Revisiting sriracha meatloaf

Meatloaf is a good hobby to have.

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Read Time: 7 minutes

Three years ago, when I started writing about sandwiches, I had a different goal for each blog post than I do now. I was creating individual recipes for each sandwich component and had convinced myself that since I was writing about the sandwich, it didn’t need a full recipe. I felt that the individual recipes for each sandwich component were important but the process of building the sandwich would be obvious from the blog post. On paper, I think this was a fairly good idea, but after a few months, I gathered that most people taking the time to read a sandwich blog would like to see the full recipe in one spot, rather than having to load multiple recipes.

Basically, I learned that I can be long-winded in the “why” parts of the blog posts but if someone wants to return and use the “how” parts to recreate the sandwich it was a clunky experience to make a sandwich based on a blog post with multiple individual recipes instead of one straightforward full recipe.

This was also before I added the “jump to recipe” button to each blog post that would skip to the full recipe. Once I added that, it made sense to have a full recipe to anchor each blog post.

For example, one of my earliest sandwich posts that I shared three years and four days ago was my Sriracha glazed meatloaf sandwich that I served inside of Dutch crunch potato rolls with homemade pickles, special sauce, melty cheddar, and crispy fried shallots. I shared all these recipes but never shared a recipe for the sandwich itself. Because of this, and since I was craving meatloaf, I decided to make the sandwich again to test my original recipes and write a new full recipe.

I also used this time to clean up any errors or add updates to the individual recipes and to reconsider whether this sandwich was good or if it had one or two too many ingredients. Spoiler: I knew when I looked back at the meatloaf blog post that this sandwich probably had too many components. But below, I write about and consider each and tell you whether I think the component is worth adding or not. Then I’ll share the full sandwich recipe all the way at the bottom that you can jump to.


Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.

Coco Chanel

Let’s make and analyze all the components of this sandwich. First, we need to start with the bread. This was one of the first original bread recipes I shared on this site.

Dutch crunch potato rolls

These are not traditional Dutch crunch rolls, those typically do not have any potato flour, and many if not most of them do not have dairy. Dutch crunch rolls are usually normal white, yeast-leavened bread or sourdough bread that have been painted with a special glaze that browns and cracks in the oven leaving a crunchy and fun appearance on top of each roll.

Create the glaze and carefully paint it onto the risen dough before baking. Try not to deflate the gas built up inside the dough.
I baked these to a lighter color than normal because I was monitoring and adjusting my bake to the color of the bottom of the bread. Even at a lighter bake, they have a good crunch.

The Dutch crunch exterior comes from a glaze that is composed of rice flour, sugar, yeast, vegetable oil, and water, which is painted on the dough right before baking. I’m not sure who invented this concept or how it came to be, but it’s become a popular bread option on sandwiches in San Francisco, California. It wasn’t invented there, though. This bread type is also known as tiger bread and originates in the Netherlands (where the “Dutch” part of the name comes from).

NEEDED

This is a pretty good roll for a meatloaf sandwich. The bread holds up to a bit of chew and stands up well from the first bite to the last in the sandwich application. But I don’t think this sandwich would be much different with a different type of bread roll. You could use most any 5 to 6-inch storebought roll if that’s what you have and the sandwich will still work well.

3 hours and 5 minutes
Dutch crunch potato rolls

Great crunch and a soft interior on rolls with a sweet and flavorful crust make for very good sandwiching. Dutch crunch is also known as Tiger Bread in some parts of the world.

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Sriracha meatloaf

I made this meatloaf exactly like I did 3 years ago and exactly as my recipe says. I do not feel that I need to make any tweaks to the recipe because it works well. I knew this already because I make this recipe at least twice a year. I enjoy it quite a bit.

The glaze on the meatloaf is spicy and if you can’t handle spice, it will likely be a bit overpowering. But if you are ok with medium levels of spicy, this meatloaf will be just fine. It’s not super spicy, I would say it’s above mild, but nowhere near hot levels of heat. If you hate spice, you can just make the glaze and remove the Sriracha. It will still caramelize in the oven but it will be much more ketchup flavored.

Sometimes you gotta measure a meatloaf.
A 9 x 5-inch mounded rectangle was what I came up with for this amount of ground beef.

This meatloaf recipe is baked without a baking dish or pan, it’s formed into a “meatloaf shape” and baked on parchment in a baking sheet pan.

All the ingredients for this meatloaf except for the glaze go into a bowl for mixing.
Shape the meat mixture into a mound and pack it fairly tight so that it will hold its shape after baking.
Baste or paint the meatloaf with glaze every 15 minutes during the 1 hour baking time.

What is sriracha?

Sriracha is not a name brand. Sriracha is a type of chili or hot sauce that was first produced in the 1940s in the town of Si Racha, Thailand. Most people probably associate the word sriracha with the hot sauce sold in a clear plastic squeezable bottle with a bright green cap and a rooster on the label. That is Huy Fong Foods brand sriracha that is made in Irwindale, California. Since the summer of 2022, there has been a lot of drama around Huy Fong Foods brand sriracha because they switched chili pepper suppliers and have suffered through a few issues that halted production. This caused frequent shortages of Huy Fong Food brand sriracha and sambal oelek on grocery store shelves.

These two versions of rooster sauce were clearly different colors possibly because sriracha seems to darken over time.
I like Yellowbird sriracha but I don’t like it more than the Huy Fong version.
Ox brand sriracha sauce is the brand we would buy if we couldn’t get Huy Fong’s rooster sriracha sauce. Usually, this has a yellow cap.

These shortages have given my household a chance to try other Sriracha sauces and we have found one that we like just as good if not better than Huy Fong Foods version. We’ve started buying Ox brand sriracha which tastes very similar to Huy Fong’s sriracha except Ox brand seems less acrid and the overall flavor of the sauce is more rounded and not as sharp. There’s a lot of garlic flavor in this sriracha. The spice level is still very similar, but it’s just a better hot sauce experience for me.

Ox brand is the sriracha I used in this meatloaf, but I have used Huy Fong Foods sriracha every other time I made this recipe. They both work interchangeably in this recipe.

As I already have covered, I think this meatloaf is good and I wouldn’t swap it out for any other sandwich component. It just works.

I didn’t adjust the recipe below so feel free to bookmark it and make it for sandwiches or just to eat alongside a big pile of mashed potatoes.

A slice of meatloaf a day keeps the doctor away*.
(*not advice from a physician).

NEEDED

You can’t really take meatloaf out of a meatloaf sandwich, so this component is going to stay intact in the recipe.

1 hour and 15 minutes
Sriracha glazed meatloaf

An addictively spicy glaze on this meatloaf will leave you craving more. Add a slice between buns or slices of bread and you've got yourself a winner.

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Fried shallots

I think these crispy fried shallots are probably the weakest link in this original meatloaf sandwich. They taste great and the recipe works just fine, but they do not last more than a few hours before losing their crispiness which means you must fry right before making the sandwich.

NOT NEEDED

While they do bring some onion/shallot flavor to the final sandwich I think these could be skipped and I did leave them out of a version or two that I made.

Do this instead

Rather than using these fried shallots in this sandwich, if you’d like to add some texture and onion flavor, use store-bought fried onions like French’s. These are magical little things that somehow don’t need refrigeration and are somehow always crunchy. Just use the magic onions. Or you can ignore everything I just said and use my recipe.

Pickles

This is a good pickle recipe that you should put in your grandmother’s recipe card holder. They also work well in my experience in this Sriracha meatloaf sandwich. The pickles bring texture and a vinegar bite that fights through some of the richness from the meatloaf and cheese.

I think other pickles could work just as well, you could try a pickled onion recipe or simply buy your favorite pickles from the store to bring some spark to this sandwich.

NEEDED

The dill pickles are good in this recipe. They add texture and acidity to balance everything out. This component stays in the final recipe.

25 minutes
Spicy MSG pickles

Spicy and dilly and savory pickles are great as a snack or in a sandwich. A great addition to any refrigerator. I based this recipe off of this tweet from Joshua Weissman and added extra spice.

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Special sauce

This has become my favorite burger sauce, but I originally released the recipe three years ago for this meatloaf sandwich.

I think this is another component of the original sandwich that really isn’t needed. There’s already ketchup in the Sriracha glaze and in the meatloaf. The pickles and/or pickle juice in the sauce are not really needed when those same pickles are also in the sandwich. I honestly think that you’d be better served just using a smear of mayonnaise on the bottom roll because it wouldn’t contrast with any other flavors in this sandwich.

If you think about it, special sauce is almost a soup.

NOT NEEDED

This is the final component and the second component that I think isn’t helpful to my meatloaf sandwich recipe, so I left it off. It’s still a good sauce though, just not necessary for this particular sandwich.

Do this instead

Just use mayonnaise if you feel that the sandwich needs sauce. You could also mix ketchup and sriracha and use that to add more spice to the final sandwich.

Sriracha glazed meatloaf sandwich

Here are a bunch of photos of this sandwich all put together with all the original components. Basically, if you’ve skipped a bunch of words to get to this point, from the sandwiches you see below, I felt that the special sauce and the crispy shallots weren’t really needed in the final sandwich.

A comforting meatloaf sandwich is a good thing to have in your hand.
This one still had the special sauce, but I had given up frying fresh shallots for each meal.
Meatloaf has to be in the top ten list of best foods to have leftover.
Oops. Little too much special sauce on this one.
Even with the fried shallots and special sauce, this is still a great sandwich.
Sriracha glazed meatloaf sandwich view printable page for this recipe

This comforting meatloaf sandwich brings a bit of spicy heat that is balanced by cheese and tangy pickles.


Ingredients:

Meatloaf
  • 1 12 pounds ground beef
  • 1 whole beaten egg
  • half of a finely chopped large onion
  • 34 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 12 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 14 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 12 teaspoon black pepper
Sriracha glaze
  • 12 cup ketchup
  • 14 cup sriracha
  • 14 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
Sandwich assembly
  • 1 5 to 6-inch sandwich roll, split and toasted
  • 1 slice of meatloaf, 1/2 to 1 inch thick
  • 1 to 2 slices of cheddar cheese (any sliced cheese can be substituted)
  • mayonnaise
  • 3 to 4 dill pickle slices
  • store bought crispy fried onions (optional - French's brand or other)

Directions:

Meatloaf: combine all meatloaf (not glaze) ingredients in a large bowl. 

With your hands, mix the meatloaf until everything is well-defined. 

Place all mixed meatloaf ingredients on a parchment-lined sheet pan and, using your hands, shape into a bread loaf-shaped rectangle (around 9 x 5 inches) Pack it fairly tight so that everything stays together. 

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C) and then add your meatloaf to the oven and reduce heat in the oven to 350 F (177 C). 

Set a timer for 15 minutes and start to make your glaze. 

Sriracha glaze: add all glaze ingredients into a small saucepan over medium heat. When brown sugar has melted and all ingredients are combined, take your glaze off the heat. 

Pull the meatloaf out of the oven after 15 minutes and with a brush or spoon, paint the glaze on top every 15 minutes or until an hour has elapsed. After an hour the meatloaf should be done, but you can check with a thermometer if you have one. The interior of the meatloaf should be at 155 F (68 C) when you pull it out. Carry-over heat will bring the meatloaf to 160 degrees F. 

Sandwich assembly: if the meatloaf is in the refrigerator you will need to warm it. You can do this on a plate in the microwave for around 60 seconds or in a skillet over medium heat for about 3 or 4 minutes per side. If you choose the skillet, add your slices of cheese when you flip the meatloaf to cook the second side. This will allow the cheese some time to melt. 

Once the meatloaf has been warmed fully, open your bread roll and add any condiments like mayonnaise to the bottom and/or top of the roll. Place the cheese-topped meatloaf slice in the sandwich and top it with pickles. If you have store-bought crispy onions, add those on top of the pickles and close the sandwich. 

Check back next week

Next week I’ll be writing about submarines. Submarines made of chicken and mushrooms, that is.


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