Sriracha Substitute: Which Is the Closest?




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There is no need to suffer without sriracha sauce in your life. With its garlicky, vinegary, and spicy mix, it is no wonder it’s so popular all around the world.

Many of us have been there: we’re about to crack open a jar and take a delicious glop onto our tongues, only to find that it is empty. If you are looking for the closest Sriracha substitute, read on!

It seems as though everyone has their own favorite sriracha recipe, but below are a few of the most popular sriracha substitutes that you should definitely try.

If you are looking for an all-in-one substitute, Sambal Oelek might be a good option for you, with its similar flavor. Luckily though there are other options as well.

Each of these sauces has a unique flavor that will enhance your food. Try them all and see which one you like best!

What Is Sriracha?

Sriracha sauce is a hot chili sauce made from a paste of red chilies, garlic, sugar, salt, and distilled vinegar. It is named after the coastal town of Si Racha in eastern Thailand, where it was first made.

The sauce is typically used as a condiment, either mixed into dishes or served on the side. It is also used as a dipping sauce.

Sriracha has a bright red color and a spicy, tangy flavor. The sauce is made with chilies that have been dried and ground into a paste. A sweet and salty flavor balances the heat of the chilies.

5 Best Substitute For Sriracha Sauce

1) Sambal Oelek

Closest in terms of flavor: Sambal Oelek shares many similar ingredients to Sriracha sauce and both have similar spice and heat levels. However, Sambal Oelek is not as garlicky and a little less sweet than Sriracha.

sambal oelek in a jar
  • This sriracha substitute can be brushed on grilled meats and vegetables, spread over a sandwich, added to a stir fry sauce, mixed into tuna or egg salad, or mixed into sour cream for dipping.
  • Sambal Oelek is made from ground chilies with ingredients such as vinegar and salt. The heat comes from the spicy chili peppers. It is a thick sauce that has a rust color.
  • It is an ideal substitute as it has a similar flavor and can be used in many of the same ways that sriracha is used.

2) Gochujang

A sweeter and less spicy alternative: This is the best alternative to Sriracha if you are looking for a spicy but sweeter substitute.

The absence of vinegar means that the gochujang sauce does not have any hint of sourness, unlike other hot sauces. This is a milder version of Sriracha and has only 1000 SHU (Scoville Heat Unit scale).

  • Gochujang is made from sticky rice, fermented soybeans, and red peppers; it is closer in texture to hoisin sauce than sriracha.
  • Gochujang can be used as a marinade or dipping sauce for meat dishes like barbecue beef short ribs or spicy pork bulgogi. It can also be added to stir fry sauces and in stews for a little heat and depth of flavor.
  • This is a good choice if you are looking for a sweeter, milder Sriracha substitute because it has a similar flavor and can be used in many of the same ways that sriracha is used.

3) Chili Garlic Sauce

Budget-friendly alternative: Chili garlic sauce is often referred to as the sister of Sriracha. This condiment is so well-known that it can be found in almost all Asian restaurants and most grocery stores.

chili garlic sauce with spices

It tastes similar to Sriracha but has a thicker texture and more garlic flavor.

  • The heat level of chili garlic sauce ranges from mild to extremely hot, so it is a good choice if you are looking for a versatile Sriracha substitute.
  • The ingredients in chili garlic sauce vary but typically include red chilies, garlic, sugar, salt, and water. It has a deep red color and a slightly sweet taste with a kick of heat.
  • You will be impressed by the strong flavor of garlic due to its heat, tanginess, and rich taste. This combination is perfect when it’s paired with noodles and dumplings. This is a good choice if you are looking for a budget-friendly sriracha substitute that has a similar flavor to Sriracha.

4) Tabasco

The spicy substitute: Tabasco sauce is one of the oldest and most popular hot sauces in the United States. Tabasco sauce is a good choice if you are looking for a substitute that is similar in terms of heat level and vinegar content.

  • This sauce is made with Tabasco peppers, distilled vinegar, water, and salt. It has a high vinegar content which gives it a sour taste.
  • Tabasco sauce is also very spicy with a Scoville heat rating of 5000 SHU so it is not for the faint of heart.
  • Tabasco sauce can be used in similar ways that Sriracha is used. It is great as a condiment for Mexican and Cajun cuisine or added to dressings, sauces, or marinades.

5) Tapatio

A Mexican alternative: Tapatio sauce is a spicy and rich hot sauce that comes from Mexico.

It has a little bit of sweetness and smokiness to it with a hint of citrus flavor, making it taste similar to Sriracha.

mexican hot sauce
  • The ingredients in Tapatio include red peppers, garlic, salt, acetic acid, and spices. It has a higher heat level than Sriracha (3,000 SHU).
  • Tapatio sauce can be used as a condiment for Mexican cuisine or added to sauces, dressings, and marinades. It is also great as a rub for chicken or pork.
  • If you are looking for a spicy and sweet Sriracha substitute, this is a good choice. Tapatio sauce has a similar flavor to Sriracha and can be used in many of the same ways that Sriracha is used.

People Also Ask

Can I Use Frank’s Red Hot Instead Of Sriracha?

Although Frank’s Red Hot is a popular sauce known for its cayenne pepper flavor, it is very different from Sriracha.

Frank’s red hot contains vinegar and garlic powder instead of distilled vinegar and has a lower heat level of approx 450 Scoville Heat Units.

Is Sriracha The Same As Chili Sauce?

No, Sriracha is not the same as chili sauce. Chili sauce is made with tomatoes, whereas Sriracha is made with chilies. Chili sauce is also not as spicy as Sriracha. Sweet chili sauce, unlike sriracha which packs heat, is more dominated by sweet garlic.

What Is The Main Ingredient In Sriracha?

The main ingredient in Sriracha is chili pepper. Other ingredients include garlic, sugar, salt, and distilled vinegar. These ingredients give sriracha its flavor and heat. Sriracha, with its ketchup-like consistency, is an excellent condiment for adding heat and flavor to soups, sandwiches, and other dishes.

What’s The Difference Between Tabasco And Sriracha?

Sriracha contains chilies, garlic, salt, sugar, and distilled vinegar whereas Tabasco sauce is made with tabasco peppers, vinegar, water, and salt. Sriracha is also not as spicy as Tabasco. Tabasco sauce has a Cajun flavor in comparison to Sriracha.

sriracha substitutes


If you are looking for a substitute for Sriracha sauce, there are a few good options to choose from.

Each of these substitutes has a different flavor profile but all are spicy and provide a great alternative to the original Sriracha sauce. 

Which is the best?

All of the sriracha substitutes listed above have their own unique flavors that make them stand out from each other. However, if we had to choose one as the best Sriracha substitute, we would go with #1: Sambal Oelek, followed by Gochujang and chili garlic sauce.

Sambal Oelek sauce is not only the closest for its flavor profile but is also the closest for its heat level and works wonders in similar dishes.

Gochujang and chili garlic sauce also make the list because although they have a different flavor profile, they can be used in similar ways as Sriracha sauce.

All of these substitutes are great for adding heat and flavor to dishes and we hope that with the help of this article you will now know which is the best substitute for Sriracha.

What is your favorite Sriracha substitute?

Thank you for reading and please don’t forget to share your comments below!

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