Another day, another looming food shortage. This time, it's sriracha's turn. Earlier this month, Huy Fong Foods Inc., the makers of the widely used spicy sauce, announced that a sriracha shortage is imminent. According to the company, a lack of chili peppers—one of the main ingredients in sriracha—is largely to blame for the halt in production.
"Unfortunately, we can confirm that there is an unprecedented shortage of our products," the brand explained in a statement. "We are still endeavoring to resolve this issue that has been caused by several spiraling events, including unexpected crop failure from the spring chili harvest." Per an earlier warning from Huy Fong Foods in April, this year's chili pepper crop was negatively affected by harsh weather conditions, making the spicy food currently hard to come by.
Huy Fong Foods, which also noted that production of its chili garlic and sambal oelek products have been impacted, says it won't accept any new orders placed before September 2022. Additionally, existing orders made prior to April 19, 2022 won't be fulfilled until after Labor Day due to a lack of inventory.
So what's a spice lover to do in the meantime? Well, you can buy fiery sambal oelek, gochujang, Trader Joe's Chili Onion Crunch Oil, or hot sauce (here are some of our favorite varieties) or you could take the DIY route and whip up enough spicy sriracha alternatives to get you through this pesky shortage and then some. If you're ready to take control of your own spicy destiny, keep reading for a list of eight bold sriracha substitutes you can totally make at home!
There are many ways to upgrade mayonnaise, and one such method involves combining the popular condiment with chopped chipotle in adobo, lime juice, and salt to create chipotle mayonnaise. As with many sauces and spreads on this list, chipotle mayo has many uses and is a worthy sriracha substitute. Go ahead and slather it on sandwiches, or drizzle it on tacos, quesadillas, burritos, or grain bowls.
If you have a habit of marinating your chicken wings in a sriracha-based sauce or drizzling some sriracha on your pizza or roasted veggies for an added kick, consider using hot honey instead. While noticeably sweeter than sriracha, hot honey is still, well, hot, and it has a wide variety of culinary uses. In addition to spicing up a pizza, flatbread, and meatballs, hot honey also works well mixed into a hot toddy or served alongside homemade biscuits. Thankfully, the trendy condiment is very easy to make.
If you miss the spice level that sriracha brings to the table, do yourself a favor and make some of your own peri-peri sauce. The bold condiment is made from African chile peppers, and definitely packs a spicy punch. While peri-peri sauce recipes vary, they usually include some combination of crushed chiles, lemon, pepper, garlic, salt, onion, bay leaves, vinegar, and oil. Use the bright red sauce as a marinade for chicken or fish, the base of a chicken wing dipping sauce, or to spice up less flavorful condiments like mayonnaise. A drizzle of peri-peri sauce is also great if you're looking to add flavor to your favorite soup, eggs, avocado toast, roasted vegetables, or grain bowls. Much like sriracha, there are no limits so long as you can take the heat!
Spicy Tomato Sauce
While the spicy tomato sauce used in this recipe might not match sriracha on the Scoville scale, it still belongs on your radar. In addition to bringing flavor to white fish, this sauce can liven up typical meatballs, homemade pizza, or pretty much any pasta dish that calls for a tomato-based sauce. For some bold flavors at breakfast or brunch, go ahead and use it in your baked eggs for an extra kick.
Sweet Chili Sauce
If you're familiar with this Thai staple, you know it's much sweeter than sriracha, yet still moderately spicy. Its sweetness and thick consistency make it an excellent candidate for flavoring stir-fries or glazing anything from salmon to chicken. And if you've got some fried foods on hand—think chicken tenders or spring rolls—go ahead and give them a dip in this sauce. We promise you won't be disappointed. Should you want to up the spice factor, go ahead and combine sweet chili sauce with sambal oelek for an even bolder taste.
As sriracha fans may know, the beloved sauce works great in marinades, especially those intended for steak or chicken. Luckily, there's another spicy condiment that can step in as the world grapples with a sriracha shortage, and it's called chimichurri. The herb-filled sauce, which is used in this steak recipe, is typically made with a combination of parsley, red wine vinegar, garlic, and crushed red pepper, as well as salt and pepper. To amp up the spice, try adding a chopped jalapeño to the mix.
Garlicky Hoisin Sauce
What we love about this sauce is that it can really be used on just about anything. It's particularly great as a pungent dipping sauce for egg rolls, or when used in a stir fry, but it also works as a flavorful steak, grilled pork, or hearty fish marinade. In fact, it can even coat a bowl of bland noodles for a really easy meal. To add more spice to this already flavorful sauce, use more crushed red pepper flakes or throw in a dash of sambal oelek.
This thick curry-coconut sauce goes best with chicken or hearty fish, and you can obviously use it in curries or stews. If you're in a rush, or follow a plant-based diet, spoon it over a bowl of perfectly cooked rice instead.