12 Best Alternatives For Sriracha

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As a delicious but sweltering addition to avocado toast, Bloody Marys, and ramen noodles, America loves the fiery, redheaded cousin to ketchup: sriracha. This spicy sauce might not be your mama's condiment of choice for French fries but that hasn't stopped the fiercest foodies from using sriracha sauce on just about anything they can get their fork into, even ice cream. If you're not familiar with this ubiquitous topping, sriracha is a pepper sauce made from red jalapeños, distilled vinegar, sugar, and garlic. Sriracha is moderate in heat, coming in on the Scoville scale below habanero and cayenne pepper (via Chasing Chilli).

The sriracha brand with its iconic red rooster on the bottle just might be absent from this summer's cook-outs and brunches, though. In April, Huy Fong Foods Inc. — the manufacturer of the popular grocery store hot sauce brand — announced a temporary halt in the condiment's production. As Mexico experiences continued drought, the severe effect on chili crops could result in a Huy Fong Sriracha shortage with no end in sight anticipated before fall 2022.

If you can't find your favorite tongue-melting topping on the shelves, don't have a meltdown. With these sriracha alternatives to the now-elusive hot sauce, there's no missing out on the tangy, garlicky-sweet heat of sriracha that just burns so good. 

12. Tabasco

Tabasco sauce is the grandpa of American hot sauce. It's one of the earliest (if not the first) hot sauce brands to ever hit markets in the United States, made available in the 1868Tabasco is a hot sauce classic made from capsicum frutescens, also known as tabasco peppers. While Huy Fong Sriracha emerged on the U.S. market as a "hipster ketchup" over a century later, they are still distant relatives. 

Sriracha, thickened with xanthan gum, has a ketchup-like consistency that is great for dipping. Tabasco is a runnier sauce, best for dashing on your favorite foods, because it is absent of thickeners, made simply of red tabasco peppers, distilled vinegar, and salt. Because of sriracha's sugar content and different peppers used, the core flavors of these two sauces contrast. Tabasco peppers are hotter on the Scoville scale than sriracha's red jalapeños — up to eight times hotter, in fact. According to the Pepper Scale, because Tabasco hot sauce uses less pepper in proportion to the vinegar in its recipe, the true spiciness of the sauces are closer in heat than the Scoville rating indicates. 

In our opinion, the culinary territories where vinegary, smoky Tabasco is often found would taste great with sriracha instead: Bloody Marys, eggs, chicken wings. However, it's hard to argue the reverse because sriracha is more of a sauce, and it's frequently used as a cooking component. Tabasco might be too liquidy, spicy, and vinegar-tasting for all uses — unless you're thickening hot sauce at home. 

11. Tapatío

Tapatío is a staple in the cupboard of any foodie who likes their cuisine feisty. This hot sauce is made of red peppers, per the bottle's label — which could mean tabasco, cayenne, pequin, or chile de arbol peppers, but Tapatío doesn't specify — and is slightly hotter than sriracha on the Scoville scale (via Sriracha 2 Go). The only common ground for these two sauces is their closeness in heat, but you might personally find just enough similarity between Tapatío and sriracha to use as a suitable alternative when the latter is AWOL.

The most significant difference between these two is the sweetness: Sriracha has it; Tapatío has none. There are around 3 grams of sugar per each tablespoon serving, which is the source of the Huy Fong sauce's sweet heat. On the other hand, the flavor of Tapatío is rather peppery and sharp. So, if you're looking for something to drizzle in stir-fry or on ramen noodles, Tapatío would certainly give you the bite but without the sweet sriracha flavor. As a Quora user points out, while the picante sauce is as a possible sriracha substitute, Tapatío harmonizes best with certain flavors in Mexican-style cuisine and tomato-based dishes.  

10. Mustapha's Mediterranean Harissa

If the extent of you are simply looking for a sauce that is red and moderately hot, harissa will do. Harissa is a North African pepper paste made of dried chiles, coriander, caraway seeds, and garlic. The resulting heat is modest, comparable to sriracha, but this alternative is more smoky and layered in flavor. We love how diverse harissa is: Different regions add a spin through add-ins like lemon and bell peppers in the Mediterranean variety or a sumac and acerola berry in a modern North African version (per Best Products).

Empirically, the heat between these two is the same, but because harissa is a paste made predominantly of mashed peppers, it can seem hotter than sriracha sauce. Absent of sugary sweetness and more earthy in flavor through the herbs, harissa stands out for its addition of pepper with this sriracha substitute.

Each application is also different, but generally, when you cook with sriracha you could also cook with harissa. Sriracha, which is not quite a liquid or a paste, performs well as a functional ingredient and as a dipping or garnishing flair. Harissa can be a paste or a powder, which are not ideal consistencies for dipping, but either performs great as a component to sauces or for rubbing directly on meats.

We love Mustapha's because it's a quality product and a traditional harissa recipe. It's made with chiles, lemon, garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, and spices. 

9. Homemade sweet habanero chili sauce

If nothing we've suggested so far is a worthy replacement for sriracha, give these vibrant orange peppers a try. A simple hot sauce made of habanero peppers (which are probably readily available at your local supermarket or Mexican grocery store), vinegar, water, garlic, honey, salt, and corn starch will replicate sriracha's sweet heat. Habanero peppers are hotter on the Scoville scale than the jalapeños used to make sriracha, however, so you might find the teeth on this sauce to be a bit sharper. You can leave a couple peppers out, add more honey or vinegar, or consider tossing in additives like onion or mango to level out the heat with other flavors. 

Like sriracha, this condiment can be made thicker like ketchup and used as a foundation to marinades and sauces. Or, it can be kept the consistency of hot sauce and drizzled over eggs, pizza, or whatever your heart desires.  

We recommend making this homemade habanero hot sauce by blending the habanero peppers with mango and garlic in a food processor until fine, then adding white vinegar, honey, salt, and water to the processor and blending until completely smooth. Heat the sauce in a pan until just boiling, then immediately reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. You'll then add maple syrup and salt. Homemade sweet habanero hot sauce can keep in the fridge for a few months in a sealed glass jar. 

8. Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp

Chili crisp is both a hot condiment and a hot pantry staple in the United States that gained recent popularity with spice enthusiasts. Home chefs have found a way to make chili crisp work with anything: watermelon, ice cream, noodles, or pizza. This curiously crunchy concoction is made with crushed fried chilis, fermented black soybeans, onions, garlic, and Sichuan peppercorn, according to Inverse, as well as a secret, unexpected ingredient: a heaping scoop of MSG. The flavor enhancer gives chili crisp a meaty umami flavor that sriracha can't offer, and this alternative packs a bit more heat through its crushed chilis.

However, the vastly different consistency makes the functionality of chili crisp different from sriracha. The crisp can be easily mixed into dishes and marinades, but dipping and drizzling might be a hassle. There's also none of the sweetness that sriracha loyalists love. 

Chili crisp is versatile, trendy, and flavorful — but different from sriracha. If you choose to pick it up, we recommend experimenting with chili crisp as its own hot sauce and not as a sriracha replacement — and Fly by Jing's Sichuan Chili Crisp is our favorite brand. It's crunchy and flavorful, hot but not melt-your-throat hot, and amazingly versatile. You'll find it for less than $20 on Amazon.

7. Weak Knees Curry Sriracha

If you can't get your hands on pure sriracha right now, you might as well opt for something of which it is a component. Bushwick Kitchen is a Brooklyn, NY-based company specializing in saucy mix-ups of sweet, spicy, and savory condiments. Bushwick Kitchen Weak Knees Curry Sriracha is a great option if you want the sweet, garlicky goodness of sriracha, but don't mind if the sauce is joined by a few friends. 

This curry-flavored sauce is made with sriracha, gochujang chili paste, and curry spices. The resulting Thai-Korean-Indian flavor infusion is explosive, complex, and just as versatile as sriracha. This fermented sauce can be dipped in, drizzled over, or added to recipes and marinades. Gochujang is made with red chili peppers that can range in hotness. Bushwick's curry version is a shy heat combined with red jalapeños of sriracha that will only slightly elevate the sauce's spiciness. 

What is the catch? With this sriracha alternative, you will have to expect a much more heavily flavored condiment because the curry brings in cardamom and turmeric, and Bushwick also notes cinnamon and nutmeg on the bottle's label. So, it may clash with a main dish that is also rich in flavor. However, the element of sriracha still features sweetness, mild to moderate heat, and a strong garlic profile. Bushwick's sauce is found on Amazon. 

6. Nando's Peri Peri

We're crazy crazy about peri peri. This is a Portuguese sauce made of peri peri peppers (also known as African bird's eye chili or spelled piri-piri). This peppers might be  paired with citrus peel, lemon juice, sweet pimiento, and a number of spices including pepper, bay leaves, paprika, basil, and tarragon. Peri peri is traditionally used with meat and seafood but, because of its thicker texture, it can function as a dipping sauce or drizzling condiment, too. 

Fundamentally, peri peri and sriracha are similar — sweet and gently hot — but in taste they contrast. The only sugar in this sauce comes from the sweet pimiento, so its sweetness is more of an undertone than in sriracha. Typically no garlic or vinegar are used in peri peri sauce, which are two of the strongest tastes in sriracha. The spices in peri peri make it complex and herby, and the citrus elements keep it bright and acidic. 

While far from a clone of the red rooster sauce, peri peri is an alternative that at the least replaces Huy Fong Sriracha in a pinch (like a supply shortage) and, at best, finds its own permanent spot in your pantry. Might we suggest Nando's Peri-Peri Medium sauce? Hot sauce fanatics love it with chicken, fries, and breakfast food. You can also pick it up on Amazon for around $9 bucks. 

5. Fly By Jing Zhong Sauce

Sweet brown sugar, rich garlic, savory mushrooms, and salty soy sauce all come to party in Fly by Jing's Zhong sauce. Dried chili pepper brings the heat, and the brown sugar speaks to the sriracha sweetness. Reviewers on Fly by Jing rate this sauce, which is inspired by the Zhong dumplings popular in Chengdu as street food, as slightly above average spice. Zhong fans recommend using the sauce on noodles, chicken wings, eggs, or mixed into barbecue sauce for extra bite at the grill. 

The flavor of this sauce will be more complex than sriracha, through the soy sauce, mushrooms, and other added spices. Brown sugar also gives the sauce a richer, molasses-like sweetness. Fly by Jing's sauce has an impressive 4.9 stars from nearly 500 reviews. We'll be trying out one user's suggestion to mix Zhong into hummus as a naan bread dip. 

As a dip or topping, the taste of Zhong will be worlds different, but the heat and sweetness will be there. As a marinade or mix-in, this sriracha alternative is comparable to the scarce Huy Fong hot sauce — you might even find it tastes better. 

4. Sambal oelek

Sriracha and sambal oelek have a few things in common. Both hot sauces base their fierce flavors around salt, vinegar, and peppers. However, save adding water, the sambal oelek recipe stops there. It's a simple chili paste originating in Indonesia — most often made with Thai red peppers, which are hotter than sriracha's red jalapeños — usually applied as the base ingredient for sweet chili sauce or spooning into dishes for some kick. 

Sriracha is usually the simpler-tasting hot sauce option against its competition, but that is not the case with sambal oelek's modest recipe. Without the sugar and garlic that sriracha lovers are used to, this alternative's flavor may feel a bit shallow in comparison. And as a paste, it's generally not suited for dipping or topping, but if the only goal is to keep heat in a dish when sriracha is absent, sambal oelek will do the trick. Sambal oelek and Thai red peppers are often used to make sweet chili sauce, which is another sriracha replacement that is ranked higher on this list for its complex flavor. 

If you're a loyalist to the Red Rooster brand, good news: Huy Fong makes its own sambal oelek chili paste, which we reach for just as much as we reach for sriracha. A two-pack of 8 oz. bottles is around $10 on Amazon.

3. Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha

Bushwick Kitchen's Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha is a great Huy Fong sauce alternative because this sauce will more closely resemble the simple flavor profile of Huy Fong Sriracha — without added spice and with just enough complexity from the gochujang to be interesting. The red chili peppers are hotter than jalapeños, so some elevated heat should be expected. But, the fermented soybean paste in the Gochujang will also bring a rich umami flavor. The added spiciness might overpower the sugar, however, so this sriracha alternative may not seem as sweet.

Similar, if not identical, to sriracha in consistency, you can apply Bushwick's Gochujang Sriracha wherever you'd apply the original. This sauce is raved about online: One Bushwick Kitchen reviewer says Weak Knees brings just enough bite to tingle the lips but doesn't leave you crying or your nose running. A more elevated version of sriracha better than this might be harder to find in the U.S. — even among other notable sriracha hot sauces. We could even see Bushwick Kitchen's sriracha sauces also becoming scarce because more hot sauce connoisseurs could start reaching for this alternative if the Huy Fong Sriracha supply runs dry.

2. Homemade sweet chili sauce

Sweet, garlicky, spicy: all descriptors of both sweet chili sauce and sriracha. Usually made of rice wine vinegar, chili peppers, and a sweetener like honey, sweet chili sauce can easily replace sriracha in your stir-fry, marinades, or as a dipping sauce. The consistency of sweet chili is slightly thicker than sriracha, but still thin enough to easily pour and drizzle. It's also easy to make at home, too. 

A few key differences set these two hot sauces apart. Sriracha usually has a stronger heat than sweet chili, so this alternative may fall short for the spiciness fanatics. However, the peppers used in sweet chili sauce may vary by recipe, ranging from Thai chili peppers to African Bird's Eye, so the heat could change from brand to brand. Sweet chili is also typically sweeter than sriracha, and the increased sugar content may not be palatable for some. You'd have no trouble passing a blind taste test between the two, but we think sweet chili is still a great stand-in while Huy Fong Sriracha takes a hiatus. 

Our sweet chili sauce recipe uses water, rice vinegar, sugar, hot chili flakes, garlic, and cornstarch. Add all the ingredients except water and cornstarch. Bring to boil then cook for five minutes, then whisk in the water and cornstarch. Cook for 3 minutes, then allow to cool. 

1. Ketchipotle

We know what you're thinking. Ketchup? As a replacement for sriracha? Just hear us out: Sriracha and chipotle sauces are made with jalapeños — chipotle peppers are just smoked — so you'll still get a comparative burst of peppery flavor. This also means that both sauces will land in the same neighborhood on the Scoville scale. And, Huy Fong Sriracha is essentially sweetened red jalapeño hot sauce. Chipotle peppers are naturally sweeter and could resemble a standard hot sauce like Tabasco due to the smokiness.

When you introduce ketchup to the mix, you are adding the sugar (or corn syrup) that ketchup is made with to combat the acidity of the tomatoes, which would introduce additional sweetness to the chipotle peppers. Ketchup also thickens the chipotle sauce to better resemble sriracha and creates another do-it-all alternative that can top fries or jazz up marinades. 

Chipotle ketchup can be either store-bought (we recommend Ketchipotle on Amazon for the best smoky, spicy ketchup with a chipotle kick) or made at home by combining canned chipotle chilis in adobo sauce with a jalapeño, onion, garlic, ketchup, sugar, cumin, and chili powder (via Williams Sonoma). The result is a sweet, spicy, garlicky condiment that, if you don't look too closely, could pass for Huy Fong Sriracha.