I first learned about Harissa in Leela Cyd’s book, Food With Friends, which I bought back in 2016. It’s listed within her pantry must-haves. I haven’t actually started regularly using it until I made this Harissa Chicken & Leek recipe. From there, I started adding it as one of my dipping sauces when enjoying a toasted, chewy piece of garlic naan alongside my homemade tzatziki and some Mediterranean hummus. It also goes great inside a lamb gyro. And with scrambled eggs.
The reason I say Harissa is the new Sriracha is not that they have the same flavor, short of the fact that they are both hot sauces. Harissa is a Tunisian chili paste made from garlic, caraway, and coriander. Sriracha, on the other hand, is a hot sauce with Vietnamese origins, made of chili peppers, sugar, garlic, distilled vinegar, and salt. So yeah, they don’t taste anything alike, but I’m talking about the hype value of both. Sriracha has long transcended the store shelves of 99 Ranches and has been made into a Lay’s Potato Chips flavor, mini keychains, T-shirts, and can be framed as a work of art from many Etsy artists. It’s no longer just a condiment, it’s a way of life and a pop culture icon. Most importantly, people started putting it on almost everything.
This is the relationship I’m now having with Harissa.
Thoughts? Have you started using the magic hot sauce yet?
If you need tips on where to buy it, it’s available at your local Wholefood’s or Trader Joe’s. You can also order it from Amazon.