Is It Unhealthy?
Unlike its spicy cousin sriracha, Tabasco isn’t full of sugar, making it a much healthier way to add heat to dishes. It’s also gluten free, fat free, kosher, halal and vegan, making it an accessible ingredient. Just keep an eye on the sodium: in its Original Red Pepper Sauce you’ll find 35mg of sodium per teaspoon. However, given that the recommended daily intake for adults in the UK is 2.4g of sodium – and you only need a few shakes of sauce – this is one of the healthier condiments out there.
How Spicy Is It?
According to the Scoville scale – the barometer that measures capsaicin, the chemical in peppers responsible for their heat – Original Red Pepper Sauce scores 2,500-5,000 points, making it as spicy as a jalapeño. Here’s how the rest of the collection compares:
Sweet & Spicy Sauce: Scoville Rating: 100-300
Buffalo-Style Hot Sauce: Scoville Rating: 300-900
Green Jalapeño Sauce: Scoville Rating: 600-1,200
Sriracha Sauce: Scoville Rating: 1,000-3,000
Cayenne Garlic Sauce: Scoville Rating: 1,200-2,400
Chipotle Pepper Sauce: Scoville Rating: 1,500-2,500
Original Red Pepper Sauce: Scoville Rating: 2,500-5,000
Habanero Pepper Sauce: Scoville Rating: >7,000
Scorpion Sauce: Scoville Rating: 35,000
How To Cook With Tabasco
Korean-American chef Judy Joo told us why Tabasco sauce is her must-use ingredient…
Everyone knows what to expect when they spot that little red bottle. I love hot sauce, but Tabasco is the one I reach for the most because it’s so versatile. It gives everything I have it on an addictive quality, which I love. I have been known to carry my own bottle on flights (plane food is so bland) and to the cinema to spice up my popcorn and nachos.
You can really add it to everything. I tend to put it on anything from popcorn, pizza, avocado toast, and eggs to dishes like guacamole, pasta, potatoes, curries. Everything. One of my favourite go-to easy dinners is making stir fries with any leftovers in my fridge. I’ll toss together a bunch of veggies, some chicken and jazz it up with fresh garlic, ginger, onions and a splash of good-quality soy sauce. Then at the table I’ll give it a generous drizzle of Tabasco.
I never let a dish that typically isn’t spicy stop me from experimenting. Sometimes this is when you discover the best combinations. I also like Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce, which is zesty and has a milder heat, and great to try if you’re sensitive to spice. I usually put it on non-spicy dishes to lift them with a hit of acidity and spice from a few dashes.
There are so many variations on the Bloody Mary using every spirit imaginable, but the spice has to be Tabasco. It’s the classic choice for a Bloody Mary and an essential.
I am a self-confessed hot sauce addict. One of the best dishes you’ll ever have it on is Korean fried chicken. My restaurant Seoul Bird is currently collaborating on some fried chicken dishes with Tabasco using its sriracha, which is the brand’s take on the classic Thai sauce. It’s flavoured with the same oak barrel-aged peppers in the classic Tabasco so it has that signature kick, but with a deliciously rich, sweet and garlicky flavour. As Korean fried chicken is known for the sauce it’s doused in, it’s the perfect dish to mix and match sauces onto.
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