Get happy with sriracha sauce in this recipe — and really get happy. It turns out that sriracha is a great way to release some mood-boosting endorphins.
It’s true because I heard it on my local National Public Radio station. At lunch time I love to listen to NPR, and when they started talking about my favorite hot sauce, well… I got happy. Here’s what I heard about some of the ingredients in sriracha sauce…
“Jalapenos and other chili peppers are packed with two potent compounds — capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin. These molecules perform a mind trick on our nervous system: They make us think our tongues have touched something scalding hot, like boiling water. To keep the tongue from getting burned, the brain triggers the sensation of pain. Something like, “Holy cow! Wash this Sriracha out of my mouth immediately!
“But your nervous system isn’t going to just let you suffer with your mouth on fire. So it also launches a whole series of actions to help us deal with the pain. It releases endorphins — the morphine-like compounds that give you a natural high. And it makes the nerves on our tongue more tolerant to pain.”
What else makes me happy? Bacon. So it made perfect sense to pair bacon and sriracha sauce in this delicious appetizer. It’s a hit at home and anywhere I take it — because it spreads a little heat and lot of happiness.
- 3-4 large Vidalia onions (or other sweet onion)
- 20 slices raw bacon
- ¼ cup honey
- 4 tablespoons Sriracha
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and put a rack on the sheet. The aluminum foil facilitates clean-up. The rack will keep the onion rings from getting soggy.
- Prepare the onions. Trim the ends and peel. Slice each onion crosswise into ½-inch slices. Pop the centers out of each slice, saving the two outermost layers. You will use the large, double-layer rings for this recipe. You can set aside the smaller pieces for another use.
- Wrap each double-layered onion ring with bacon, slightly overlapping the strip, until it is covered completely. For each onion ring, you will need 1½ to 2 pieces of bacon, depending on how large the onion ring is.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the honey in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir in Sriracha and soy sauce.
- Dunk each bacon-wrapped onion ring in the mixture and then place on the rack on the lined baking sheet.
- Bake onion rings for 30 minutes. Then flip and cook for another 20 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes, then serve as a snack, appetizer or side dish.