Spicy Chicken Teriyaki Don at Kamiya Sushi and My Pet Peeves with the Fake Sriracha Sauce

By Tana Kosiyabong

“Holy crap! It’s almost eleven,” I cried as I jumped out of bed in panic. I had a Cheap Appetite mission to tackle today. The plan was to survive a whole day at the Vancouver Public Library with only $10 food budget. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I sure loved the challenge. Unfortunately, by the time I had made it to the library, it was already noon. I had missed the breakfast altogether.

As a result, I had to abort the mission. No worries, I’ll revisit the plan next time I go to the library. But now it was time for Plan B! Wait… I never thought that far ahead. So, I walked around the library to see what’s worth writing about. Soon enough, I came across Kamiya Sushi in front of the main library entrance on Robson. Their spicy chicken teriyaki don caught my eyes. I ate more chicken teriyaki bowls than I could count, but I had yet to try this spicy sibling.

The restaurant looked nice and clean with a Japanese touch. The front door was almost too heavy to open. No wonder why there were only a few customers when I stepped inside. As reaching the cashier, I wasted no time to order the spicy chicken teriyaki don ($5.99), then poured myself a glass of iced water and walked towards an empty bar seat in the back of the restaurant. Soon after, the rice bowl was served.

At first glance, it looked really yummy. Then I realized that the cook had topped the chicken teriyaki bowl with the Fake Sriracha sauce, one of my pet peeves. Although it’s definitely spicy, I just didn’t expect Kamiya to take such an easy way out. I could have added the damn hot sauce myself. (If you want to try this dish, I suggest you stir the hot sauce in with the rice first.)

The chicken teriyaki was pan grilled and cut into small cubes, then lightly stir-fried with fresh sweet onion, cabbage and bean sprout. The crunchy veggies added fun textures to the bowl. The rice was al dente. Unfortunately, this dish was not a risotto. Kamiya used medium sweet dark soy sauce to season the dish. However, I couldn’t detect mirin aroma in the teriyaki sauce. Even though this dish didn’t taste like what I had imagined, it was pretty decent. Since I’m not a Japanese food expert, who am I to judge its authenticity?

Kamiya Sushi’s Spicy Chicken Teriyaki Don: ©©©

Kamiya is located at 202-345 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (T) 604.331.0817

Now let’s talk about Sriracha sauce and its imitator. Sriracha is a municipal district of Chonburi, a coastal province in Central Thailand. The authentic Sriracha sauce was first made in this district as condiment/dipping sauce for the abundant local seafood. However, the infamously fake Sriracha sauce was made in California. It doesn’t taste like the original at all. But since the fake stuff was widely available in many grocery stores across the US and Canada, most people–including some famous chefs on TV–thought that it was the real McCoy. Seriously chefs, do your homework!

If you live in or near Vancouver and want to try Thai Sriracha sauce (see the above right photo), you can find it at T&T supermarket near Tinseltown, downtown Vancouver. Though it’s not the Sriraja Panich Brand I grew up with, but it’s close enough. If you want to order online, look for Sriracha Sauce from Thailand.

According to the Bird Chili blog, Sriracha Panich, arguably the first manufacturer of Sriracha sauce in Thailand, now markets the sauce under the name Sriraja Panich because “Sriracha” was trademarked in the US by Huy Fong, the manufacturer of the imitation sauce.

Imagine how you would feel if the identity of your beloved Tabasco sauce was stolen and distorted. And now the rest of the world thought the Fake Tabasco is the real deal. Then, you’ll understand why this imitation sauce pisses me off!

©2009 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.

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29 thoughts on “Spicy Chicken Teriyaki Don at Kamiya Sushi and My Pet Peeves with the Fake Sriracha Sauce

  1. that’s quite interesting because the very popular one tells people not to buy any other ones but theirs as it’s not true and authentic. I’m gonna try the sauce you recommended, is it call Strong? Can’t really see the name.

    1. Hey VCW, Thanks for visiting. Thai Sriracha Sauce on the picture is “Cock” brand. Maybe you should print the photo out and bring with you. Not sure where you live. But If you are in Vancouver, you can get it at T&T near Tinsel town. The arguably original brand is Sriraja Panich. That’s the one I grew up with. You can see the picture by click on the link inside the story text. I hope you enjoy it.

    1. No need to be embarrass Shelley. I wouldn’t know this if I didn’t grow up in Thailand. I’m glad you want to try the authentic one. It definitely taste different than the fake one. But it’s up to you to decide which one you like more 🙂

    1. Sometimes the authentic ones are hard to find. The fake ones are more popular here in North America. I couldn’t find the Sriraja Panich one here. But the substitute, “Cock” brand, isn’t too bad.

  2. Really sorry to know that you’re not satisfied with the food in there, not really the food but the sauce huh! However, that dish still look pretty good though to go with rice!

    1. Well… the chicken teriyaki is not bad at all. But I wish they would at least stir-fried that sauce in with the chicken to make it spicy. I could have put the sauce on top myself if I want to. So, I was a bit disappointed. But the fake hot sauce annoys me more than the chicken bowl.

  3. Hmmm. never tried the real siracha, but i dont like the “fake” one by itself anyway. There is a fantastic teriyaki place where i live, and they have the best spicy teriyaki sauce ever. Apparently it’s half teriyaki sauce, and half siracha chili sauce. Of course i dont know the proportions exactly, but it’s my favourite. It has the right blend of spicy and flavor mixed together!!!!

    1. Hey Andrew, the right blend of spice and teriyaki sauce is definitely the key. What’s the name of your favorite spicy teriyaki restaurant? I’m curious to try it. The authentic Sriracha taste much better than the fake one IMHO:)

  4. Geez, get over it with the jealousy for rooster sauce’s success. If it weren’t for Huy Fong, no one would be able to know or care about authentic Sriracha sauce because Americans already have Tabasco sauce, the same tangy, runny sauce as Thai Sriracha. Add a little sugar to Tabasco and it’s exactly the same as real Sriracha. How many times have Thai companies produced fish sauce bearing the name Phu Quoc on it? The answer is many times, so stop your whining.

    Rooster sauce may not be produced in Thailand or by even a Thai person or someone who grew up in Thailand, but the fact is that it is more palatable to the American taste than authentic Sriracha sauce. Its success is due to the combination of Vietnamese flavor with some of Thai texture. I have to say the Sriracha rooster sauce is 90% Vietnamese and 10% Thai. Its mainstream appeal is mainly due to word of mouth; There’s no great ad campaign behind it.

    You can call the rooster sauce ‘fake Sriracha’ all you want but the fact is that real Thai hot sauce companies have been trying to immitate the fake Huy Fong sriracha sauce by putting their hot sauce in plastic bottles of exactly same shape and size and color as that of the rooster sauce. Talk about irony: the real McCoy immitating the “fake” McCoy.

  5. I saw a tv show which was dedicated to talking about the guy who BROUGHT FROM THAILAND his recipe for sriracha. Behold, the famous green cap Rooster sauce. You’re saying that is a lie, the man is not Thai nor had a personal recipe for sriracha he decided to mass market? I think both are sriracha and I will continue using the green cap, but thanks for your educational blog on the different sauces available.

  6. The original sriracha chili sauce was branded Sriraja Panich. It was created in the Sriraja district in Thailand. Later on, Thai Theparos Company bought the brand. You can find the real sriracha chili sauce at any Whole Foods in the East Coast of the USA.

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