle’s silhouette was similar to the red Huy Fong sriracha I knew and loved, but the nozzle was yellow instead of green. Instead of a rooster on the label there was a mountain range, and the sauce itself was a vibrant yellow-orange. It looked like sriracha from an alternate universe.
I drizzled a few lines over my poke, then handed the bottle to my boyfriend to try as well. We took our first bites. Oh. My. Goodness. The yellow sriracha had a tangy sweetness with a lingering heat that left me wanting more. I liked it so much that, before we left, I went to snag a few pictures of the bottle so that I could add it to my pantry ASAP.
I couldn’t stop wondering, what the heck is in Three Mountains yellow sriracha that makes it so good? It contains only five ingredients: yellow chiles, sugar, garlic, vinegar, and salt. Upon further investigation, those “yellow chiles” are Thai burapa chiles, which can range anywhere from 50,000 to 300,000 scovilles—hotter than a cayenne pepper but a bit milder than a habanero. No hate to red sriracha, but its distinctive—though delicious!—flavor sometimes overpowers my meals. (Admittedly this could partially be due to user error. I use a heavy hand with hot sauce.) While red sriracha tends to be “louder” in spiciness with its kick hitting you right up front, yellow sriracha’s heat lingers on the back end. Red sriracha wants to be the center of attention while its yellow counterpart helps elevate every other part of the dish.
Ever since that trip to Savannah, I’ve been using yellow sriracha on almost everything. On a typical morning, I either start my day with avocado toast or I fry up a classic Filipino silog breakfast made with garlic fried rice and a few pieces of glazed beef tapa or fried Spam—either way, yellow sriracha makes an appearance. I’ve also been adding it to this crispy Thai chicken salad, air-fried spicy chicken wings, and crispy salmon and bulgur. And of course, I can’t eat poke without it—with foods like delicate raw fish, I want the more subdued, citrus-forward kind of heat these Thai peppers provide. Three Mountains brightens up my every meal with tanginess, heat, and the perfect dose of bright yellow sunshine.