With the devastating news of the sriracha shortage in Huy Fong, we asked you what you use to spice up your meal instead. We know there’s no substitute for that particular taste, but you’ve suggested a wide range of alternative tingles, which we share below. We also called on our staff, who have strong opinions on the subject, and some connoisseurs of local cuisine.
Tyler Ryan Shaputis, Pasadena: It’s time to try the real THAI sriracha. No shortage of that, and much better and true to its origin. My favorite brand is “Shark.” Now, know that it will bear little resemblance to the thick paste of non-traditional stuff like Huy Fong.
Brianna Lee, Engagement Producer, Civics & Democracy, LAist: I once attended a PowerPoint presentation by former KPCC/LAist audio producer Quincy Surasmith on the difference between Huy Fong sriracha and Thai (shark brand) sriracha. My life has never been the same since I started buying the Shark brand. (they are however not interchangeable at all). Also, I personally keep all the packets of Sriracha I get every time I order pho to go, and now I have a small collection.
“Tank Man Brand”
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There is always wasabi
— Robbie Łizhini (@phact0rri) July 1, 2022
Tony Chen aka SinoSoul : Right now we’re on Trader Joe’s, I even like this one more than the HF because it’s less acidic and more balanced, but it does require a good shake because it’s thinner. I also really like ABC Extra Spicy from Indonesia, as well as Lingham’s from Malaysia, but they are sweeter, but ABC is just as garlicky as Huy, and it’s good and thick for dipping rare tenderloin.
Tapatio, Yucateco, Valentina, Tabasco, Chili Oil.
—Edward Sotelo (@EdwardSotelo10) July 1, 2022
Javier Barajas, Echo Park: A fresh bite of serrano pepper. It provides enough heat without the overwhelming flavor notes.
Widespread: Franks Red Hot
—Keith (@KeithNYC) July 1, 2022
Jean Trinh, food, arts and culture writer, Los Feliz: Crispy with Kari Kari chilli is my favorite, and once sold out, Nariz de Perro by Petu Ya.
Erick Galindo, Podcast Host, Writer and Showrunner, LAist Studios: Just add ketchup and Tapatio. Also, I sometimes like to add a little cinnamon to my salsa when I want a sweet kick.
Chop up some jalapenos and call it a day. 😃
—AJ Phillips (@aime2smile) July 1, 2022
Jason Goble, Super Snack SupremeVillage of Franklin: Salsa huichol, Valentina original, El Yucateca (The Green), Crystal
Oscar Ochoa, owner of Homemade salsa and hot sauces El Machete: I have a hot sauce called Blazing Fists of Fury. It is a hot sauce made with a little ginger for a mild sweetness.
WHAT?!! 😟 Thank goodness I have two extra bottles stored for emergencies like this.
I also like Korean gochujang. Beautiful complex flavors!
By far the hottest sauce I’ve tried is the Baron West Indian hot sauce. This one will make you sweat. 😅
— Madhouse Muse 😷 (@MadhouseMuse) July 1, 2022
Monica Bushman, LAist/KPCC Producer: I bought a jar of crushed calabrian peppers at an Italian market for a recipe that called for like two tablespoons. I started putting it in sauces, on eggs and in marinades because it wasn’t cheap, and I wanted to get my money’s worth and found it was really good! I bought it at by Cortina in Anaheim.
Andy Cheatwood, Vice President of Products, LAist/KPCC: Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chilli Crispy! It’s fantastic on scrambled eggs or just about anything you want a kick. Cook and Momofuku founder David Chang also makes his own versions.
Rodrigo Cervantes, Editor-in-Chief, LAist: Tapatío, Valentina (the spicy versions). Not the same, but close enough.
Rebecca Stumme, Producer, Events, LAist+KPCC: The TJs version is absolutely correct! The green dragon sauce is superior for sure!
What questions do you have about Southern California?
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