Whether you’re a Thai food fanatic or just a spicy food enthusiast, I’m pretty sure you’ve come across the infamous Sriracha sauce. Sriracha is one of the spiciest condiments in the market that offers a mixture of vinegary, garlicky, and spicy tastes. The very reason why it’s gaining popularity is the international palate.
If you’re prepping a meal that calls for Sriracha sauce but you run out already, don’t worry.
Sriracha Sauce Substitutes
Let’s get to know these sriracha sauce substitutes and which one is spicier.
Sriracha sauce is a type of hot sauce but with a distinct type of ingredients. All hot sauces are labeled as the same but only vary with the specific ingredients mixed in the sauce, especially the difference in the chilis being used.
1. Tabasco Original Hot Sauce
One of the most famous variants in the market is the Tabasco sauce widely manufactured in Louisiana, USA, and distributed worldwide. The sauce is famous for its intense heat level that can range from up to 2500 – 5000 Scoville Heat Unit (SHU). Tabasco uses quality-grade jalapeño peppers as the main ingredient for the sauce.
As of the present day, tabasco offers a whopping 7 variants of their hot sauces including their very own sriracha sauce. It’s a perfect substitute for authentic Thai sriracha sauce because the taste and smell are highly similar. The brand also offers mildly spiced hot sauce, like the sweet and spicy variant.
2. Tapatio Hot Sauce
Tapatio is a well-known Mexican-American hot sauce in the US, especially in Hispanic communities. The sauce uses regular red peppers, however, the overall SHU of Tapatio is 3000 which is spicier than the typical sriracha.
The sauce is typically used to spice up most Mexican dishes but as its popularity is spreading throughout the world, it has been used in different types of dishes. Some restaurants use it as a glaze for spicy chicken wings, spicy ribs marinade, or just a regular condiment. If you want to challenge your tolerance with spicy dishes, add some Tapatio, and see the difference.
3. Louisiana Hot Sauce Original
As for how the brand’s tagline says, “One Drop Does It”, that still holds up to this day. Seems like the state of Louisiana is the home of spicy peppers and hot sauces. This cajun-style hot sauce uses tabasco and cayenne peppers as the key ingredient. Depending on which ones you’re picking, its overall SHU can range from 3500 – to 10000. Spicy.
It’s perfect for the braver ones who need to level up their spice cravings and think that sriracha needed an upgrade. The Louisiana hot sauce will be cut. It’s widely used in the state for making the classic spicy buffalo wings.
4. Korean Gochujang
Moving on from the sauces, let’s try a spicy chili paste substitute. Korean cuisine boasts about its spicy gochujang, one of the most traditional condiments that offers a spicy and sweet taste. It’s used all around as a condiment, seasoning, and rice topping. It’s made out of cooked glutinous rice, chili powder, and salt which is then fermented.
If you’re looking into trying out a spicier but sweeter variant of spicy condiment, this is the best substitute for sriracha. Unlike the hot sauces mentioned previously, the gochujang sauce doesn’t have a hint of sourness due to the absence of vinegar. For those who like a milder alternative than sriracha, this is also the best choice for you since it only has 1000 SHU.
5. Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Sauce
Hailed as one of the top 10 spiciest hot sauces in the world, the Jamaican scotch bonnet sauce or also known as Caribbean red peppers is a must-try. But before you try it, let me remind you that the sauce is extremely spicy. Ten times spicier than the sriracha sauce. A raw scotch bonnet pepper has over 445000 SHU, which is spicier than you expected it to be.
This choice is for the ones who are up for the challenge to beat their limits. Although the taste is also savory and satisfying, it might not be for everyone. For persons with heartburn or any medical problems, it’s best to consult with a medical expert before trying the sauce out. But for the brave ones, it’s a worthy substitute for sriracha sauce.
We hope we provided sure-fire sriracha sauce substitutes the next time you encounter a kitchen emergency. However, if the recipe or food highly calls for sriracha, you can make your own at home. It’s simple and easy to make.
6. Homemade Chili Sauce
There’s nothing better than creating your homemade chili sauce. There are a lot of recipes available online that you can follow whether it’s a sauce, paste, or powder form. The heat levels will also vary depending on what kind of peppers you are using.
If you like it milder, just take out the seeds or retain it if you like it much spicier.
Making a homemade chili sauce only calls for a food processor/blender and chilis. You can get flexible with the type of seasonings and spices you’re adding to give it an extra savory flavor. Homemade chili sauces usually last for 90 days inside the fridge. Just make sure to store it in an airtight jar or container.
7. Sambal oelek
Sambal oelek is a type of chili paste made with ground chili peppers, oil, vinegar, and salt. This Indonesian paste is used as a base for other sauces, but it can be also used in soups, stews, stir-fries, marinades, dips, fish, grilled meats, noodles, and other dishes.
Sambal oelek has a thicker consistency than sriracha sauce and is a good substitute that you can use to give a spicy flavor to your dishes. If you want to get a more similar flavor to sriracha you can add some garlic powder and sugar to sambal oelek.
Because the basic sambal oelek doesn’t contain garlic and sugar as sriracha does. Or you can buy garlic sambal oelek and use it as a substitute for sriracha sauce.
8. Harissa paste
Harissa paste is most used in North African cuisines like Moroccan, Tunisian, and Algerian. There are many variations of this chili paste but usually, harissa paste is made with hot chili peppers, olive oil, garlic, and spices like cumin, caraway, mint, and coriander. Other ingredients like tomatoes and rose petals are also used in some types of harissa paste.
This paste is used in various dishes like soups, couscous, pasta, stews, marinades, salad dressings, vegetables, and meats. Harissa paste has a thicker consistency and a different flavor than sriracha sauce. Therefore, you will not get only a spicy but also a nutty and earthy flavor in your dishes.
9. Chili oil
Chili oil is usually made with sesame oil, soybean oil, olive oil, or some other type of vegetable oil and chili peppers. There are also regional variations of the chili oil with added garlic, sugar, soy sauce, black pepper, cumin, mint, ginger, paprika, turmeric, and other ingredients.
Chili oil is used in many different cuisines like Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and Turkish. It is added to many different dishes to enhance their flavor.
Chili oil is used in stir-fries, dressings, dips, sauces, marinades, soups, salads, and noodles. You can use chili oil infused with garlic as a substitute for sriracha sauce to get a similar flavor in your dishes.
10. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper is a medium-hot chili pepper that is usually dried and ground into powder. But it can be also used as a whole to give a spicy flavor to many different dishes.
Cayenne pepper will give a spicy and neutral peppery flavor to your dishes without overpowering the flavors of the other ingredients used. It is usually used in marinades, sauces, dry meat rubs, stews, soups, dips, and stir-fries.
You can use cayenne pepper in flakes or powder as a substitute for sriracha sauce to give a spicy flavor to your dishes. Just note that your dish will lack the garlic flavor that sriracha sauce provides.
11. Peri-peri sauce
The peri-peri sauce can be also used as a substitute for sriracha sauce in your dishes because it has a similar spicy, tangy, and slightly sweet flavor. This African sauce is usually made with birds-eye chili peppers, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice, and oil.
Although there are variations of peri-peri sauce with added onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, oregano, tarragon, basil, bay leaves, smoked paprika, black pepper, salt, and sugar.
Peri-peri is a versatile sauce you can use in marinades, sauces, dips, dressings, casseroles, and stews. You can use peri-peri garlic medium sauce as a substitute for sriracha sauce in your dishes or go with the hot version of peri-peri sauce for a spicier flavor.
12. Chili-garlic sauce
Chili-garlic sauce has a thicker consistency and similar flavor to sriracha sauce. You can buy it or make it at home and adjust its flavor to your taste. Chili- garlic sauce is made with chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, salt, and sugar.
It is a versatile sauce that is used in sandwiches, noodles, dumplings, egg rolls, pasta, soup, stir-fries, dips, and marinades. Chili garlic sauce is one of the best substitutes for sriracha sauce that will give a spicy- garlic flavor to your dishes.
13. Cholula hot sauce
Cholula hot sauce is a brand of hot sauce made with piquin and chile de Arbol peppers, garlic, vinegar, salt, and spices. It is a versatile Mexican sauce that is added to burritos, tacos, fajitas, marinades, dips, dressings, pizza, soups, rice dishes, and stews.
Cholula hot sauce has a similar flavor to sriracha sauce and can be used as its substitute to give a nice, spicy flavor to many different dishes.
14. El yucateco habanero hot sauce
El Yucateco habanero hot sauce is also a good substitute for sriracha sauce if you like hot flavors. It is made with red habanero peppers, tomatoes, seasonings, and spices.
There is also green habanero sauce which doesn’t contain tomatoes and has a different flavor than the red habanero hot sauce.
15. Sweet chili sauce
Sweet chili sauce is my last suggestion for a substitute that you can use instead of sriracha sauce. This sauce is a popular condiment used in Thai, Malaysian, Afghan, and Western cuisine.
Sweet chili sauce has a thicker consistency and a different flavor than sriracha sauce. But it is a good option if you want to give a different less spicy, and sweet -garlic flavor to your dish.
Sweet chili sauce is a versatile sauce that has a good balance of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. Also known as Thai chili sauce it is made with red chili peppers, garlic, rice wine vinegar, and sugar or some other type of sweetener.
Sweet chili sauce is used as a dipping sauce and meat marinade, but it is also used in stir-fries, soups, stews, pasta, rice, steamed vegetables, noodles, and many other dishes. If you don’t have sriracha on hand or you just want to try some new flavors in your dish then sweet chili sauce is the right substitute for you. And who knows you may like it more than sriracha sauce.
What is Sriracha sauce typically used for?
It’s a common condiment that spices up the flavor of any dish. It’s the same as how you use hot sauce. It’s perfect for noodles, soups, rice bowls, pizzas, burgers and so much more. You can also make a dip out of it or a marinade for meats.
Does Sriracha sauce need to be refrigerated after opening?
Fortunately, no. Upon opening the sriracha sauce bottle, it’s ok to store it at room temperature. No need to put it inside the fridge. The sauce was made with ingredients and seasonings that are not prone to bacterial growth and attract contaminants.
Sriracha is safe to store inside the pantry or spice rack area. Just make sure of course to check the expiration date to know when you should discard it.
Is Sriracha sauce considered Hot Sauce?
Yes, just like the other hot sauces mentioned previously they all belong to the same kind. However, they vary when it comes to the type of ingredients being used, type of peppers, seedless or not and so much more. The SHU also varies, some are extremely hot and some are more mellow.
What is hotter red or green sriracha?
For those who don’t know, sriracha sauces have two variants: red and green sauces. The difference between the both is that the red one is more rustic and strong in flavor, while the green variant is sweeter and uses green peppers instead of red. Based on my personal experience of tasting it, the red sriracha is spicier than the green sriracha.
Homemade Sriracha Sauce
- 900 grams of red Thai peppers or chili peppers
- 1 liter of water
- 3 tbsps of rock salt
- 3 tbsps of brown sugar
- 1 tsp of granulated sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 5 cloves of chopped garlic
- Make sure to wash all your peppers and take out the stem. Take out the seeds if you like it mildly spicy, if not, retain the seeds instead.
- Place the chilis into the food processor. If you don’t have one, you can use a mortar and pestle and pound the chilis manually.
- Store all the processed chilis in an airtight leaving at least an inch from the top. This is to leave some space during the fermentation process of the sauce.
- Then, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cover the jar and store it away from sunlight at room temperature.
- Check the sauce daily for progress. After 2 weeks, the sriracha sauce should be ready to consume. Store for 1 month in the fridge.