HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Sriracha vs "chili garlic sauce"

fldhkybnva Oct 26, 2012 05:10 AM

Is there a difference between the Sriracha (Huy Fong brand) in the bottle with the squeeze green cap vs the smaller plastic jar with the twist off cap?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. inaplasticcup RE: fldhkybnva Oct 26, 2012 05:49 AM

    I find the sriracha sweeter, smoother, and tangier. While they both have chili and garlic, they really do have two distinctly different flavors. I like them both quite a lot! :)

    1. Duppie RE: fldhkybnva Oct 26, 2012 06:03 AM

      I keep both in my pantry, The Huy Fong bottled version is also in all the cars.
      The textural difference is apparent as soon as you open the jarred version with the pepper seeds and pulp visible,this version tastes less fermented with a fresher raw pepper and vinegar quality and I primarily use it to season while the bottled version is more processed,smoother and tangier as it ages {we've all experienced the sticky Sriracha weep} and has basically replaced catchup in our house in it's duties.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Duppie
        JMF RE: Duppie Oct 26, 2012 07:21 AM

        Good description. I too use the chili garlic sauce in cooking and the sriracha as a condiment.

        1. re: JMF
          flavrmeistr RE: JMF Oct 24, 2013 08:20 AM

          Me, too. Sriracha goes on eggs, chili/garlic goes in my barbecue sauce. Wonderful stuff.

        2. re: Duppie
          MplsM ary RE: Duppie Oct 27, 2012 12:27 AM

          Use silicone plumbers tape on the threads of the bottle - no more weeping.

          1. re: MplsM ary
            Duppie RE: MplsM ary Oct 27, 2012 06:50 AM

            Good idea but I prefer to think of the weep as the Angels Share.......

        3. Perilagu Khan RE: fldhkybnva Oct 26, 2012 07:23 AM

          Believe it or not, I've never tried the stuff in the squeeze bottle. The stuff in the jar, however, works great in all manner of stir-fries and can even sub for harissa in your couscous.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Perilagu Khan
            Bob Martinez RE: Perilagu Khan Oct 24, 2013 12:29 PM

            Then you have a treat in store for you. One of the great things that happened over the last 10 years is the wide availability of Sriracha.

          2. fldhkybnva RE: fldhkybnva Oct 26, 2012 07:58 AM

            Great, I actually wanted to use it in a marinade for tuna with soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, etc. It sounds like the chili garlic sauce will be a great addition.

            4 Replies
            1. re: fldhkybnva
              JungMann RE: fldhkybnva Oct 26, 2012 08:08 AM

              Either would be a good addition to that marinade. As others have described, you're going to get a vinegary tang with a garlic kick with the chili garlic sauce. With Sriracha you'll get a bit of ketchup-like tang and umami from the fermented peppers with a hint of sweetness.

              1. re: JungMann
                fldhkybnva RE: JungMann Oct 26, 2012 08:11 AM

                Should I just add to taste? How much spicier is it than the bottle?

                1. re: fldhkybnva
                  JungMann RE: fldhkybnva Oct 26, 2012 09:54 AM

                  Use your tolerance as your guide. I douse pizza with the chili garlic sauce, so my tolerance is probably not a good gauge, but for a quarter cup of marinade, I might use a teaspoon of Sriracha. You want heat and a little sweetness without overpowering the other flavors.

                  1. re: JungMann
                    fldhkybnva RE: JungMann Oct 26, 2012 10:19 AM

                    Oh wow, OK that is pretty spicy, I would have probably have used more but will start with 1 tsp.

            2. southernitalian RE: fldhkybnva Oct 26, 2012 08:10 AM

              I used to be a huge Sriracha fan and still keep a bottle in the fridge. But I find it has a strange chemically taste. I'm much more inclined to use chili garlic sauce now. Love that stuff.

              1. RealMenJulienne RE: fldhkybnva Oct 26, 2012 08:53 AM

                The squeeze bottle sauce is smooth and sweet, and not very hot. Almost like ketchup. The stuff in the jar is a much hotter chile paste, and a little bit goes a long way in stir-fries, noodle dishes and marinades. I wouldn't use the jarred sauce as a condiment.

                1. linguafood RE: fldhkybnva Oct 26, 2012 09:00 AM

                  Isn't the stuff in the glass sambal oelek? If so, it's bound to be hotter than sriracha (unless you get the bottle with the RED top -- that'll last you a few years), and with a more pronounced garlic flavor.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: linguafood
                    melpy RE: linguafood Oct 26, 2012 09:17 AM


                    1. re: linguafood
                      JungMann RE: linguafood Oct 26, 2012 09:51 AM

                      It is basically sambal oelek with the addition of garlic.

                    2. c
                      Cathy RE: fldhkybnva Oct 26, 2012 09:08 AM

                      Second ingredient in Sriracha is sugar (Chili, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled vinegar, potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfite and xanthan gum). Ketchup also lists sugar or HFCS as a second ingredient..

                      No sugar listed as an ingredient in the garlic sauce.(Chili, Garlic, Salt, distilled vinegar, potassium sorbate and sodium bisulfite as preservative.)

                      The garlic sauce has the flavor Sriracha should have.

                      1. njmarshall55 RE: fldhkybnva Oct 26, 2012 09:45 AM

                        My personal "drugs"...crack and heroin of my kitchen!

                        1. Bacardi1 RE: fldhkybnva Oct 26, 2012 03:30 PM

                          Difference? There's a HUGE difference!

                          While I happen to have both in my fridge at the moment, the Sriracha simply will not be replaced once I manage to use it up. Regardless of what recipes specifically ask for it, I simply don't like it. As others have inferred here, it has a sweet aftertaste & frankly tastes like ketchup with some hot sauce added to it - nothing more. There's no depth of flavor at all outside of the sweetness. While I do understand & promote that food is 100% personal preference, in this case for me, Sriracha = yuck.

                          Now Huy Fong's "Chili Garlic Sauce"? I literally have NEVER been without it in my pantry & fridge for DECADES. From back when the only place you could find it was in tiny little Asian shops - long before there were large ethnic markets & long before it could be found in regular mainstream supermarkets.

                          TERRIFIC stuff & uber versatile - especially if you love spicy food. There are very few stirfries I make that doesn't contain it; or soups - especially ramen; egg dishes suit it just fine; & a dab added to dipping sauces for potstickers, egg/spring rolls; etc., etc.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: Bacardi1
                            Duppie RE: Bacardi1 Oct 26, 2012 05:56 PM

                            OK...OK...calm down and take a deep breath....You're in the habit of using
                            HUGE capital letters but it only succeeds in diluting your opinion in reader's eyes so again.... take a deep breath.
                            Don't use "uber" in any sentence... it's a non word and again generally frowned upon.

                            Now if you don't like Sriracha. do not fret because if you were to leave a fresh bottle out in the elements and allow it to further ferment and age as it were, it smooths out even further.That's why the same sriracha tastes very different when I age it in the trunk of my cars as opposed to a bottle that spends it's life on the fridge door.
                            Try it sometime.

                            1. re: Duppie
                              JMF RE: Duppie Oct 26, 2012 06:00 PM

                              Yes, a few years ago I took a bottle of sriracha and drained a bit of plain yogurt to get the whey (liquid) and added a bit of that to the sauce and got it fermenting again. A month later... magic! Went from good, to complexly amazing.

                              1. re: JMF
                                Duppie RE: JMF Oct 26, 2012 06:16 PM

                                I stumbled on it accidentally when the Sriracha in Asia tasted so full,complex and rounded as opposed to it's American counterparts. After confirming that the contents were not somehow switched, the only thing that was different was that those bottles were basically left out in the elements,heat, cold,rain, shine and had that funky ,sticky film where it fermented and began to weep. I've been tempering Sriracha in the trunks of my vehicles ever since.

                                1. re: Duppie
                                  Perilagu Khan RE: Duppie Oct 27, 2012 08:29 AM

                                  FYI: BMW will soon be releasing an SVU called the Sriracha. Thus, you'll be able to temper your Sriracha in your Sriracha.

                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                    gingershelley RE: Perilagu Khan Oct 27, 2012 11:31 AM

                                    FUNNY! LMAO, PK:)

                              2. re: Duppie
                                Bacardi1 RE: Duppie Oct 26, 2012 07:11 PM

                                Thanks for your advice, but no thanks. I'll happily stick to Huy Fong's Chili Garlic Sauce.

                                1. re: Duppie
                                  njbruce RE: Duppie Oct 23, 2013 06:47 PM

                                  Very curious Duppie, I'd like to try the aging method for the Sriracha. Just how long do you keep the bottle in the trunk of your car before using? I assume the bottle has not been opened and just sits in the car to ferment?

                                2. re: Bacardi1
                                  njmarshall55 RE: Bacardi1 Jul 19, 2013 11:07 AM

                                  Although I don't feel the same level of passion, I DO agree that the chili-garlic version rates as my fave. I love the combination of heat (just enough) and garlic (never enough).

                                  1. re: Bacardi1
                                    fldhkybnva RE: Bacardi1 Aug 20, 2013 06:06 AM

                                    I never reported back on my taste test. I agree with you 100%, Bacardi1. Shriracha sits alone still basically full and I have used at least 4 jars of the chili garlic sauce since buying it last year. I hate to resurrect this thread but had it with eggs this morning (a favorite combination for me) and thought of this thread. Thank again to everyone for their descriptions, they were right on.

                                    1. re: Bacardi1
                                      sisterfunkhaus RE: Bacardi1 Nov 1, 2013 09:42 PM

                                      I can't live without wither. It is divine.

                                    2. fldhkybnva RE: fldhkybnva Oct 27, 2012 01:05 AM

                                      Chili garlic sauce acquired - will try it out tomorrow night and let you know. Thanks for the tips.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                        njmarshall55 RE: fldhkybnva Oct 30, 2013 06:45 PM

                                        Late, I know, but what were your findings???...Never mind. read UP.

                                        1. re: njmarshall55
                                          fldhkybnva RE: njmarshall55 Oct 31, 2013 04:09 AM

                                          Love it! Rarely use sriracha if ever, have only bought one bottle in my lifetime and buy both sambal oelek and chili garlic sauce regularly now.

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                            njmarshall55 RE: fldhkybnva Oct 31, 2013 04:31 PM

                                            Agree. I think the garlic makes all the difference. Now it's the only one in the fridge.

                                      2. j
                                        jodyegan RE: fldhkybnva Oct 28, 2012 05:47 PM

                                        Refrigerate or not?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jodyegan
                                          flavrmeistr RE: jodyegan Oct 26, 2013 06:00 PM


                                        2. l
                                          LauraEatz RE: fldhkybnva Jul 19, 2013 07:42 AM

                                          Thanks for the help! I recently had the same question and consulted this thread. I have to say I agree with Bacardi1 - there's quite a difference (Srirracha is a more vinegary punch and sambal had some smokier hot notes - not to mention garlic) and I can recommend both. If you're interested in a recipe featuring both, I'd highly recommend "cooking the cover" of Bon Appetit's July 2013 issue.
                                          I've made it twice but the first time I didn't have sambal on hand and only used srirracha. What a difference with the sambal! (But both ways are excellent
                                          )Easy, delicious and very spicy!

                                          1. Atomic76 RE: fldhkybnva Oct 24, 2013 07:11 AM

                                            FYI, if you mix the chili garlic sauce with some soy sauce and honey it's very similar to the glaze on "General Tso's Chicken".

                                            I'm not much of a fan of Sriracha personally because of it's thickness and how it sticks to my mouth and burns my tongue. I can tolerate heat to a certain point, but something about that stuff tastes acerbic to me, and not particularly pleasant.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Atomic76
                                              greygarious RE: Atomic76 Oct 24, 2013 02:08 PM

                                              Acerbic can mean sharp, sour, or bitter, which are not the same thing. Can you be more specific? I like the idea of DIY GTC glaze but as a chili wimp, have never bought either sriracha or the chili garlic sauce.

                                              1. re: greygarious
                                                Atomic76 RE: greygarious Oct 25, 2013 10:18 PM

                                                Bitter & Sour, kind of like an acidic burn on my tongue. It's weird because I love Franks Red Hot and sauces like that, but something about Sriracha I find unpleasant.

                                            2. Beach Chick RE: fldhkybnva Oct 31, 2013 04:34 AM

                                              I am a sambal freak..
                                              I wish it was hotter but love it on tacos, Mac n' cheese and pasta dishes.

                                              Show Hidden Posts