Are you a fan of the spicy kick that Sriracha adds to your meals? If so, you may be wondering if this popular chili sauce contains any non-vegan ingredients, such as fish sauce.
While traditional Sriracha is vegan-friendly, some specialty versions may include animal products or controversial vegan additions.
In this article, we’ll explore the ingredients in Sriracha and help you determine whether your favorite brand is vegan-friendly.
So, grab a bottle of your favorite hot sauce and let’s dive in!
Does Sriracha Have Fish Sauce?
The short answer is no, traditional Sriracha does not contain fish sauce. The original recipe for Sriracha, created by David Tran of Huy Fong Foods, includes chili peppers, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled vinegar, potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfite, and xanthan gum. None of these ingredients are derived from animals.
However, some specialty versions of Sriracha may include fish sauce as an ingredient. Fish sauce is a common ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine and is made by fermenting fish with salt. It adds a savory umami flavor to dishes and can be found in many sauces and marinades.
If you are vegan or vegetarian, it’s important to check the label of your Sriracha to ensure that it does not contain fish sauce or any other animal products.
What Is Sriracha?
Sriracha is a popular chili sauce that has become a household favorite among those who enjoy a little heat with their food. It is made by combining sun-ripened chilies with sugar, salt, garlic, vinegar, and other vegan ingredients. The sauce has a thick, tangy-sweet flavor with a strong kick of garlic. Its flavor is much more layered and complex than common hot sauces like Tabasco, which taste of heat and vinegar.
Sriracha is thicker in consistency than watery American-style hot sauces, which are typically made by puréeing peppers in vinegar and then straining out the solid materials. The recipe for Sriracha was developed more than 80 years ago in Si Racha, a city on Thailand’s east coast. The first commercial variety, Sriraja Panich, became one of the most popular condiments in Southeast Asia but was not easy to find in America and was very expensive to import.
In 1980, a Vietnamese immigrant named David Tran decided to start producing his own version of Sriracha in America, opening Huy Fong Foods in Irwindale, California. To this day it remains the most popular brand of Sriracha, and its packaging is nothing short of iconic: a clear plastic bottle that shows off the vividly red hot sauce, a green twist-to-open squirt cap and a white rooster logo printed on the front that gives Huy Fong Sriracha its nickname, “Rooster Sauce.”
Though traditional Sriracha does not contain fish sauce, some specialty versions may include it as an ingredient. It’s important to check the label of your Sriracha if you are vegan or vegetarian to ensure that it does not contain fish sauce or any other animal products.
Ingredients In Sriracha
The ingredients in traditional Sriracha sauce include chili peppers, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled vinegar, potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfite, and xanthan gum. The chili peppers used in Sriracha are fresh, red jalapeño chili peppers and contain no added water or artificial colors. Garlic powder is used instead of fresh garlic. The sauce is certified as kosher by the Rabbinical Council of California.
Potassium sorbate is a food-grade chemical additive that prevents bacteria and mold growth. Sodium bisulfite is a preservative that helps to maintain the color and flavor of the sauce. Xanthan gum is used as a thickener and stabilizer.
It’s important to note that Huy Fong Foods produces only up to a monthly pre-sold quota to ensure that they use only peppers from known sources in order to keep the sauce hot and consistent in flavor. The company formerly used serrano chilis but found them difficult to harvest.
Is Sriracha Vegan-friendly?
When it comes to determining whether Sriracha is vegan-friendly, the answer is a bit more complicated. While the traditional recipe for Sriracha is vegan, some specialty versions may contain non-vegan ingredients such as fish sauce or honey. Additionally, some controversial vegan ingredients like sugar may be used in the production of some brands of Sriracha.
It’s important to check the list of ingredients on the back of the bottle to ensure that the brand of Sriracha you are purchasing is vegan-friendly. Some popular vegan-friendly brands include Trader Joe’s Sriracha Sauce, Sky Valley Foods Sriracha Sauce, and Flying Goose Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce.
If you are concerned about consuming sugar that may have been processed using bone char, look for Certified Organic cane sugar or brands that explicitly state that they use vegan-friendly sugar. It’s also important to note that some brands may include shrimp paste as an ingredient, so always read the label carefully before making a purchase.
Specialty Versions Of Sriracha
While traditional Sriracha is vegan, some specialty versions of the sauce may contain non-vegan ingredients. For example, some Sriracha sauces may include fish sauce, which is made from fermented fish and salt. This ingredient adds a unique umami flavor to the sauce but is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.
Another non-vegan ingredient that may be present in specialty Sriracha sauces is honey. Honey is controversial among vegans because it is produced by bees and some argue that it exploits and harms the insects. If you are vegan or vegetarian, it’s important to check the label of your Sriracha to ensure that it does not contain honey or any other animal-derived ingredients.
Lastly, some ingredients that are commonly added to Sriracha, such as sugar, may not be considered vegan by some people. This is because sugar production can involve the use of bone char, which is made from animal bones. If you are concerned about this, look for brands of Sriracha that use vegan-friendly sugar alternatives.
Alternative Vegan Hot Sauces
If you’re looking for a vegan alternative to traditional Sriracha, there are plenty of options available on the market. Here are some of the best vegan hot sauces that you can try:
1. Flying Goose Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce – This vegan-friendly sauce is made with chili, sugar, vinegar, garlic, and salt. It has a spicy and tangy flavor that is perfect for adding to stir-fries, soups, and marinades.
2. Organicville Sriracha – This organic and gluten-free sauce is made with red jalapeño peppers, vinegar, garlic, and agave nectar. It has a mild heat level and a slightly sweet flavor that complements a variety of dishes.
3. Yellowbird Organic Sriracha – This vegan and gluten-free sauce is made with organic chili peppers, organic distilled vinegar, organic garlic, organic cane sugar, and salt. It has a medium heat level and a slightly tangy flavor that pairs well with tacos, burgers, and sandwiches.
4. Natural Value Organic Sriracha – This organic and non-GMO sauce is made with red jalapeño peppers, vinegar, garlic, and sugar. It has a mild heat level and a slightly sweet flavor that is perfect for adding to pizza or pasta dishes.
5. Kitchen Garden Farm Sriracha Chili Sauce – This vegan and gluten-free sauce is made with red jalapeño peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt. It has a medium heat level and a slightly smoky flavor that is great for adding to grilled vegetables or tofu.
In addition to these vegan Sriracha alternatives, there are also other vegan hot sauces available on the market that you can try. For example, Ocean’s Halo Vegan Fish Sauce and Tofuna Fysh Sauce are both made with seaweed instead of fish and can be used as a substitute for fish sauce in recipes. Whether you’re looking for a spicy kick or just want to add some flavor to your meals, there are plenty of vegan hot sauces out there to choose from.