If you don't know the spicy, garlicky "Rooster Sauce," you need to join the club. It's way good and way popular - 15 million bottles of the Thai chili-pepper sauce are produced yearly. Bon Appetit magazine named it the Ingredient of the Year in 2010.
And get this: Now there's "The Sriracha Cookbook: 50 'Rooster Sauce' Recipes That Pack a Punch" (Ten Speed Press, $16.99, 128 pages) by Randy Clemens. He's a graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts, a nationally recognized beer-contest judge and self-described "all-around hedonist" (www.randyclemens.com).
The cookbook is organized this way: sauces and seasonings, starters and snacks, salads and sides, soups and stews, breakfast, main courses, and drinks and desserts. The intriguing dishes include Thai chicken-coconut soup, baked mac 'n' cheese, prawns a la "diabla" and lamb kebabs (www.thesrirachacookbook.com).
Here's a simple recipe to get you started:
Clemens writes, "It is extremely versatile and will jazz-up any tired old sandwich. Try it in egg salad, on a burger or as a dip for fries."
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup Sriracha
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
"In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients. Feel free to adjust the amount of lime juice to bring the thickness to your liking. Refrigerate promptly. Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Use as a spread or dipping sauce for your favorite recipes that call for mayonnaise."