Sriracha sauce has become a popular condiment for its unique combination of heat and flavor. However, it may not always be available or suitable for everyone’s taste. The great news is that you can easily find a sriracha substitute.
In this article, we will explore some of the best Sriracha alternatives and how to use them in your cooking. From hot sauce to chili paste, we will discuss the different options available and how they can be incorporated into various dishes to add a kick of flavor.
Sriracha is a hot sauce made of chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, salt, and sugar.
It is spicy and comes with some heat, but it is almost always tolerable for most people. For this reason, sriracha has become a kitchen staple for many households worldwide.
Due to the ingredients of sriracha, it is also tangy and sweet, with evident notes of the garlic flavor.
It has a thick consistency, like that of ketchup.
Its strongest flavor comes from the spiciness of the chilis. But the taste differs from your average hot sauce.
Sriracha has a more complex flavor profile. It was introduced to the US public by a California-based company.
Since then, this brand’s sriracha has been popular. So much so that it has earned the nickname “rooster sauce” due to the company’s logo.
Now, you can now find sriracha on shelves everywhere. Even the smallest retailers and even convenience stores have it.
Sriracha is an all-purpose and versatile sauce. You can put it in just about anything that needs a slight kick.
One excellent way to use it is to add it to mayonnaise for a sandwich or salad dressing.
Sriracha is also a good dipping sauce, which works best for fries and other finger foods.
You can add a bit of sriracha to stews and soups for a fiery and spicy twist. Even curries and stir-fry recipes will taste great with a dash of sriracha.
Sriracha sauce is a good addition to marinades for meat, along with soy sauce and lemon juice.
And if you think that its spicy nature is only great for savory dishes, you are gravely mistaken. You can also use sriracha for desserts. You can add it to your brownie mix to make sriracha brownies.
Sriracha is also a popular donut glaze and an ingredient for a spicy chocolate ganache.
Lastly, this sweet and spicy sauce is also a unique ice cream flavoring.
The best sriracha sauce substitute should blend well with your other ingredients and give the right amount of heat.
Here is the list of top ingredients to use as sriracha replacement:
On top of our list is the good old Tabasco Hot Sauce. Many people love this hot sauce made from a paste of ground red peppers mixed with salt and vinegar.
Compared to sriracha, though, Tabasco has a thinner consistency. Plus, it lacks the complexity of flavor that sriracha offers.
However, what makes Tabasco a great sriracha substitute is that it is accessible. You can easily find it in stores. And if you love spicy food, you probably have a bottle in your pantry.
Tabasco Hot Sauce has many variants, from mild to extremely hot. That said, you have the flexibility to choose the heat level you want in your dish. You can choose according to your heat tolerance, making it a versatile option.
If you want a closer flavor match to sriracha, though, you may need to make some adjustments to your recipe.
Use ¼ tbsp of Tabasco for every tablespoon of sriracha called for in your recipes. Add more if needed, considering your heat tolerance. Adding a bit of garlic and sugar will improve the taste of Tabasco and make it resemble sriracha more.
Sambal Oelek is a thick chili paste that hails from Indonesia. You can find it in the international aisle of most grocery stores.
It has a simple recipe that is easy to replicate at home, too. All you need to do is mix vinegar, salt, and ground chili peppers, and you’ll have a homemade Sambal Oelek.
Sambal Oelek is an excellent substitute for sriracha of its heat component. This sauce lacks sugar and garlic, though.
However, adding sugar and some minced garlic or garlic powder to Sambal Oelek is an easy fix.
Do note that Sambal Oelek is a much spicier sauce than sriracha, so a 1:1 substitution is not recommended.
Replace 1 tablespoon of sriracha with ¾ tablespoon of Sambal Oelek. Add lime juice, sugar, garlic powder, or minced garlic, depending on your needs.
Another great option for a sriracha substitute is Louisiana Hot Sauce. This hot sauce is popular for its intense heat. It is a perfect replacement for those who want to take their dish a notch higher on the heat scale.
Like Tabasco, Louisiana Hot Sauce also has different kinds. Each has a varying degree of heat. You can choose the mildest, but that would still be hotter than your average sriracha.
¼ tablespoon of Louisiana Hot Sauce can replace each tablespoon of sriracha. Use Louisiana Hot Sauce sparingly to avoid an overly spicy dish. Adding sugar and garlic powder to this hot sauce brings it closer to sriracha’s flavor.
If you’re cooking a Mexican dish, Tapatio is your best sriracha substitute. This Mexican-style hot sauce, or salsa picante, has become a favorite for its hot and tangy taste.
Tapatio also has subtle sweetness, replicating the sriracha flavor in recipes. Another plus point for Tapatio is that it is widely available. You can easily grab a bottle from your nearest grocery store.
The biggest difference compared to sriracha is that it is a tad spicier. But if you love sriracha sauce, you’ll surely love Tapatio too.
It works best with Mexican recipes. But it can do great in almost all dishes, especially tomato-based ones.
Use Tapatio as a direct sriracha substitute in a 1:1 ratio.
Sweet chili sauce is another condiment you can use to replace sriracha in most dishes. People commonly use sweet chili sauce as a dipping sauce for spring rolls.
Store-bought sweet chili sauces are usually not that hot. Instead, its sweetness is the most dominant flavor you can taste in sweet chili sauce.
Of course, if you make your own sweet chili sauce, you can adjust the heat according to your preference.
However, sweet chili sauce is an excellent option for people who do not love hot and spicy food.
Use sweet chili sauce to replace sriracha as a dipping or stir-fry sauce. You’ll end up with a spicy dish, but not a hot one. Because of this, sweet chili sauce only works as a sriracha substitute in limited recipes. This option is great in dishes where heat is not needed.
Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting sweet chili sauce for sriracha.
The peri-peri sauce is an African chili sauce that comes from Mozambique. This hot sauce uses bird’s eye chili peppers that pack intense heat. But in a peri-peri sauce, the heat from these peppers blends well with the other ingredients. This sauce perfectly captures the balance of hot, spicy, and tangy.
One of the good things about peri-peri sauce is that it has that complexity of flavors you’ll get from sriracha. It can add depth to your recipes, just like sriracha.
Despite these characteristics, it is still not an exact flavor match.
Replace 1 tablespoon of sriracha with 1 tablespoon of peri-peri sauce. You may need to add sugar, salt, or vinegar to your recipe to compensate for the difference.
Gochujang is a thick, crimson-colored Korean hot pepper paste. It is popular, so you can find it in most supermarket stores. This paste includes ground chili pepper flakes, fermented soybeans, and glutinous rice.
The obvious difference it has from sriracha is that it lacks vinegar. That said, it does not have the same acidity as the beloved rooster sauce. But it boasts the same heat, so you can use it in dishes where the heat is crucial.
Another thing, gochujang is a paste, so it has a thicker consistency. Adding it directly to your dish might change its texture.
Use 1 tablespoon of gochujang to replace an equal amount of sriracha. Add water to gochujang slowly until it thins out and mimics sriracha’s consistency.
If you are badly pressed for time, you can also use dried cayenne peppers as a sriracha substitute. As it comes in a different form, consider its effect on your dish’s consistency.
But if the heat is significant to your recipe, dried cayenne pepper is a decent alternative.
Cayenne pepper is great because it can add heat without altering the taste of your recipe. After all, cayenne pepper is a neutral spice with just its heat to offer.
However, if you need something complex to add depth to your dish, you are better off with other options.
Use ¼ tablespoon of dried cayenne pepper to replace each tablespoon of sriracha. If you need acidity or tanginess, adding lemon juice to cayenne pepper will do the job.
As a last resort, ketchup can work as a sriracha substitute. It has the same color and consistency and goes well with nearly all food items. And the best thing is that you certainly would have a bottle in your pantry, maybe even more than one!
But since it doesn’t have much vinegar and garlic flavor, you won’t nearly have the same taste.
Like hot sauces, you can alter ketchup a bit to get closer to sriracha. It shall work, especially when you’re in a pinch.
Substitute 1 tablespoon of sriracha with 1 tablespoon of ketchup. Add chili powder for some heat and vinegar for some tang.
The ingredients of sriracha vary per brand and recipe. The classic HFF Sriracha includes chili, salt, sugar, distilled vinegar, and garlic.
This rooster sauce also uses preservatives such as sodium bisulfite and potassium sorbate. To achieve its consistency, it gets help from xanthan gum.
Yes. Sriracha and chili sauce can lend spice and heat to dishes, so you can use them interchangeably. Chili sauce lacks the tang of sriracha, but adding lemon juice or vinegar will do the trick.
Yes. In fact, sriracha is a hot sauce. Hot sauce is an umbrella term, a generic term that refers to a condiment that has a hot and spicy flavor. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different hot sauces. Each differs in ingredients and taste, and sriracha is only of them.
You can forage your pantry for any hot sauce if you need a sriracha substitute. Among the best ones are Tabasco and Louisiana Hot Sauces. Gochujang, Sambal Oelek, and Peri-Peri sauce are also good options. You can use dried cayenne pepper or ketchup when in a pinch.
Other substitutes for sriracha hot sauce include chili garlic sauce and homemade sriracha sauce. These are options that you can whip up using basic ingredients.