Homemade Sriracha Sauce

This homemade Sriracha sauce, made with everyday ingredients including hot peppers, vinegar, garlic, and salt, is easy to make, incendiary in taste, and less salty than the traditional version.

Three bottles of homemade Sriracha sauce.

“There are those of us who love Sriracha, and then there are those of us who need Sriracha,” observes Randy Clemens, author of this recipe. If, like Clemens, you find yourself in the latter category–which essentially means you rely on the not-quite-incendiary condiment as a tool in your kitchen arsenal–your culinary curiosity probably knows no bounds. But it should know how to make this hot sauce from scratch.–Renee Schettler

What You Need To Know About Using Homemade Sriracha

You can embolden just about anything with a dose of Sriracha, stirring it into ketchup, mayo, butter, cream cheese, honey, sour cream, ketchup, deviled eggs, hot wings, chili, grits, mac-n-cheese, Bloody Marys, and, well, use your imagination…

Homemade Sriracha Sauce

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 5 M
  • 7 D
  • Serves 16
5/5 - 4 reviews
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To make the Sriracha, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the peppers, garlic, garlic powder, if desired, sugars, and salt. Pulse until a coarse purée forms.

Transfer to a glass jar, seal, and store at room temperature for 7 days, stirring daily. (It may get a little fizzy; that’s to be expected.)

After 1 week, pour the chile mixture into a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Let the mixture cool and then purée it in a food processor for 2 to 3 minutes, until a smooth, uniform paste forms. If the mixture is too thick to blend properly, add a small amount of water.

Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Press on the solids with the back of a spoon to squeeze out every last bit of goodness you’ve been waiting a week to get.

Taste and adjust the seasoning and consistency of the final sauce, adding additional vinegar, water, salt, granulated sugar, or garlic powder to suit your taste. Transfer to a glass jar, close the lid tightly, and refrigerate for up to 6 months. Originally published February 15, 2011.

Print RecipeBuy the The Sriracha Cookbook cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers Reviews

For folks who like to prepare their own condiments, this is a distinctive, amazingly colored hot sauce. But watch for spills! Though you may enjoy them as blood-red badges of brewing honor, left on the counter or floor too long, they’ll stain.

I used Fresno Reds, which are ripened green jalapeños. I halved the main recipe (using 12 to 15 peppers) and used dark instead of light brown sugar. I also wore latex gloves as I prepared the recipe (from experience, gloves save a lot of accidental ocular anguish). The recipe is simple to follow, since the processor and room-temperature storage do most of the work.

Processing didn’t create a paste, however, as the recipe indicated, it was more of a slush. Take care when opening the glass jar to stir; whiffs of the stuff can make you cough and sneeze. (You’ll also smell it for hours after you reseal the jar.) I bought a bottle of the original Sriracha with the rooster on the label to compare: The original tasted richer and aged but strong—a second of sweet pepper taste on the tongue, then a slow burn. I didn’t adjust the seasoning on my homemade sauce; it tasted only a tad milder than the original.

Mixing the sauce with Trader Joe’s organic ketchup was a nice balance for me, sweetening the sauce and bringing out flavor over heat. This would be great with fries or scrambled eggs. I tried it with hardboiled eggs, but the taste was lost. It’s probably better as a fry or veggie dip.

I enjoy recipes that remind you of how easy it is to make something that you might not think about making. Compared to commercial Sriracha, my homemade version had more heat and more garlic flavor. I’m not a five-pepper, sweat-in-the-corner type of guy, but I enjoy a little pain on the tongue, and the sauce’s heat in relationship to the flavor of the peppers was just right.

However, the garlic flavor was a bit too strong, and the aftertaste detracted from the overall flavor. I’d consider reducing the amount of powder next time or just using garlic cloves. The homemade sauce is also runnier, but that’s expected because there’s no gum in it like the commercial brand.

My other quibble is the need to use (and wash) a food processor twice. Would it really harm the recipe to puree the heck out of the mixture in the beginning, and then just strain it after adding the vinegar and cooking?

My version of this sauce used cayenne chili peppers, with the majority of the seeds removed. They worked very well and yielded a slightly thickened, orangey-red sauce with a fair kick.

It has a nice tang to it, and a rich, garlicky heat that doesn’t persist. It’s great for wings or any occasion that requires a good hot sauce. It took a little elbow grease (about 10 minutes worth) to get the last of the hot pepper purée to go through the sieve. I persisted because that’s how I got any thickness to it at all.

I made this sauce as written, and patiently waited a week to do a side-by-side tasting with the commercial version. The result? It’s a wonderful sauce that’s brighter, more complex, and less salty than the bottled version. It’s absolutely wonderful.

Is it worth it? That’s up to you. The hardest part of this recipe is passing the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. If you want whole pepper seeds in your sauce, you can skip it, but if you want anything resembling the seed-free original sauce, resign yourself to a nice, long session with your strainer. You really have to work this and mash as much through the strainer as you can—long after you want to call it quits—to get everything out of this sauce.

This gets a thumbs-up for its bright pepper flavor.

As for preparing the sauce, it’s very easy: I pulsed the peppers in three batches, adding the next batch to the food processor when the paste formed to make room for all of the peppers.

But it loses points for lacking depth and for being thin. We did a side-by-side comparison to the Rooster brand sauce, which has more body, is thicker, and has a somewhat smoky taste. This recipe also was spicier than the Rooster sauce—I like a little zing although this was sizzling. It’s a good sauce, but it’s not my first choice if I were to pick between it and the Rooster brand.


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  1. I have been freezing my jalapeño’s as they turn red. I now have enough to make the recipe. My question is…are frozen peppers going to ferment? I always thought,(& maybe I’m wrong) that it was the bacteria on the fruit that caused the fermentation. & freezing them would kill the bacteria. I didn’t realize when I was collecting the peppers to make sriracha that it was fermented. Is this going to work with frozen peppers?

    1. Gail, the jury’s out on this. Some experts say, yes, you can use them, while other say there aren’t enough bacteria to jumpstart the fermentation. Some people suggest adding fresh vegetables to the batch. I’d suggest checking out some fermenting sites or bulletin boards. I’d hate to steer you wrong.

  2. Can I use a food mill instead of a mesh strainer? Seems it would be easier but easier isn’t always the right way to go :)

    1. If only easier always was the right way to go, Vicky! In this case, I think you’ll achieve better results using a strainer instead of a food mill. Although the food mill won’t do any harm, the strainer is going to give you a smoother sauce, with a texture more consistent with what you’d expect from Sriracha.

  3. Since my last comment I’ve made this recipe no less than 30 times, changing the peppers I use but still staying true to the recipe. Thank you for the recipe! This round I decided to gather peppers from all my pepper head friends and make a final, last of the season, all in batch. One more thing, we decided to use nothing but “super hots” and to let it ferment, under a strict eye, for 30 days. Cracking it daily and stirring it, fumes alone are staggering. Carolina Reapers, chocolate 7 pot, Trinidad scorpions, all of the top 5 hottest are in this batch. I’m cooking and bottling it today for Christmas presents. Just wanted to say thanks for the perfect Sriracha recipe!

  4. I know that everyone says “step foot” these days, but they’re confused. The phrase is “set foot.” This is one of the many English language diseases of our internet age that have grown to epidemic proportions.

    1. Exasperated, good catch! I personally say “set foot.” There are examples of “step foot” in the Oxford English Dictionary as far back as the 1500s. But “set foot” is considered the more correct version. P.S. I changed your single apostrophe (‘) that you used as quotations to a true quotation (“), as a single (‘) is only used within dialogue in which the speaker is quoting himself or others. I also tucked your period into the quote, where it belongs. Of course, if you’re in Canada or Britain, then the period rightly belongs outside the quotation marks. (Just saying.)

  5. Great info. But I have to take exception to this ubiquitous mispronunciation. The sauce originated in Thailnd interestingly enough in the town of Sriracha on the Gulf of Siam. The town, and its sauce is pronounced “see’ rah cha”accent on the first syllable.

    So, what’s my source? I grew up and lived in Thailand most of my 64 years of life. I grew up looking forward to stops in Sriracha for the most amazing seafood as we made our way to a sleepy fishing village known as Pattaya…now a huge place.

    While I may be a bit pointed regarding the pronunciation, having tried the recipe–it is amazing.

    As an aside, I tried using my slow-speed juicer to process the raw chilies and garlic. Great results. I juiced everything then recombined them. The mash was much denser and interestingly the sauce slightly less hot than the food processor mash, probably due to less seeds being crushed….or maybe my imagination.

  6. I just made a batch of sriracha and poured it into the jar to begin fermenting, when I realised I’d added in the vinegar already. Major oops as I don’t have any more chilis on hand to start again. I did use raw apple cider vinegar (instead of white vinegar). Do you think it’ll ferment? Can the recipe be saved? If it won’t ferment I was thinking maybe I should boil and bottle it today, essentially skipping the fermentation step. I really don’t want to waste all those chilis! Keen to hear your thoughts.

    1. Amber, I’ve shared your query with a number of home cooks who have vastly more experience with making homemade hot sauce than I do so that they can weigh in while I do some research on the science and safety of your situation. Stay tuned…!

    2. Amber, if I were you, I would go ahead and boil and bottle your hot sauce. I did a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation, and I feel the concentration of acid in your combined pepper/vinegar mixture will be too high for you to get a good quality fermentation. Not that it will be in any way dangerous to eat, but the bacteria that initially start the fermentation process cannot thrive in that acidic an environment. Your sauce will still be delicious without the fermentation step! Remember most hot sauces are not fermented. Enjoy your sauce, and next time try the fermented version for a real treat.

  7. I had a question. I see the testers comments and some say that the sauce was too garlicky. However the recipe calls for only a few cloves of garlic (I am assuming cloves and not heads). Which is very less considering 1 3/4 Lbs (800g) of peppers. Can someone please clarify. Also I am going to try this out with Indian red chillies and see the result. Thanks in advance.

    1. Dkj, yes, the recipe calls for a few cloves of garlic and definitely not heads of garlic. I think the trick is that cloves of garlic vary dramatically in size. I suspect that those who found the sauce too garlicky relied on larger cloves. Looking forward to hearing what you think of the finished sauce!

      1. Thanks for your prompt feedback. I’ve already put it in a mason jar to age, stirring daily. However today a few specks on white fungus have formed on the top wall of the jar. Does this mean the mix is going bad? Today is the third day.

        1. Hi Dkj, I reached out to Melissa, one of our testers very versed in canning and preservation. This is what she had to say; “Fermenting vegetables is one of the very safest methods of preserving. A little bit of white mold is not a problem. Just skim any off the top, and use a clean cloth or paper towel moistened with a bit of vinegar to wipe any off the sides and the underside of the lid of the jar. It is important that you use the full amount of salt called for in the recipe, and keep your ferment at the proper temperature. If your house is warm, much over 70 degrees, it can encourage mold growth. For your sriracha, I recommend cleaning it up as I just described, and then check it every day, and continue to remove any mold that forms. If your house is warm, you may not need to go the full seven days. Once you get to the next step of the recipe, where the fermented peppers are boiled with vinegar, it will stop the fermentation process and should acidify the mixture enough that no more mold will form. Before you proceed with this step, take a good sniff of your fermented peppers, and if they smell good, take a little taste. If all seems well, you are good to go.”

  8. If the straining process is taking to long for you, just add enough water to the point where it goes through the strainer faster. Then just simmer it back down to the correct consistency.

  9. I’ve made this Last fall and early winter and was able to find the long red peppers, green jalapeño and some cherry peppers. The sauce came out really good. I am now in the process of making another batch of this sauce but I can’t find fresnos or red jalapeño. I’m using green jalapeño, red bell for color and red cherry peppers in vinegar. The cherry peppers in vinegar were rinsed slightly. The concern I have is that this batch does not seem to be fermenting like the last batch. I’m curious if the vinegar from the red cherry peppers are inhibiting fermentation? My batch won’t be ready for another couple days so I’m not sure on the taste. Anyway, if anyone can help or comment I’d appreciate it.

    1. Hi John, yes, the vinegar could be the culprit. I’m not an expert on fermented foods but I understand that the fermentation process produces lactic acid and a bit of acetic acid. Adding more acetic acid (vinegar) can throw off the acid balance and the fermentation process. Would love to hear any other thoughts on this from those more familiar with fermented foods.

  10. Is there any basis for your recommendation to boil the mixture post-ferment? Is this just a re-written recipe from another source?

    I ask because… there may be some slight health benefits from the fermented vegetables (chiles, in this case), but then you send those good bacteria to the death chamber with a boil. So if the heating step in the recipe is explicitly to alter the flavor profile, that’s justifiable and you might edit the article to explain that. But there’s no reason to boil those lovely jalapenos if it’s not to affect the flavor of the final product.

    1. Wayno, many thanks for sharing your wisdom with us and attempting to make everyone healthier! Yes, pickled and fermented things are wonderfully healthful to a person. I had assumed, perhaps wrongly, that the last-minute heating is necessary to help incorporate and modulate the rather puckery and assertive vinegar into the Sriracha sauce. In other words, to help it play nicely with the other flavors. Since this is the manner in which we tested it, and we quite liked the results, I’m hesitant to try it any other way. But again, I greatly appreciate how you’re thinking.

  11. Would it be safe to can in small jelly jars? I’m the one that will eat it. And would like to use fresh peppers while in season here. Thanks

    1. Hi Karen, I asked one of our experienced canning testers and she thinks that you could probably use the hot water bath method for canning as the recipe is fairly acidic. I always recommend that people consult the National Center for Home Food Preservation for more detailed information. Remember too that the recipe keeps for 6 months in the refrigerator. Hope this helps!

  12. I just have to say that there IS a reason to make this sauce on your own. The store bought brand contains potassium sorbate and sodium bisulfite. Not good for you! You can make your own and it will last 6 months without nasty preservatives. Definitely worth it. I wish the writer would have made note of that. It’s not something you have to do much research to discover, and if food (or sriracha for that matter) is your thing…

  13. OMG I am so excited to find a srirarcha sauce recipe! Being gluten free, I have been wanting to make some of my own for ages. Just a note to strict vegans, remember to get vegan sugar specifically since regular white sugar is processed with charred animal bones.

    1. We, too, know the struggles that go with being gluten-free, Jessica. Well, some of us do. I mean, I do. Let us know what you think of this, everyone we know who tried it raved. And thanks, too, for the advice for those not liking charred animals to have touched their sugar…

      1. yes do make it. that is what us cooks do. it gives you the feel and insight to what is going on. i will keep on buying it, but oh boy, i will feel part of it. james

  14. As somebody who grows my own Chilies, I must say that I’ve been looking all over for this very recipe and stumbled on it by accident. I can’t wait to try a few super-spicy versions of this sauce!

    Finally a new use for all my scotch bonnets, trinidad scorpions, and 7-Pot peppers!

    I’ll share my hair-raising results once I get everything put together. It’s likely that I’ll try several batches to see what I can come up with. I have around 20 pounds of frozen and pickeled peppers to play with, so it’ll be fun for sure.

  15. It is very obvious that I must get my hands on that cookbook. Been seeing it everywhere and have not actually flipped through it. Love Sriracha sauce….making it from scratch sounds beyond fabulous. Bet the flavor is more intense.

    1. So are we, Fuji Mama. So are we. But since you’ll have some sriracha on hand, we’re curious to hear all the other reasonings that you come up with…you know, like dribbling it over pho…embellishing eggs ..dousing sliders…enhancing roast root vegetables…whatever you use it on, we’d like to know!

    1. It’s actually quite simple, Rachel! The only incendiary part is handling the hot peppers, so that ought to be done wearing latex or some sort of gloves, being mindful not to touch one’s eyes or lips during this stage of the recipe! No, that would be bad.

  16. Problem with this is that I can’t get red jalapenos! Maybe if I can pick them at a U-Pick place during the summer OR if I grow Jalapenos, otherwise they are nowhere to be found. All supermarkets sell the green ones. The only red chile they sell are habaneros. I can’t get Fresnos either. I live in the middle of nowhere. I guess I would have to buy some online and send them overnight to make this. It is easier and cheaper to just buy a bottle at the oriental supermarket for $2.99. The ShopRite sells it for $3.79, so does Wegman’s and Foodtown. I also found a Vietnamese brand at the oriental market that sells for 50 cents cheaper than Huy Fuong. It is in a larger bottle too and vinegar is the second ingredient, not sugar.

    1. You can often buy potted pepper plants at your local grocery store these days. Love it, put it somewhere warm, and when the peppers are ripe, make some sambal!

      1. I made this and followed the recipe with only a few alterations. I used lemon spice jalapenos from my garden. The end result gave me a Sriracha that is about 10 times hotter, and obviously yellow in color. I also fermented for 10 days, the weather called my family and our tent to the lake for the weekend. I pureed for almost 10 minutes after the boil, and it resulted in a texture I just couldn’t strain, it was too beautiful to thin out, I personally could not waste that pepper mash! And I truly love the heat! I ended up with just over 2 1/2 cups of deliciousness, which I bottled and took to work. Eight fellow employees, all of which are pepper-heads like myself, mixed ethnicities and backgrounds, all of them thoroughly enjoyed it and immediately whipped their wallets out asking to buy it. The 2 1/2 cups of sauce are gone, in less than 24 hours! As I type this I have another batch fermenting, thank you for an amazing recipe. It’s perfect in every way!

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