Are you a fan of spicy food? If so, you’ve probably heard of Sriracha sauce, the popular chili sauce that has taken the culinary world by storm.
But did you know that Panda Express, the beloved Chinese-American fast food chain, has its own version of Sriracha sauce?
In this article, we’ll explore the origins of Sriracha sauce and compare it to Panda Express’ chili sauce to determine if they are one and the same.
So sit back, grab a glass of water (just in case), and let’s dive into the spicy world of chili sauces!
Is Panda Express Chili Sauce Sriracha?
To answer the question simply, no, Panda Express chili sauce is not exactly the same as Sriracha sauce. While both sauces share some common ingredients, such as chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt, there are some notable differences between the two.
Sriracha sauce originated in Thailand and has a unique flavor that is both spicy and sweet, with a bit of acidity from the vinegar. It is typically used as a condiment and added to Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Panda Express’ Sriracha chili sauce, on the other hand, is a blend of chili peppers, vinegar, sugar, and salt. It is slightly sweeter than traditional Sriracha sauce and has a bit more of a vinegary flavor. The sauce is also slightly thinner than traditional Sriracha sauce, making it easier to drizzle over food.
While Panda Express’ chili sauce may not be exactly the same as Sriracha sauce, it still offers a great way to add some heat and flavor to your favorite dishes. Whether you’re looking to spice up your next meal or just want a delicious dipping sauce for your spring rolls, Panda Express’ Sriracha chili sauce is a great option.
The History Of Sriracha Sauce
The story of Sriracha sauce dates back to 1949 in the small coastal town of Si Racha in Southeast Thailand. A woman named Chakkapak began serving up a bright, garlicky chili sauce with her meals, and everyone who ate it was hooked. Her family and friends urged her to bottle and sell it, and she decided to give it a shot. She called her creation Sriraja Panich, which was not quite the hot sauce we all love today, but it was well on its way.
After the Vietnam War, David Tran fled persecution by immigrating to America. In 1980, he started the sriracha company Huy Fong, named after the boat he took from Vietnam. Tran’s story reads like a novel: Arriving in Los Angeles, he started crafting spicy sauces like the ones he’d made back home, where he ran his own food business and grew his own chilies. He soon launched Huy Fong Foods, then introduced his personal spin on a red chili sauce that originated in Si Racha, Thailand.
Early on, he started bottling his sriracha in his small factory in Los Angeles’ Chinatown and hand-delivering the bottles in a blue van to Asian restaurants around Southern California, along with other sauces he named in honor of places in southeast Asia. Word of mouth spread quickly; his current production facility in Irwindale, CA, converts over 100 million pounds of fresh chilies into hundreds of thousands of bottles of sriracha annually. Tran has turned his labor of love into an empire, with $80 million in revenue last year.
Sriracha sauce has become increasingly popular in recent years, appearing in everything from soups and salads to pizzas and sandwiches. It has garnered a cult following in America, though some question its authenticity. Regardless, Sriracha sauce remains a beloved condiment for many and continues to be a staple in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
What Makes Sriracha Sauce Unique?
Sriracha sauce is a type of chili sauce that stands out from other hot sauces because of its unique flavor profile. It is made from a paste of chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt, which gives it a spicy and sweet taste with a hint of acidity from the vinegar. This combination of flavors sets it apart from other hot sauces that may be too spicy or too sweet.
One of the key ingredients in Sriracha sauce is red jalapeño peppers, which provide the heat without overpowering the other flavors. Surprisingly, Sriracha sauce is only moderately spicy, measuring 2,200 on the Scoville scale. By contrast, other hot sauces like Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper are much spicier.
Another unique aspect of Sriracha sauce is that it is not cooked. Instead, the chilies are ground up, seeds and all, and combined with vinegar. The vinegar serves two purposes: to help break down the peppers and to act as a preservative for the sauce.
Sriracha sauce originated in Thailand and is often used as a condiment in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. However, its popularity has spread throughout the world, and it can now be found in many kitchens and restaurants across different cultures. The most popular brand of Sriracha sauce is manufactured in the United States by Huy Fong Foods and is named after the local hot sauces in the small town of Sri Racha in Thailand.
Panda Express Chili Sauce: What Is It?
Panda Express chili sauce is a type of spicy sauce that is offered by the popular fast food chain specializing in Chinese-American cuisine. The sauce is made from a blend of chili peppers, vinegar, sugar, and salt. It is slightly sweeter than traditional Sriracha sauce and has a bit more of a vinegary flavor. The sauce is also slightly thinner than traditional Sriracha sauce, making it easier to drizzle over food.
One serving size of Panda Express chili sauce contains 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 2 grams of carbohydrates. While some visitors to the Panda Express website believe that the chili sauce is a healthy option, others are not so sure. It is important to note that the nutritional value of the sauce will depend on how much is consumed and what it is consumed with.
Comparing Sriracha And Panda Express Chili Sauce
When comparing Sriracha sauce and Panda Express’ Sriracha chili sauce, there are some noticeable differences. Firstly, Sriracha sauce is a type of chili sauce that originated in Thailand, while Panda Express’ Sriracha chili sauce is a blend of chili peppers, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Secondly, the sweetness and vinegary flavor of Panda Express’ chili sauce is slightly different from traditional Sriracha sauce.
Additionally, the texture of Panda Express’ Sriracha chili sauce is slightly thinner than traditional Sriracha sauce, making it easier to drizzle over food. However, both sauces share some common ingredients such as chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt.
While both sauces may have their differences, they both offer a great way to add some heat and flavor to your favorite dishes. Whether you prefer the unique spicy and sweet flavor of traditional Sriracha sauce or the slightly sweeter and thinner texture of Panda Express’ Sriracha chili sauce, both are great options for those looking to add some heat to their meals.
Can You Substitute One For The Other?
If you’re wondering whether you can substitute Panda Express’ chili sauce for Sriracha sauce, the answer is yes and no. While both sauces share similar ingredients, they have different flavor profiles and consistencies. Panda Express’ Sriracha chili sauce is slightly sweeter and more vinegary than traditional Sriracha sauce. It is also thinner in consistency, making it easier to drizzle over food.
If you’re looking for a substitute for Sriracha sauce, there are several options available. Sambal oelek is a popular substitute that packs a similar punch in the heat department. It is made of simpler ingredients than Sriracha sauce but requires the addition of garlic powder to achieve a similar taste. Other substitutes include chili paste, crushed chili flakes, or cayenne pepper, although these may not be as hot or have the same consistency as Sriracha.
Harissa is another option that can be substituted for chili sauce. This North African condiment features red chilis and numerous other spices, including vinegar, garlic, cumin, and caraway seeds. It is spicy and delicious on chicken or with a bit of honey.
The Verdict: Are They The Same?
After comparing the ingredients and flavor profiles of Sriracha sauce and Panda Express’ Sriracha chili sauce, it is clear that they are not exactly the same. Sriracha sauce originated in Thailand and has a unique spicy-sweet flavor with a bit of acidity from vinegar. Panda Express’ Sriracha chili sauce, on the other hand, is slightly sweeter and has a more pronounced vinegary flavor. Additionally, it is slightly thinner in consistency than traditional Sriracha sauce.
However, despite these differences, Panda Express’ Sriracha chili sauce still offers a great way to add some heat and flavor to your dishes. It is a delicious dipping sauce for spring rolls and can be used to spice up various dishes. While it may not be a perfect substitute for traditional Sriracha sauce, it is still a tasty option for those who enjoy bold and adventurous flavors.