Make your own knockoff Sriracha-like sauce if you can't find it at the grocery store

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen
  • Supply issues and garden variety hoarding are causing Sriracha shortages.
  • Here, we introduce you to alternative hot sauces.
  • You'lll also learn how to make your own Sriracha at home.

Searing temperatures and persistent drought in Mexico and the U.S. west are causing fans of a certain popular hot sauce to feel the burn this summer. 

The Southern California-based Huy Fong Inc. announced plans to suspend sales of its famous spicy sauce over the summer after bad weather hit the chile pepper harvest. The company expects supply to level out in September. Impacted condiments include Huy Fong's tremendously popular Sriracha Hot Chili and Chili Garlic sauces. 

Hot sauce lovers have responded by panicking, naturally. Somehow, we learned nothing from the toilet paper, hand soap and sanitizer hoarding early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. Google Trends shows a boom in search traffic for “Sriracha sauce” and a variety of news outlets are beginning to report hoarding-induced shortages.

There's no need to fret, however. The world is full of Huy Fong Sriracha alternatives. 

Sriracha Chili sauce is produced at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, Calif., on Oct. 29, 2013. Bottles of the popular Sriracha hot sauce could be hard to find on store shelves this summer. Southern California-based Huy Fong told customers in an email earlier this year that it would suspend sales of its famous spicy sauce over the summer due to a shortage of chile peppers.

Other hot sauces to try

  • Gochujang: This spicy fermented Korean chile paste can be stirred with honey, soy and sesame oil to make a spicy-sweet condiment for dipping or rubbing on meat.
  • Sambal oelek: This Indonesian chile paste is made with crushed red chilies and vinegar. Look for brands other than Huy Fong at a local Asian market.
  • Harissa: This Tunisian paste blends fiery chiles with a variety of spices including coriander seed, paprika and cumin.
  • Sichuan chile crisp: This garlicky, fiery condiment is having a moment. Try Fly By Jing's version or make your own
  • Other types of Sriracha: Huy Fong is just one of many Sriracha producers. Check the shelves of your local Asian market for Sriracha from other brands.

Make your own Sriracha

The grilling specialists at Food Fire Friends provided a recipe for homemade Sriracha sauce. Though the prep and cook time is only 15 minutes, you'll need to wait a full 3-5 days for fermentation.

Cook time: 10 minutes 

Total time: 3-5 days

Ingredients 

1 pound of red jalapeño peppers, stems removed

½ pound of red serrano peppers, stems removed

⅓ cup water 

3 tablespoons of coconut sugar 

1 tablespoon of lemon juice 

3 cloves of garlic, peeled 

½ cup of distilled white vinegar 

½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper 

Instructions 

Put chiles, water, garlic, cayenne pepper, coconut sugar and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. 

Transfer the mixture into a large glass jar and let cool in a dark place for up to 3 to 5 days, brushing down the sides with a spoon once a day. The mixture will begin to bubble and ferment. Make sure to rewrap the mixture after each scraping.  

Once the mixture is bubbly, pour it back into the blender and blend it with vinegar until smooth. Discard any remaining pulp, seeds and skin left in the strainer. 

Transfer the mixture into a small saucepan. Bring your sauce to a boil over medium heat and stir often for about 5 to 10 minutes. The mixture will begin to thicken quickly, so watch carefully for your desired thickness. 

Let the sauce cool to room temperature. It will continue to thicken. Transfer sauce to jars and store in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving and enjoy.

More:Faster food: Chef-approved condiments can make life easier in the kitchen

More:The best hot sauces from 10 Southern states, and great recipes for foods that deserve them

Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.

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Reach me: mlunsford@southernkitchen.com