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On a Budget? Try These Sriracha Alternatives

by Gabriel Martinez
6 comments
Sriracha Alternatives

If your favorite Sriracha brand is too costly, there are wallet-friendly options available.

For the second time in two years, Huy Fong Foods, the most recognized Sriracha producer in the U.S., has faced a shortage of its tangy sauce with the iconic green cap and rooster label. This has been attributed to a limited supply of chile peppers, exacerbated by pandemic-induced hoarding. This situation has caused prices to spike, with some third-party sellers taking advantage of the situation.

However, it’s crucial to remember that a vast range of hot sauce alternatives exists, so there’s no need to succumb to the overblown hype.

Even though Huy Fong is almost synonymous with Sriracha, it’s not the only one in the market, and interestingly, it doesn’t originate from the Thai town that lent the sauce its name.

The vibrant red sauce was the invention of Thanom Chakkapak, a Thai home cook who formulated a mixture of fresh chiles, vinegar, garlic, salt, and sugar for her own use. By the 1930s, she started selling the sauce as Sriraja Panich, named after her coastal hometown, Si Racha, and it quickly became the top-selling hot sauce in Thailand.

Years later, David Tran, an ardent fan of the sauce, migrated from Vietnam to California and established Huy Fong. His version of the sauce, inspired by Sriraja Panich, was thicker and spicier, and it quickly became a favorite in U.S. households. Huy Fong sources its chiles from Mexico and the U.S. Southwest, but a historic drought has affected the supply chain, resulting in fewer bottles on the store shelves.

The good news is, creating hot sauces and similar condiments is not particularly difficult, and there are myriad global alternatives that provide both heat and rich flavor profiles.

Below are three alternatives from Barbados, Mexico, and Cambodia. While they won’t taste exactly like Huy Fong Sriracha, they don’t have to. Each of them is easy to prepare, and you won’t miss the rooster.


Bajan Hot Pepper Sauce

For the recipe, visit: https://www.177milkstreet.com/recipes/bajan-hot-pepper-sauce

This Bajan hot sauce draws its heat from spicy Scotch bonnet chiles. If you can’t source these, habaneros are a good substitute. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare and yields ½ a cup. Remember, don’t substitute yellow mustard with Dijon mustard as the former, along with ground turmeric, contributes to the sauce’s bright yellow color.

Salsa Macha

For the recipe, visit: https://www.177milkstreet.com/recipes/salsa-macha

Discovered during an incredible taco adventure in Mexico City, Salsa Macha gets its unique, earthy, smoky flavor from toasted dried chiles, garlic, and a mix of nuts and seeds. It requires about 15 minutes to make and yields approximately 1 cup.

Thai Sweet Chile Sauce

For the recipe, visit: https://www.177milkstreet.com/recipes/sweet-chili-dipping-sauce

Nam jim kai is a Thai-style chile sauce that beautifully balances sweet, salty, spicy, and sour flavors. This sauce, which typically has a thick and syrupy consistency, is an excellent accompaniment to Thai corn fritters, seafood, grilled meats, and chicken. It takes around 1¼ hours to prepare.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Sriracha Alternatives

Why is there a shortage of Huy Fong’s Sriracha sauce?

The shortage of Huy Fong’s Sriracha sauce is due to insufficient supplies of chile peppers, the main ingredient in the sauce. This issue has been further exacerbated by pandemic-induced hoarding, resulting in a significant increase in prices.

What are some alternatives to Huy Fong’s Sriracha sauce?

There are many alternatives to Huy Fong’s Sriracha sauce from around the world. These include Bajan Hot Pepper Sauce from Barbados, Salsa Macha from Mexico, and Thai Sweet Chile Sauce from Cambodia. While these sauces don’t taste identical to Huy Fong Sriracha, they each offer unique flavor profiles that might suit different preferences.

Who is the original creator of Sriracha sauce?

The original Sriracha sauce was created by a home cook in Thailand named Thanom Chakkapak. She mixed fresh chiles, vinegar, garlic, salt, and sugar to make a sauce for her own use, which she eventually started marketing as Sriraja Panich in the 1930s. It became the top-selling hot sauce in Thailand.

Is Huy Fong’s Sriracha sauce made in the Thai town of Si Racha?

No, Huy Fong’s Sriracha sauce is not made in the Thai town of Si Racha. The sauce is actually produced in the United States, specifically in California. The chiles used in the sauce are sourced from Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.

Are these alternative hot sauces hard to make?

No, these hot sauces and similar condiments are not particularly difficult to make. They require standard kitchen ingredients and follow straightforward procedures. Detailed recipes for these alternatives are provided in the original text.

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6 comments

SauceBoss July 15, 2023 - 7:21 am

interesting bit of history there, didn’t know Sriracha wasn’t originally from Huy Fong. you learn something new every day.

Reply
SpiceRackSam July 15, 2023 - 8:33 am

scotch bonnet chiles for the Bajan Hot Pepper Sauce, huh? those are super hot. Can I just use jalapenos instead?

Reply
CookingWithJane July 15, 2023 - 12:20 pm

been making my own hot sauce for years. It’s so easy! You control the heat, that’s the best part. Thanks for the new recipes, can’t wait to try ’em out!

Reply
MikeSpicyLover July 15, 2023 - 4:59 pm

Oh man, Huy Fong’s running low again? gonna have to check my local store. these alternatives sound interesting tho!

Reply
ChiliChamp July 15, 2023 - 5:36 pm

ugh, the drought has really hit us hard. Poor chile supplies = less Sriracha. sad times. gotta make do with what we got, I guess.

Reply
TravelAndTaste July 15, 2023 - 8:19 pm

The Salsa Macha sounds delicious, love anything with a deep, smoky flavor. Reminds me of my trip to Mexico City, good times.

Reply

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