According to Datassential, skhug (pronounced “sk-oo-g”) has grown on menus by 75% over the past four years. Skhug, also spelled schug or zhug, is a Middle Eastern hot sauce that’s made from chile peppers, cilantro, and various spices. Skhug brings a kick of herbaceous heat to falafel, shawarma, grilled meats, and vegetables.
On the Menu
- Zoës Kitchen, a fast-casual chain headquartered in Plano, TX, strives to represent 21 Mediterranean countries on its menu. Its Cauliflower Rice Bowl is a popular item, containing riced cauliflower dressed with skhug and tsatziki topped with feta, cucumbers, and dill.
- The Exchange in Los Angeles, CA, elevates the flavors of its dry aged bone-in New York strip with skhug, charcoal roasted vegetables, and pecorino.
- Los Angeles, CA, restaurant Dune goes through between 50 to 80 pounds of chiles each week to keep up with its skhug demand. They serve skhug on a Mediterranean village salad, on a lamb lemon-tumeric sandwich, and as an accompaniment to falafel.