The Best Sriracha Substitutes to Give Flavor to Your Burgers

Chris Starks
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History of Sriracha

Sriracha has always been a part of Thai cuisine, but its popularity soared in the United States following the 1980s when the city of Los Angeles saw a large influx of immigrants from Thailand … and they brought their favorite hot sauce with them. Since then, California’s Asian population has spread Sriracha sauce all over the country. It now comes in different flavors, from olive oil to garlic to habanero, and even Sriracha popsicles (yes, that’s a thing). And sometimes Sriracha is used as a substitute to regular ketchup. Perhaps it’s not surprising that Sriracha, now produced by Huy Fong Food Products in Irwindale, California, was voted “Product of the Year” in 2012 by the Los Angeles Times. Let’s now take a look at five Sriracha substitutes that are great for burgers.

Using Sriracha

Sriracha might look like a very hot and spicy sauce, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Sriracha sauce, which is actually a puree of hot red peppers, garlic, sugar and salt, has a unique flavor that will definitely give your favorite burger a boost.

Although Sriracha was originally used as a hot sauce, its versatility has made it a common ingredient in a variety of foods. You can use Sriracha as a dipping sauce, a topping or even as an ingredient for a marinade.

That said, Sriracha is not a perfect match for every burger that you prepare. Flavour profiles for Sriracha vary depending on what ingredients the maker used and you may need to tweak your recipes to find the best Sriracha substitutes.

Sriracha sauce can replace ketchup on your burgers but the taste and texture of Sriracha is a bit different. If you add too much Sriracha to your burgers, the taste can overwhelm the flavor of the beef.

Substitutes for Sriracha

Louisiana based chef Paul Prudhomme introduced the world to Sriracha Sauce back in 1980. Since then, Sriracha sauce has become a staple in kitchens and pantries around the world, making its way into everything from sandwiches, to salads, pasta, rice dishes and desserts. Even chefs on Iron Chef America have utilized it in their recipes. Its popularity has even transcended the food world, becoming a popular condiment for beverages including beer, wine, and cocktails.

Sriracha sauce is made of chili peppers, garlic, sugar and vinegar. However, it is the rooster printed on the bottle that has become the iconic symbol for the product.

However, not everyone is a fan of spicy foods and some folks may not want to use noticeably spicy Sriracha sauce in their everyday cooking. And hence, you may want to try out some lesser known Sriracha substitutes. Here are a few Sriracha alternatives to try out the next time you’re making burgers.

Sambal Oelek and Garlic Powder

Some Sriracha substitutes include Sambal Oelek and garlic powder.

Sambal Oelek is an Asian chili paste. It’s made with hot peppers, vinegar, and salt. To make it look more like you're using Sriracha, you can add red chilies and garlic to mimic the red color in Sriracha. Sriracha sauce and Sambal Oelek are very similar and both are concentrated chili sauces.

Because Sriracha sauce is so spicy, if you’re not a fan of spicy foods, you may want to start with Sriracha substitutes. Sriracha is known for its bright red color and the fact that it’s pretty spicy. Garlic powder is a milder alternative to Sriracha, and it’s mainly used to add flavor to food. Garlic powder is probably the easiest Sriracha substitute to find, so you don’t even have to run out to the store.

Homemade Sriracha Sauce

If you haven't tried it yet, what are you waiting for? You don't need to be a fan of hot and spicy foods to enjoy sriracha sauce. It goes well with anything … really. The wonderful, complex flavor and surprisingly pleasant kick to this pale-peach-hued condiment makes for a delightful tweak to your favorite dishes.

Try a little something something on your eggs, a touch of magic on your french fries or a tad bit of flavah on your sashimi. Sriracha is a culinary artist that can bring your hamburgers to the next level.

There you have it … really anything you can think of (with the possible exception of health food). Sriracha sauce has something special for everything. Before you start, though, you should know a little about its namesake.

Sriracha sauce, or rooster sauce, an incredible Thai condiment. Made from red chili pepper, garlic, sugar, and vinegar, Sriracha sauce is named after the seaside city of Si Racha in Thailand.

You can find Sriracha sauce in grocery stores in the Asian aisle, or in specialty or ethnic food stores. I always buy a wide variety of Asian food condiments because they can add so much flavor and variety to all kinds of recipes and the ingredient list is always short.

Sriracha sauce is definitely going to be the star of our Top 10 Sriracha and Ground Beef Recipes. To spice things up, you can add Sriracha Hot Chili sauce to tomato sauces, soups, stews, cheese spreads, and more. Sriracha hot sauce can also give some zip to all kinds of dishes including tacos, seafood, and even chicken.

Tapatio Hot Sauce

What is Sriracha? Sriracha is a hot sauce that’s made from red jalapeno peppers, garlic, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Huy Fong is probably the most well-known brand of Sriracha, and you can also find it in other brands, like Lays, thanks to licensing agreements they have with the makers of Huy Fong.

Sriracha sauce, or rooster sauce, an incredible Thai condiment. Made from red chili pepper, garlic, sugar, and vinegar, Sriracha sauce is named after the seaside city of Si Racha in Thailand.

You can find Sriracha sauce in grocery stores in the Asian aisle, or in specialty or ethnic food stores. I always buy a wide variety of Asian food condiments because they can add so much flavor and variety to all kinds of recipes and the ingredient list is always short.

Sriracha sauce is definitely going to be the star of our Top 10 Sriracha and Ground Beef Recipes. To spice things up, you can add Sriracha Hot Chili sauce to tomato sauces, soups, stews, cheese spreads, and more. Sriracha hot sauce can also give some zip to all kinds of dishes including tacos, seafood, and even chicken.

Peri Peri Hot Sauce

Peri Peri Hot Sauce is a popular African recipe that is also extremely popular in the culinary world. They are red and generally spicy hot peppers that are used to make chili pastes, sauces, oils, and soups.

Peri Peri Hot Sauce can be used as a spicy flavoring for all types of hamburgers. It can be used straight out of the bottle or mixed with mayonnaise, used in a burger spread or a burger dressing.

El Yucateco Sauce

If you haven’t tried it yet, El Yucateco is a must. It comes in three flavors ” Chipotle, Habanero, and Adobo ” and combines the zesty taste of Sriracha with a sweet kick of tomato.

Tabasco Sauce

For as ubiquitous as tabasco sauce may be on hot dogs, it's still a newcomer to burger aficionados. You've probably seen it on burgers at BBQ joints, and you might be wondering about mixing up your own sriracha or tabasco sauce burger recipes. Tabasco sauce offers a similar pepper bite and slight vinegar kick to the one made famous by sriracha. Tabasco sauce, however, is a little stronger for the same amount.

Using tabasco sauce can make it easier to play around with sriracha in your burger recipes by loosening up the overall "heat" factor. If you'd rather not adjust your personal favorite sriracha recipes, you can use tabasco sauce as a substitute. If you do substitute in the same quantity, then the tabasco will be a little more flavorful and spicy. If you plan to add to the flavor of your sriracha recipes, then add a little at a time and gradually add more as needed.

Tabasco's bite is great on burgers. It works well with the sweetness of a sautéed onion, especially when it's grilled into the beef.

Other Options for Substituting Sriracha

What other sauces can you use to give a good kick of Sriracha sauce to your meals? Here are a few suggestions to give your dishes just a hint of Sriracha flavor.

{1}. Flavor your dish with the original stuff – Sriracha sauce. It’s the original flavor that Sriracha fans go crazy over. If you use it sparingly, you can’t go wrong with this option.
{2}. Add some heat to your sauce by adding a savory spicy sauce. Spicy Sriracha BBQ Sauce and Chili-garlic sauce are great options.
{3}. If you enjoy tomatoes, Tomato-based Srirachi Sauce adds flavor and a hint of Sriracha to your dish.

The great thing about adding any of these sauces is that they all have a kick of heat and tangy flavor that you’d expect from a good original Sriracha sauce.

Final Words on Substituting Sriracha

Sriracha is a popular hot sauce in the United States. It is a deep red, almost orange sauce that has become a staple condiment for burgers and sandwiches as well as a great companion for eggs and fish. Sriracha sauce, which was originally from Thailand, has become so popular in the US that it has spawned countless copycat sauces.

In this post, we examined and rated the best substitutes for Sriracha sauce based on nutritional value, taste, and price. We found the best alternative to be Cholula sauce. Cholula sauce is hot and spicy with a tangy flavor that complements meat and eggs.

We hope that this article has been useful in helping you decide which hot sauce to try on your next burger.