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
Print RecipeBuy the The Sriracha Cookbook cookbook

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Ingredients


Directions

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

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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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Comments

  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.)

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