Today we’re checking out the “Rice Burner” Sweet and Spicy Asian sauce from High Octane Sauce Company. I have to say that as far as branding of a line goes, I’ll admit that, as a bit of a motorhead, I’m square in High Octane’s target market for naming and label design, and if I were wandering in a hot sauce show or a shop, I would at least stop and pay attention to their line, because short of having to do a little research on their naming of the JP5 Moruga sauce, I get every correlation between the style or characteristics of their sauces and how that matches the name, and it just catches my eye. This one in particular gave me a bit of a laugh because it reminds me of several years ago when I was resto-modding classic trucks, and websites like RiceCop.com were part of my favorite internet amusements, because the ridiculousness of designs in the import car scene that was going down at the time. Anyways, enough motor talk, let’s get back to talking about burning mouths instead of tires.
With an ingredient list of Chilis, Hoison Sauce, Soy Sauce, Ginger, Rice Vinegar, Sugar, Fish Sauce and Spices, all I can think of right now is that this has pretty much everything in it already that I like to put in my Pho, short of the veg and lime juice. If you haven’t experienced Pho (pronounced like the first two letters in ‘the F word’), I feel deeply sorry for you. Put that on your bucket list of something.
The sauce is a dark brownish with tints of orange and red, and clings quite firmly to the neck of the bottle after a shake, and continues to do so several minutes beyond that, so this could probably get a lot of use as a glaze in grilling or a wing sauce. You can see hints of beading up of some oil throughout and specs of all sorts of spices and particles throughout, indicating there is likely some complexity to the sauce. The aroma gives off strong hints of rice vinegar, sweetened soy sauce and ginger and does very well at stimulating a lot of salivating just from the first few sniffs.
Time to tip the bottle back. There is an instantly sweet ginger blanket that flows over your tongue with black pepper hints and a then a heavy earthy chile pepper flavor starts to heat up and gives you a bit of that flavor you get from smoked chile peppers. The heat doesn’t peak all that high, but there is a lot to like about the contrast in flavors here. Not overly sweet, spicy or tart and a few stages of flavor that you get to experience. With just a bit of the sauce, I was going for a mild rating, but now that I’ve had a chance to have a little more (to be honest, I just dropped about half of the bottle), I’m going to rate this on the low end of Medium. Since there is a touch of that dried/smoked flavor with the chile pepper heat, and that this warmed up on me after a bit, I’m wondering if this isn’t mostly dried Thai chiles with a touch of ghost pepper in the mix, which if so, I’m ok with, as it allows you to get a little heat up front, but seems to heat up over a little time. As I alluded to in the texture segment, I think this would still be a great wing sauce or grilling glaze, and I think it’s Notable enough that I’m going to drag it out tonight to my local Vietnamese place and use it in place of the usual mix of hoisin sauce and Sriracha. For the home cook, this stuff would work great as a no fuss stir fry sauce, just cook what you want in the contents of this bottle.