Earlier this year, the makers of the cult hot sauce Sriracha announced amuch to the dismay of hot sauce lovers everywhere. The shortage is due to a poor spring harvest of red chili peppers used in making the beloved condiment, according to Huy Fong (PDF), the California-based maker of Sriracha.
Sriracha has already become rare on the shelves of online retailers’ stores since the announcement. While a world – or even a summer – without Sriracha doesn’t sound like fun at all, there are some great alternatives to add to your pantry shelves. From imitation Srirachas to sweet and spicy sauces and even a few similar-but-different condiments to try on your soups, sandwiches, and stir-fries, these are the best Sriracha alternatives when you can’t have the real thing.
The Gon Ma
Crispy chili is not an exact substitute for Sriracha, but it has many of the same flavors: hot, sweet, and umami. Lao Gan Ma’s Crispy Chili is another cult condiment and can add a little pop to your food when Sriracha isn’t an option.
Fly by Jing
Fly by Jing also makes a great crispy chili for topping sandwiches, ramen, stir-fries, and dipping your dumplings and other dim sum favorites. It sports a harmony of sweet, spicy and savory flavors, but with a bit more umami punch thanks to sesame oil, mushrooms and fermented black beans.
A jar of this addictive condiment will set you back $15 or you can get them for a discount if you buy four or six at a time.
Fly by Jing
While we try new sauces, Fly by Jing’s Zhong Sauce is just as great, although perhaps not as close to Sriracha Sauce as Crispy Chili. This dip is rich in sweetness thanks to brown sugar and aromatic soy sauce.
David Chang and Momofuku make an equally delicious crispy chili condiment. This version has a healthy dose of sesame seeds and will keep your food spicy enough until Sriracha comes back in stock.
This is one I haven’t tried yet, but the recipe is similar to Hoy Fung’s Sriracha and this Thai-made chili sauce gets rave reviews on Amazon and elsewhere. A six-pack of bottles will set you back $18 on Amazon.
As you might expect, Sriracha’s popularity has spawned counterfeit creations. Bushwick Kitchen makes Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha Sauce. It’s made from most of the same ingredients as Hoy Fung’s Sizzling Sauce and appears to be in stock (for now).
Sriracha shortage is the perfect time to experiment with twists on the sauce. Bushwick Kitchen also makes a Sriracha curry which is in stock and sells for $11 a bottle.
Cholula’s garlic chili sauce is another classic condiment that seems to be lacking, but the sweet habanero is another good substitute that can take some of the Sriracha load during the shortage. Amazon has bottles for just over $4 each when you buy a six-pack.
Melinda’s makes over a dozen great sauces that you can buy online. The closest thing to Sriracha is the tasty Thai Sweet Chili, but don’t sleep on the others, including the habanero honey mustard and the hot black truffle sauce.