Not too long ago, there was a shortage of the famous red sauce we all know and love.
So maybe bookmark this list of Sriracha substitutes. Just in case!
When it comes to a good substitute for sriracha, there are a few things to consider.
Are you just looking for heat? Or do you want that rounded tangy-sweetness with a nice hit of garlic?
Is it going into a recipe, or is it getting drizzled over the top?
Because while sambal oelek is spicy and flavorful, it’s not made for dipping or drizzling.
When you know all that, you can make a better decision about the right Sriracha substitutes.
13 Best Substitutes for Sriracha
1. Gochujang Sauce
Gochujang is a Korean paste made from hot peppers. And while it used to be difficult to find, it’s now pretty mainstream.
This paste is made by combining glutinous rice (the same thing mochi is made out of), chili flakes, fermented soybeans, and salt.
They’re then ground into a spicy paste that’s impressively spicy. Much spicier than Sriracha.
It’s also pretty thick and best used in recipes. Unless you modify it slightly, that is.
Here’s a recipe I love:
- 5 tablespoons gochujang
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
This sweet and spicy gochujang sauce is a pretty spot-on substitute for Sriracha. And it works well as a dipper too!
How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 1 tablespoon of sweet and spicy gochujang sauce.
Note: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 1/2 tablespoon of plain gochujang paste. Taste and add more as needed.
2. Sambal Oelek
Sambal oelek is a fresh ground chili paste made with peppers, vinegar, and salt.
This spicy condiment comes from Indonesia and is most often made with Thai chili peppers.
While the flavors aren’t quite as complex as Sriracha, which has a hit of garlic, it will definitely provide the spice and plenty of tang.
Sambal oelek is not meant for dipping or topping, but it’s an ideal substitution in sauces or when cooking.
How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 3/4 tablespoon of sambal oelek.
3. Ketchup + Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
You’re probably familiar with ketchup but might not have expected it to be on this list.
Ketchup is thick and tangy without any hint of spice. But it’s got sweetness and the right consistency.
And when you add Frank’s Red Hot sauce, it’s got the heat, too!
Add it to sauces or soups, or use it for dipping and topping.
How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 1 tablespoon of ketchup + 1 teaspoon of Frank’s Red Hot sauce.
4. Peri-peri Sauce
Peri-peri is a Portuguese sauce made from a peri-peri pepper. And if you’ve ever been to Nando’s, you’ll know how tasty it is.
That said, it’s not a taste-alike for Sriracha.
With notes of citrus, sweet pimiento, pepper, bay leaves, paprika, basil, and tarragon, it’s got a very unique flavor.
But it is ideal for dipping and adding to recipes when you need complexity and heat.
Nando’s ‘Medium’ peri peri sauce is the one to go for, otherwise, it’ll be far too spicy.
How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 1 tablespoon of Nando’s ‘Medium’ peri peri sauce.
5. Sweet Chili Sauce
Sweet chili sauce is a unique condiment that works surprisingly well as a Sriracha substitute.
It’s made with chili peppers, rice wine vinegar, and a sweetener. So you can provide a spicy flavor without overwhelming heat.
It’s the perfect substitute for people who don’t like spicy food.
However, if you want it spicier, try adding a dash or two of hot sauce.
How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 1 tablespoon of sweet chili sauce.
Harissa paste is often used in Moroccan dishes.
It has some basic ingredients like chili peppers, oil, and garlic but also some spices. Usually, it includes cumin, caraway, mint, and coriander.
Harissa is a fiery way to add flavor to soups and marinades but can be used as a Sriracha swap in almost any recipe.
The flavor is a little bit nuttier and complex when compared to Sriracha, thanks to those added spices.
Don’t expect an exact substitution, but this is a tasty one.
How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 1 tablespoon of harissa.
7. Chili Garlic Sauce
Chili garlic sauce has a very similar flavor to Sriracha but a slightly thicker viscosity.
It’s simple and made with just a few ingredients: chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, salt, and sugar.
The key thing missing is the jalapeño. That’s what gives Sriracha its signature taste and fiery heat.
Still, this sauce can be used for almost any recipe. Use it as a spread, dip, or topping, or add it to your next recipe.
How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 1 tablespoon of chili garlic sauce.
8. Chipotle Ketchup
I already have a spiced-up ketchup combo above, but I had to include this one too.
The ketchup is sweet and tangy, and the chipotle is smoky and spicy.
Together they may not have that zippy spicy you get from Sriracha, but the warmth is so delicious.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup of ketchup
- 2 chipotle peppers
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce
- 1/2 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon each of cumin and chili powder
Add everything to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Then, cook it over low heat to mellow the flavors.
Finally, use it as a dipper or add it to any recipe that calls for Sriracha.
How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 1 tablespoon of chipotle ketchup.
9. Chili Oil Crisp
As the name suggests, chili crisp is an oil infused with chili peppers.
Most jars contain crushed fried chilis, fermented soybeans, onions, garlic, MSG, and Sichuan peppercorns.
Sometimes other flavors like garlic, soy sauce, black pepper, or mint are added.
This crunchy oil obviously has a different texture to Sriracha. But as a topping over hummus, it’s unmatched.
How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 1/2 tablespoon of chili oil crisp.
Of all the Sriracha substitutes in this list, Tabasco is one of the most well-known. It has been on store shelves in the United States since 1868, after all.
But it’s not my favorite.
Made from Tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt, it’s been called “hipster ketchup” by some.
And while it’s clearly spicier than ketchup, it’s far too thin and tangy to give you the same texture and depth as Sriracha.
But in drinks or on chicken wings, it’ll bring the heat you’re craving.
How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 1/4 tablespoon of Tabasco.
11. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a common household spice that can make a fantastic substitute for Sriracha (when it’s all you have).
Dried cayenne pepper has a nice amount of heat but won’t add a lot of flavor.
A trick for adding some of that tang is to add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
Since cayenne is pretty spicy, you don’t need too much. But you might want to add some extra garlic and onion to round out the flavors.
How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 1/4 tablespoon of cayenne.
Tapatío is a Mexican-American condiment that’s very spicy and adds delicious flavor to any meal.
You can dip foods into Tapatío, but like Tabasco, it does have a thinner consistency.
And remember, it’s much spicier than Sriracha, so beware!
How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 1/2 tablespoon of Tapatío. Add more as needed.
13. Homemade Chili Sauce
If you don’t have any of the above options available, homemade chili sauce can be a wonderful substitute for Sriracha.
There are many recipes out there that come in sauce, paste, or powder form.
And they all have different spice levels, too, so make yours according to your preference.
But if you need a recipe, try this one:
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 – 1/2 small habanero pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
Blend everything until it’s your desired consistency, then cook it on low to mellow out the raw flavors.
How easy is that?
How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of Sriracha with 1/2 tablespoon of homemade chili sauce.
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