Let’s talk about sriracha substitutes. Has this ever happened to you that you needed to add a dash of spice and flavor to a dish but had no sriracha bottle in your refrigerator or condiment cabinet? Well, this surely is a sad situation, but instead of moping or getting angry, I suggest you find an alternative that can help recreate the hot taste of sriracha.
Sriracha is a beautifully versatile condiment. You can add it as a topping to your snacks and appetizers. You can use it as a dip or mix it with other condiments. The possibilities are endless. So, it is devastating when you don’t have it. Thus, it becomes imperative to know what you can replace with.
It’s natural to look for substitutes that resemble sriracha in flavor, texture, consistency, or at least share some similarities. I think you might even know some of them. Some of the best sriracha substitutes are sambal oelek, peri peri sauce, sweet chili sauce, tabasco hot sauce, Louisiana hot sauce, Tapatio, and cayenne pepper.
Now it’s time to read all about these substitutes and more. But before that, let’s start with everything about sriracha. When you know more about sriracha, you’ll better understand what substitute you can use. So, let’s proceed with that.
Quick Peek: Sriracha
This is the section to get a quick peek at sriracha. You’ll get to know sriracha’s flavor, texture, uses, and health benefits. Let’s start this section by knowing what sriracha is. Read on!
What Is Sriracha?
Sriracha, also known as Rooster Sauce, is a hot sauce made with red chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt. What makes this sauce different from other hot sauces is its unique taste. Its flavor is complex yet balanced, and that’s why this sauce has grown more and more popular in the U.S.A.
Sriracha is a popular sauce in Asian restaurants across the U.S.A., especially Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese. The origin story of sriracha is also an interesting one. It is said to be originated in the 1980s when a Vietnamese immigrant named David Tran started selling this hot sauce from his van. Its name comes from the town Sri Racha in Thailand.
David Tran made this sauce because he didn’t find any hot sauce he liked. So, he decided to make his own. Little did he know that his hot sauce would become so popular that it’ll become the foundation of Huy Fong Foods. The Huy Fong Foods Sriracha sauce is still the most popular and sells 10 million bottles yearly.
Describing Sriracha: Flavor and Texture
Sriracha is bright red in color, and it is a versatile multi-purpose sauce. It tastes hot with warm notes of garlic, tanginess, and a mildly sweet undertone. Thus it adds the perfect amount of spice and flavor to the dishes. Sriracha is also a predominant salty flavor and tastes more salt than heat.
If we talk about texture, sriracha has a thick and luscious texture. It doesn’t have a runny consistency like other hot sauces. The thickness comes from the ratio of solid to liquid ingredients and the addition of xanthan gum.
Uses Of Sriracha
The first and mainstream use of sriracha is a condiment or a dip. You can use just squeeze some sriracha over your toasts, burgers, or sandwiches, or use it as a dip for your fried chicken, hot dogs, etc. To make delicious creamy dips, you can mix sriracha with mayonnaise or sour cream and other sauces.
Many people like to add sriracha to soups and stews to add heat and flavor. Some people also like to add a dash of sriracha to their ramen. It is also a great addition to marinades and glazes for meat and chicken. Sriracha gives a flavor kick to them. You can also add it to mac and cheese, cheese balls, or eggs.
Sriracha On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Chili peppers, the main component in sriracha, are rich in vitamin C and A. This helps to improve immunity and also aids in the production of white blood cells to fight infections.
Chili peppers contain capsaicin present, and garlic contains allicin. Both these components have powerful anti-clotting properties. They also help maintain your blood vessels and help decreases blood pressure levels. Allicin also helps reduce triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels.
Aside from these benefits, sriracha may also help enhance memory and mood, clear mucus, and regulate blood sugar levels. Chili peppers are also known to aid weight loss.
Why Do We Need A Substitute For Sriracha
Sriracha is an indispensable ingredient in many recipes. Thus, it becomes essential to look for substitutes that taste the same in case you run out of it. Also, some people like a milder or a stronger taste and hence look for alternatives that fulfill the recipe’s needs.
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14 Best Sriracha Substitutes
Now that we know all about sriracha and why we need to substitute it, let’s have a look at what substitutes we can use. Some may be expected, while you might have never thought of some to use as a sriracha substitute.
1. Sambal Oelek
If you’re looking for the closest sriracha substitute, then sambal oelek is your answer. This Indonesian sauce is a blend of chili peppers and is a great replacement for sriracha in recipes that call for heat. It is just a blend of chili peppers, though, and lacks the other ingredients of sriracha.
It is thicker and spicier than sriracha, but its heat level is very close. It doesn’t contain sugar and hence lacks sriracha’s sweet undertone. It also lacks the tartness of vinegar and warm notes of garlic. But that is something that can be easily fixed. You can add some sugar, vinegar, and garlic to make it taste the same.
As it is thicker and spicier, use only ¾ tablespoon of sambal oelek for every tablespoon of sriracha. If you don’t mind the spice, you can use an equal amount of sambal oelek in a recipe. You can use it as a dipping sauce or add it to marinades to make them spicy.
2. Peri-Peri Sauce
Peri-peri sauce is another great sriracha substitute. This sauce of Portuguese origin is made with Piri Piri chili peppers. It also has some roasted red peppers, smoked paprika, garlic, lemon, onion, and apple cider vinegar. The Piri Piri peppers are milder. Hence, adding red peppers adds a spicy kick and creates a balance of sweet and spicy flavor.
It is not as spicy as sriracha and can use. It tastes tangy, sweet, and spicy that can add an array of flavors to your recipes. It is a great substitute for sriracha as a dip or a sandwich spread. You can also add it to marinades or use it as a meat rub. You can use peri peri sauce in a 1:1 substitution ratio.
3. Sweet Chili Sauce
If you want to replace sriracha to experiment with a different flavor, may I suggest sweet chili sauce? Sweet chili sauce is a milder Asian sauce, and you can use it if you think sriracha is too spicy. It is made with chili paste, rice vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. A mixture of cornstarch is also added to it to thicken it.
You can use sweet chili sauce as a dip in place of sriracha. You can also use it in other recipes like dips and marinades. If you want to replicate the heat of sriracha, then you might need to add a double amount of sweet chili sauce. But if you want the milder version, use a 1:1 ratio substitution.
4. Tabasco Hot Sauce
A hot sauce that you might probably be familiar with is Tabasco sauce. The main component of this fiery hot sauce is the habanero, and thus it is super spicy. You are finding this sauce on this list because it has some of the same ingredients as sriracha. Some of the ingredients are vinegar and chili peppers.
Tabasco sauce doesn’t have the sweet undertone but a strong heat. You can only add a dash of Tabasco for a tablespoon of sriracha, as it’ll make your dish very spicy. It won’t be a great substitute for dipping sauce, but you can use some of it in stews and stir-fries.
If you want a definite substitution ratio, I say you should use ¼ tablespoon of Tabasco for each tablespoon of sriracha. Tabasco also has a thinner consistency than sriracha and thus doesn’t follow the same measurements. If you still find this to be too spicy, I’d say just start with a few drops of sriracha and add according to your spice tolerance.
5. Louisiana Hot Sauce
Louisiana hot sauce is a slightly milder version of Tabasco. It has the same hot, peppery taste as sriracha and thus is a decent sriracha substitute. It is very spicy, and hence you should add only a few drops of Louisiana sauce to your dishes to see the spice level.
Louisiana sauce is significantly spicier than sriracha. Even the mildest of it beats sriracha on the Scoville Scale. So, my advice is to be a little careful. If you do wish to be a daredevil, I’d say use ¼ tablespoon of Louisiana sauce for every tablespoon of sriracha.
6. Chipotle Ketchup
Chipotle ketchup is just your regular ketchup with its spice levels amped up with the addition of red jalapenos. Its texture is the same as your regular ketchup; hence, you can use it as a dip for your snacks or a topping. Chipotle ketchup actually has a pleasant taste.
It has that sweet and tangy taste of ketchup with the spicy finish of the peppers. It has a hot, smoky flavor that pairs great with grilled cheese sandwiches and even with French fries. Thus, you can use it to substitute sriracha in a 1:1 ratio when eating fast food.
Gochujang, also referred to as Korean chili paste, is a staple in Korean recipes. This chili paste is a great substitute for sriracha if you feel the need to experiment. Gochujang is made with chili peppers and fermented soybeans and has almost the same spice level as sriracha.
The spice for spice replacement is on point, and the fermented taste of Gochujang replaces the tartness of sriracha. All in all, it is a good swap if you don’t mind changing the flavors a bit. You can use Gochujang in a 1:1 substitution ratio.
8. Dried Cayenne Pepper
If it’s just heat that you want in your recipe, then you can easily use cayenne pepper to substitute sriracha. Cayenne pepper will add the required heat units to your recipe without meddling with any of the flavors. The dried cayenne pepper doesn’t have that tangy, garlicky, or sweet taste as sriracha.
So, you can mix cayenne pepper with some lemon juice or ketchup to recreate the flavor and consistency of sriracha. To substitute one tablespoon of sriracha, you should use only use half a tablespoon of cayenne pepper. If you find that the spice doesn’t match up, you can always add more.
Tapatio is also an option to consider when you are looking for sriracha substitutes. Tapatio is Mexican-American hot sauce that ranks higher than sriracha on the Scoville Scale. This is ideal when you want to use a spicier alternative to sriracha. It fails if you were looking for a milder one.
Tapatio has a predominant pepper and garlic flavor that coincides with sriracha’s pepper and garlic flavor. If you don’t want your dishes to be spicier, use a lesser amount of Tapatío. But if you don’t mind the sharp spice, use it in a 1:1 ratio. Tapatio is a great topping to omelets and addition to marinades, stews, broths, and dips.
10. Chili Garlic Sauce
If you like the flavor of garlic more appealing than the spice in sriracha, then chili garlic sauce is a great sriracha substitute for you. It has warm garlic notes, the tang, and a slight sweetness that make it very close in flavor to sriracha. It is also spicy, so you won’t be missing the spice.
The difference here is that chili garlic sauce is chunkier and has a prominent garlic flavor. But that doesn’t mean it affects the substitution ratio. You can use an equal amount of chili garlic sauce to replace sriracha in soups, marinades, or stews. You can also mix it with rice vinegar to make an amazing chili garlic dip.
Another worthy sriracha substitute on the list is harissa. This chili paste is of Tunisian origin and also rates high on the spice charts. Other than chili peppers, it also has other ingredients that make this paste more flavorful.
Other than chili peppers, it also contains olive oil, garlic, coriander, caraway seeds, and cumin. This makes it flavor-packed and hence amazing.
Harissa is also a very thick paste; you need to thin the consistency a bit before using it to replace sriracha in recipes. Also, the spices in harissa might disturb a delicately flavored recipe. So, it is better to use harissa in recipes that already have an array of flavors. You can use it in a 1:1 substitution ratio.
12. El Yucateco Habanero Hot Sauce
The El Yucateco habanero hot sauce is another, spicier substitute to sriracha. It is a sauce made of red or green habanero peppers. Other than that, it also has tomatoes, spices, and seasonings. The taste profile is somewhat similar to sriracha.
It also has a thin consistency; you can use it to make dips and sauces. You can also use it to spice up your marinades, spices, and stews. This sauce comes in green and red pepper versions. So, you can choose the red one if the color of the dish matters to you.
As it is spicier, use only a one-third tablespoon of El Yucateco habanero hot sauce for every tablespoon of sriracha. You can add more if you feel that you want to add more spice to it.
13. Homemade Sriracha Sauce
If you want to add the same flavor of sriracha, you can make homemade sriracha sauce. The problem with this substitute is that it is not an instant solution to your problem and can take a few days. You’ll need red chili pepper, garlic, sugar, salt, and white vinegar. For better taste, use brown sugar and distilled vinegar.
Some people also like to use jalapeño peppers instead of chili peppers. Pulse the ingredients and then leave them to ferment for a few days. After that, strain the mixture and have delicious and spicy homemade sriracha sauce. You can use it in the same amount of sriracha as it is a homemade version of the same.
Short Recap Of Sriracha Substitutes
Now that we have discussed all the substitutes let’s see a short recap to see what substitutes are the best in a specific category.
Best Sriracha Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor-
- Sambal Oelek
- Peri-Peri Sauce
- Homemade Peri Peri Sauce
Best Sriracha Substitutes If You Want A Milder Substitute-
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Chili Garlic Sauce
Best Sriracha Substitutes If You Want A Spicier Substitute-
- Tabasco Sauce
- Louisiana Sauce
- El Yucateco Habanero Hot Sauce
How To Use Sriracha Substitutes In Recipes
- Sambal Oelek
- Peri Peri Sauce
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Tabasco Hot Sauce
- Louisiana Hot Sauce
- Chipotle Ketchup
- Dried Cayenne Pepper
- Chili Garlic Sauce
- El Yucateco Habanero Hot Sauce
- Homemade Sriracha Sauce
- Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
- Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
- Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
So, these are the best sriracha substitutes you can use in your recipes. You might recognize some of them as different varieties of hot sauces. This is because sriracha is a hot sauce, and the best substitute for sriracha will be hot sauce. The ingredients and similar, and the spice level also matches up.
Let me know in the comments if you agree with my list of sriracha substitutes. You can also leave suggestions if you think I left out a good substitute. I hope I have helped you a bit. I’ll see you next time with another article. Until then, take care and happy cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best sriracha substitute in terms of flavor?
Sambal oelek is the best sriracha substitute in terms of flavor that you can use in your recipes.
What is sriracha made of?
Sriracha, also known as Rooster Sauce, is a hot sauce made with red chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt.
Can I use gochujang instead of sriracha?
Gochujang is also known as Korean chili paste and is made with fermented soybeans and red chili peppers. You can use it instead of sriracha if you don’t mind the fermented soybeans.
Can I substitute Tabasco for sriracha?
Although Tabasco is spicier than sriracha, it can be a decent substitute for sriracha. You must be careful while adding Tabasco to recipes and start with a few drops.
Can I use ketchup instead of sriracha?
Ketchup isn’t spicy and hence won’t be a good sriracha substitute. Instead you can use chipotle ketchup as it is tangy and spicy like sriracha.