Last Updated on April 30, 2023 by Lauren Beck
If you’re a fan of spicy foods, chances are you’ve heard of Sriracha and chili garlic sauce. Both are popular condiments that add heat and flavor to dishes, but what sets them apart?
In this article, we’ll explore the differences between Sriracha and chili garlic sauce, as well as whether one can be substituted for the other.
What is Sriracha?
Sriracha is a spicy sauce made from garlic, chili peppers, vinegar, sugar, and salt. It originated in Thailand and is named after the coastal city of Si Racha.
The most famous brand of Sriracha is made by Huy Fong Foods, which was founded by David Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant, in Los Angeles in 1980.
Sriracha has a bright red color and a tangy, slightly sweet flavor with a moderate level of heat. Sriracha is often used as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, fried chicken, and other foods, as well as a condiment for sandwiches and burgers.
What is Chili Garlic Sauce?
Chili garlic sauce is a condiment made from chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, and salt. It’s a popular ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly in Thai and Vietnamese dishes.
It has a chunky texture and a deep red color, with a strong garlic flavor and a hotter taste than Sriracha.
Chili garlic sauce is commonly used in stir-fries, noodle dishes, and as a marinade for meat and seafood. It can also be used as a dipping sauce, particularly for dumplings and steamed buns.
7 Differences Between Sriracha and Chili Garlic Sauce
- Ingredients: Sriracha contains sugar, while chili garlic sauce does not. Chili garlic sauce has a higher garlic content than Sriracha.
- Texture: Sriracha has a smoother texture, while chili garlic sauce has a chunkier texture.
- Flavor: Sriracha has a tangy, slightly sweet flavor, while chili garlic sauce has a strong garlic flavor.
- Heat level: Chili garlic sauce is hotter than Sriracha.
- Origin: Sriracha originates from Thailand, while chili garlic sauce is commonly used in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
- Uses: Sriracha is commonly used as a condiment and dipping sauce, while chili garlic sauce is often used in cooking as a marinade or sauce for stir-fries.
- Brand: Huy Fong Foods is the most famous brand of Sriracha, while Lee Kum Kee is a popular brand of chili garlic sauce.
Can Sriracha Replace Chili Garlic Sauce?
While Sriracha and chili garlic sauce have some similarities, they are not interchangeable. The differences in flavor and heat level can significantly affect the taste of a dish.
However, if you’re in a pinch, you can use Sriracha as a substitute for chili garlic sauce by adding extra garlic or using a combination of Sriracha and minced garlic.
What To Use To Substitute Chili Garlic Sauce?
If you don’t have chili garlic sauce, you can use Sriracha mixed with minced garlic as a substitute.
Alternatively, you can use other chili sauces, such as sambal oelek or gochujang, which have similar heat levels and flavor profiles.
Is Chili Garlic Sauce Hotter Than Sriracha?
Yes, chili garlic sauce is hotter than Sriracha. Sriracha has a moderate level of heat, while chili garlic sauce has a more intense heat that can vary depending on the brand and type of chili peppers used.
Healthy Substitute For Sriracha
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to Sriracha, you can try making your own hot sauce  using fresh ingredients.
For example, you can blend together fresh chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, and a small amount of honey or maple syrup for sweetness.
This homemade sauce will be free from preservatives and additives, making it a healthier option.
In conclusion, Sriracha and chili garlic sauce are both delicious condiments that add heat and flavor to a variety of dishes. While they have some similarities, there are significant differences in flavor, heat level, and intended use. Sriracha is a smoother, tangy sauce with a moderate level of heat, while chili garlic sauce is chunky, garlicky, and much hotter. While they can’t be fully replaced with each other, they can be used together or substituted with other chili sauces in a pinch. Whether you prefer Sriracha, chili garlic sauce, or something else entirely, there’s no denying that a little bit of heat can elevate any dish.