If you love a bit of spice in your life, then you’ll love these two Asian sauces. Chili sauce and sriracha are not your everyday spicy ingredients, but they work exceptionally well as one. Picking one is just the problem, so I’ll help you out.
Maybe it’s a flavor and heat comparison, an ingredient check, or culinary applications you want. I’ve got you covered. Chili sauce vs sriracha. This is the only in-depth guide you’ll need to find out which is what you’ll need to use.
What Is Chili Sauce?
Originating from Southeast Asia and rising to the top of the most popular condiments, chili sauce is a delicious blend of chili peppers, vinegar, sugar, and other spices. Garlic, ginger, and fish sauce are all other common ingredients in the sauce.
The spiciness of the sauce can generally vary depending on the type of chili peppers used and the amount of sugar and vinegar added to the recipe. Even the ingredients used can differ depending on what region you’re in. Some use bird’s eye chili peppers, while others use jalapeño or serrano peppers.
On top of its culinary uses, chili sauce is also believed to have a number of health benefits due to the capsaicin found in chili peppers.
How to Use Chili Sauce
It can be used as a dipping sauce, spread, marinade, or condiment to add flavor and heat to your favorite foods. It even pairs well with appetizers like spring rolls, sandwiches, stir-fries, noodle dishes, soups, and meats like chicken or shrimp. It can even be used as a topping for pizza or added to scrambled eggs for a spicy breakfast.
How to Store Chili Sauce
You can store the sauce in an airtight container for up to 6 months in the refrigerator, but I’d advise you to use it before it gets into that length of time. You should also always check its expiration date and discard it if it has gone bad. Spoilage can be easily detected by changes in color or a strange odor.
What Is Sriracha?
Named after the coastal city of Si Racha in eastern Thailand, sriracha has slowly gained its now-known popularity as the go-to sauce for spiciness. It’s made from chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt, packing a heat that’s also slightly sweet with a bright red color. It even has a thick and smooth texture that makes for a great condiment to splash onto food.
Its plastic bottle-capped version is known to most as rooster sauce and has hence since gained large traction in the US and globally.
How to Use Sriracha
With its bold and spicy flavor, it finds its most common use as a dipping sauce, marinades, stir-fries, soups, on sandwiches and burgers, and in salad dressings. Its unique taste, which pairs well with sweet and tangy flavors like honey and lime, has made it a top choice for those who love to add some sweet heat to their meals.
How to Store Sriracha
With any type of sauce, proper storage is essential to keeping it fresh, so store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, such as a pantry or cupboard. Once opened, refrigerate the sauce to maintain its taste and consistency. While it does have a very long shelf life, about 2 to 3 years, it’s still important to check the expiration date and use it before it gets to this length of time for a better taste and texture.
Similarities and Differences Between Chili Sauce and Sriracha
Ingredients and Base
This chili sauce vs sriracha sauce showdown wouldn’t be complete without an ingredient, flavor, and background comparison. Now, while both are made from chili peppers, chili sauce is made from red chili peppers and typically includes garlic, vinegar, and sugar in its base. Sriracha, though, is made from red jalapeño peppers and includes garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt.
Flavor Profile and Heat Level
Though they have more or less the same base ingredients, their flavor profile isn’t exactly the same. Chili sauce has a sweet and sour taste with a mild to medium heat level, while sriracha has a sweet and garlicky taste with a medium to high heat level. The heat level of sriracha can heavily depend on the brand, but it’s generally hotter than chili sauce.
Culinary Uses and Cultural Significance
While chili sauce is commonly found in Chinese and Southeast Asian dishes, sriracha can often be found in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. They both can be generally used as dipping sauce, marinade, or ingredients in cooking, making them essential ingredients in any kitchen.
Let’s move on to some history now. Chili sauce has been used in Chinese cuisine for centuries now, becoming a very popular sauce worldwide. Sriracha, on the other hand, was first created in Thailand in the 1930s and has creeped its way into the hearts of many, especially in the United States, where its bottled version is a highly praised commodity.