Best Sriracha Substitute

Don’t have this special hot sauce, or realized you’re all out while you’re cooking? Here’s the best Sriracha substitute to use in cooking.

Sriracha substitute

Making a recipe that calls for Sriracha hot sauce and don’t have it? Or shopping at the store and the shelf is empty? Don’t worry, there are a few other hot sauce options that are suited for the task. Sriracha is a hot sauce that originated from Thailand made of chile peppers, vinegar, garlic and sugar (read more about its origins here). It became very popular in the US in the 2010s, often used in Thai or Japanese-style dishes, used to top fried rice, or mixed into spicy mayo.

Don’t have it on hand, or the grocery store is all out? Here are the best hot sauces to use as a Sriracha substitute.

1. Chili garlic sauce

The best Sriracha substitute? Garlic chili sauce. You might see this condiment on the table at Thai or Japanese restaurants. It’s similar to Sriracha but with a thicker and chunkier texture, made with chilies and lots of garlic. It tastes a little brighter than Sriracha and has more nuance. It lasts for months and is absolutely worth adding to your fridge!

2. Sambal oelek

Another great Sriracha substitute? Sambal oelek. Sambal oelek is an Indonesian chili sauce made of chili peppers, garlic, ginger and lime. In fact, it shares many of the same ingredients as Sriracha! However, it has a chunky texture and little to no sugar.

What about heat level? Sambal oelek is relatively as spicy as Sriracha, but because it has less sugar it may taste slightly spicier. Both rank around 2,000 Scoville units (a measure of spiciness).

3. Gochugjang

A final Sriracha substitute? Gochugjang. Gochugjang is a spicy Korean fermented condiment, made with chili powder, rice and fermented soy beans. It has a developed, nuanced flavor and is popularly used in the Korean rice dish, bibimbap. Gochugjang can vary in heat level, so use it to taste.

Here are some recipes where you could use this Sriracha substitute:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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