Whether you’ve run out of sriracha, or would just like to experiment with a new hot sauce, then you’re in the right place as we explore the Best Sriracha Sauce Substitutes.
As spice lovers, we keep our bottles of hot sauce ready at the table for every meal.
This stands to reason why sriracha is the most popular hot sauce brand in America today. It has the right amount of kick that everyone appreciates.
We’re going to show you how you’ll be able to choose any sriracha sauce substitute with our top picks.
🌶️ What Is Sriracha Sauce?
Sriracha originated from a village in Thailand named Si Racha at the hands of a local housewife back in the 1930s. Afterward, a Thai immigrant brought the sauce to America during the 1980s, and with it, he introduced us to the sauce formally known as Sriraja Panich.
The ingredients of sriracha sauce mix together to create a well-balanced taste of sweet and spicy flavors. It’s typically made from red chili flakes, crushed garlic cloves, vinegar, along with salt and sugar. Pulling from your spice cabinet, cayenne pepper and chili powder will work as a last resort as they lack the liquid of a sauce.
Nowadays, sriracha is used to add a taste of southeast Asia to any dish. Not only does it spice the meal up, but it also throws in a tangy flavor with mild garlicky notes.
🔪 The 10 Best Sriracha Sauce Substitutes
Assuming you’re a foodie and would like to take your taste buds on a new, spicy adventure, you’re probably wondering what else the market has to offer as a sriracha alternative. You don’t have to settle for ketchup and hope for the best anymore.
Lucky for you, there are dozens of alternatives that are likely to add a similar flavor profile to your favorite meals like the Grilled Honey Sriracha Chicken or the Grilled Orange and Honey Sriracha Chicken. Below, we take you through our favorite substitutes.
Tabasco is the second most popular hot sauce in America after sriracha. Although there are a few differences between, tabasco is a pretty decent alternative. A few drops can easily substitute for a tablespoon of sriracha.
This Mexican sauce is made from three kinds of jalapeños that boost the heat level. Additionally, its consistency is more watery than sriracha and the flavor is less tangy.
Harissa is the Middle Eastern substitute. It originates from Tunisia and uses very similar ingredients. Plus, the harissa recipe is highly adaptable if you make it at home.
The main differences between either sauce are that harissa is both thicker and spicier. We’d recommend thinning it with some water or olive oil before using.
Less of a sauce and more of a thick paste, Gochujang is an excellent substitute. Korea is known for amping up the spice and flavor in all its dishes, so it’s no surprise that their chili paste is whooping hot. I think I even like it better than Sriracha!
Not only that, but Gochujang has the same sweetness that sriracha offers minus the bitterness of the vinegar. That may be due to the fact that it is fermented. It’s significantly stronger than sriracha though, so use it sparingly when adding it to recipes.
I keep a bottle of this in my house as I love to toss it in sauces when I want just a little bit more kick.
Similar to both harissa and gochujang, sambal oelek is another chili paste that can be used as a replacement. Originating from Indonesia, sambal oelek’s flavor profile isn’t far off from sriracha.
That said, sambal oelek contains fewer ingredients and is made from a much simpler recipe. It’s straight-up red pepper and salt along with other Indonesian spices. You can boost up the flavors by squeezing a lime and adding two or three processed garlic cloves.
Cholula Hot Sauce
Cholula is a blend of Chile de Arbol and Piquin peppers, in addition to strong tangy flavors. That’s what makes Cholula the closest to sriracha in terms of taste, consistency, and even price. A small difference would be that Cholula’s heat levels are slightly more mild.
Since Cholula has a similar texture, it’s perfect to use in marinades and dipping sauce recipes. It mixes well with other condiments and is readily available in most stores.
Much the same as Cholula hot sauce, Mexican American Tapatio is a hotter version of sriracha. The sauce also has a similar seasonings which helps with the flavor profile of your dish. In other words, Tapatio can easily replace sriracha.
Tapatio has a thick consistency which adds to the reasons why it’s a good substitute. Some chefs recommend glazing your meat or vegetables with Tapatio to give them a smoky smell and taste.
The Peri-peri sauce uses Portuguese Peri-peri chili peppers that pack a lot of sweet and spice. The sauce contains similar amounts of lemon, garlic, vinegar, and sugar as sriracha. As an added zing, peri-peri sauce also has onions, bay leaves, and smoked paprika.
You can get peri-peri sauce in either powdered or paste form. It doesn’t pack as much heat, but it’s quite rich and boosts the flavors of any dish.
Dried Cayenne Pepper or Chili Flakes
A simple solution when you’re out of sriracha would be to substitute it with a few tablespoons of dried cayenne pepper or chili flakes. It’ll give you the boost of spiciness you need but none of the citrus or garlic tones.
Be careful not to use too much of it otherwise you’ll overpower the meal with spice. Adjust the dish according to taste by adding the flakes in small amounts.
Chili Garlic Sauce
Chili garlic sauce is made from similar peppers and is a pretty close replacement to sriracha. What separates this from sriracha is that it contains pulps and has a thicker consistency.
However, it can be processed and smoothed out to make a spicy, garlicky paste. You can easily make it at home too. Add one or two teaspoons to replace a tablespoon of sriracha in any recipe.
Sweet Chili Sauce
A popular Thai condiment is sweet chili sauce. It’s similar to sriracha, but the heat levels are considerably less.
If you simply want the tangy, sweet taste of sriracha without the extra heat, then use sweet chili sauce in your recipes. It goes well with chicken, meat, noodles, and most Asian dishes.
🥘 How to Make Homemade Sriracha
America’s commercialized sriracha sauce has deviated somewhat from Thailand’s original recipe. At this point, getting a variety that’ll give you an authentic taste of Thai culture might only be purchased from the local oriental market.
But, what if you don’t have access to such a market? Well, you can make your own. With just a few ingredients, you’ll be able to whip up a delicious bottle of homemade sriracha.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Your preferred amount of red chili peppers or flakes
- 3 tbsps of salt
- 3 tbsps of granulated brown or white sugar
- 1 cup of rice white, apple cider, or distilled vinegar
- 5 cloves of garlic
- Chop up the red peppers and garlic
- Grind the chopped ingredients in a food processor
- Add the processed peppers and garlic to 4 cups of water
- Bring to a boil
- Add vinegar, salt, and sugar to taste
- Simmer the mixture on low heat for 15 minutes
- Once the sauce cools down, pour it back into the processor
- Process until smooth
- Strain the sauce from any chunks or solids
- Use an airtight bottle or container for storage
- Leave about an inch from the top empty to allow the sauce to ferment
- Store at room temperature and away from direct sunlight
Your sauce will start to naturally ferment and should be ready in about two weeks or so. You should check on the sauce daily to observe its fermentation progress. After it is finished, store it in the fridge.
This recipe could work with or without fermenting. If you want an extra kick from the red peppers you used then you should ferment the mixture. This method mellows the peppers and boosts up the sauce’s spice factor.
🍴Frequently Asked Questions
The answer to this question is purely subjective. The borderline is that it depends on how you use sriracha. If you add it to meals, as you would with hot sauce, then it’s a sauce. On the other hand, sriracha is a condiment if you use it as a dip.
Arguably, the best alternative to sriracha sauce is its Middle Eastern equivalent, the harissa. The Tunisian sauce uses similar ingredients to those found in sriracha. Not only that, but, it can also be adapted to have the same flavor profile as sriracha.
All of your substitutes needs all in one handy reference spot! Comprehensive list substitutes here or to print off for your own menu binder. You to find an ingredient option that will allow you to not run out to the store or you may find a flavor combination you love even better than the original. Garlic Powder Substitute, Cojita Cheese Substitute, Parsley Substitute, Green Chilis Substitute, Italian Seasoning Substitute, Mustard Seed Substitute, Cilantro Substitute, Sriracha Substitute, White Pepper Substitute, Onion Powder Substitute, Five Spice Substitute, Turmeric Substitutes, White Wine Vinegar, Cardamon Substitute, Parsley Substitute, Cremini Mushroom Substitute, Egg Yolk, Leeks, Egg Wash, Coconut Cream, Tomato, Stewed Tomatoes, Coconut Sugar, Palm Sugar, Hoisin, Adobo, Chili Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Escarole, Watercress, Rice Wine Vinegar, Ketchup, Tomato Puree, Tomato Paste, Lemongrass, Chervil, Cheesecloth, Worcestershire Sauce, Fennel, Dark Soy Sauce.
🍽️ Concluding Thoughts
Sriracha sauce is a popular pick with spicy lovers, but there’s nothing wrong with trying out new things. In other words, why don’t you try picking out a sriracha sauce substitute from our list? If you’re up for it, try making your own sriracha.
As an added challenge, go ahead and fix up a couple of recipes using your favorite sriracha bottle or any of its substitutes. Hand them out at your next party and watch your guests thank you!
Homemade Sriracha Sauce
- Small Saucepan
- Jar for Fermenting
- Red Chili Peppers or Flakes your desired amount
- 3 tbsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Brown or White Sugar
- 1 cup Rice Wine, Apple Cider or Distilled Vinegar
- 5 cloves Garlic
- Chop up the red peppers and garlic.
- Grind the chopped ingredients in a food processor.
- Add the processed peppers and garlic to 4 cups of water to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.
- Add vinegar, salt, and sugar to taste.
- Simmer the mixture on low heat for 15 minutes.
- Once the sauce cools down, pour it back into the processor and pulse until it is smooth.
- Strain the sauce from any chunks or solids.
- Use an airtight bottle or container for storageLeave about an inch from the top empty to allow the sauce to ferment. Store at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.
- Your homemade sriracha sauce will start to naturally ferment and should be ready in about two weeks or so. You should check on the sauce daily to observe its fermentation progress. Once it’s ready to consume, start storing the sriracha in the fridge.