Sriracha Showdown – Who’s got the best locally available Sriracha?

4 min read
88

Sriracha-1

I don’t think I’ve yet to encounter a meal that Sriracha doesn’t make better. Chicken? Throw some of the stuff on it. Hamburgers? More like shamburgers if I don’t spot a bottle of Sriracha near it. Hell, it even goes brilliantly on ice cream if the mood/ brick to the head strikes you. But finding original recipe Sriracha locally, isn’t easy.

I’m prefacing this right now by saying that the Huy Fung Sriracha is the undisputed champ, now and forever. Like a WWE title reign powered by an entire roster of heels. And while Huy Fung Sriracha has gone global, you’d be hard-pressed to find it locally. This I know, as I’d usually bring back a few bottles of the stuff when returning from a US trip. Target knows my face and taste by heart now.

That’s not to say that you can’t find the magnificent hot sauce locally. If you’ve never tried it, Sriracha tastes like a combination of garlic and heat, with just the right amount of flavour added in for good measure. It has of course given rise to a wave of pretenders, who would dethrone the Huy Fung company from their iron throne. But are the local options any good?

If you’re hungry to find out, you’ve got three easy to find choices:

Suree Sriracha

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Out of the three brands I tried out, the Suree variant probably comes the closest to emulating the flavour of Huy Fung’s trademark cock sauce. It’s got the burn, it has the colour and it certainly has the flavour to match all the requirements necessary to be considered a Sriracha sauce. Suree’s key difference however, may be in its viscosity.

Unlike regular Sriracha which is a sticky thick sauce at times, Suree brand sauce is looser. That’s not entirely a bad thing however, as that makes it easier to get out of the bottle and onto your meal. It’s a damn good substitute to the real stuff, Stevia Coke to the usual diabetes in a can if you will. It’s possibly my favourite sauce on this list, and I’m already halfway through the stuff after less than a month. I’m going to have to order more.

Nhan Con Ngong Bay Sriracha

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You’ve heard of the hot cock, now make room for the flying goose brand! This was the first Sriracha variant that I managed to get my hands on locally a few years ago, and it didn’t disappoint. While the Huy Fung Sriracha has a distinctive garlic flavour, the bottle I found at Woolworths offered a heavier focus on the actual flavour of the chilli used inside.

Sweeter, but in a subtle manner that gave it an edge. It still has that wonderful bite to it, and I’d wager that it’s just as sticky as the original stuff coming out of the bottle. Like the Suree brand, it’s also bottled and manufactured in Thailand, for that that extra dash of authenticity. And really, you can’t go wrong with having a bottle of this stuff around as a gateway sauce.

Flaming Tiger Sriracha

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And last on the local list, is Flaming Tiger Sriracha. Produced locally as well, it has all the qualifications that you’d look for in a Sriracha: Green cap, red bottle and most of the same ingredients. It’s also crap. See, the thing is with the Suree and Flying Goose variants are that they still taste good, even if they are imitations of the real deal. I wouldn’t turn my nose up at either of them if they were the only option on the table.

Flaming Tiger however, tastes like an ersatz version of Sriracha. It’s got a horrid aftertaste, is too sweet and the colour looks sickly at best. I don’t just dislike the stuff, I properly hate and despise it. In my new world order, ruining Sriracha will be a capital crime along with allowing Steve Hofmeyr to speak in public.

There’s just something wrong with the stuff, although I’d be the first to admit that taste is subjective. Still, it’s an opinion that I don’t think that I’ll be sharing on my lonesome.

And that’s it! You can find 2/3 of the good stuff online at places like YuppieChef, or in retail shops such as Pick ‘N Pay, Checkers or the whitest place on Earth: Woolworths Food Market. Prices aren’t too bad either, with a bottle setting you back between R60-R75 depending on the market. But it’s a bottle that goes a long way towards making everything on your plate taste of awesome and fire.

Last Updated: February 2, 2017

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Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • No more AMD vs Nvidia. Shyt just got real!

    Nhan Con Ngong Bay Sriracha FTW!!!

  • PurplePariah

    When are you going to review real chilli sauce?

    • And peri peri sauce!

      • Original Heretic

        Peri peri sauce is terrible. No taste to it, except burn. Pointless.

        • PurplePariah

          You need some real peri peri sauce then. Bird’s eye chilli, vinegar, touch of sugar, garlic, pickled green chillies. Mmmm. Flavour explosion.

          • Original Heretic

            If it has flavour, I’m all for it. I love spicy food and spicy sauces, but not the stuff some okes makes that purely meant just to burn your tastebuds off. It’s gotta have flavour, otherwise it’s just a retarded form of tongue mutilation.

          • Blend some jalapenos in there with a lot of olive oil and lime juice 😛

          • PurplePariah

            Green chillies cover that. Add for taste or burn, depending on what you want specifically.

          • As long as you get an even burn on all parts and not just ignite my lips up to the temp of the sun I am happy.

          • PurplePariah

            Well if you want that, add some habanero. Some people like the extra burn. I prefer a good balance, flavour and burn.

          • Indeed. Balance is key. Any idiot can moer a ton of chili seeds into olive oil with garlic and blend it. Making “real” peri peri sauce is an art.

          • PurplePariah

            I have a colleague that uses pizza as a delivery mechanism for her chillies. Straight chillies. You can’t see the pizza until she lifts it off the table, it looks like a plate of chillies. It’s dumb as fuck.

        • A lot and I mean A LOT of people cant make peri peri sauce to save their life. But you do get some very nice ones out there. We make our own peri peri sauce from scratch mostly for chicken wings on the braai or prawns.

        • HvR

          Almost like ….. Sriracha just without the garlic

    • I got so bored of Sriracha. IT;s great for tyurning shit asian food less shit, but not much else. Give me a Korean gochujang-based sauce any day. Stuff like Ssamjang.

      • Viking Of Science

        But what about Sambal Oelek?

        • I love a good sambal olek; Indonesian cuisine is great. The korean stuff is, truthfully similar – but because it’s fermented, it gets a much greater depth of flavour. So the sambal olek is great for when you want something perhaps a little lighter, fresher and zestier.

      • PurplePariah

        Locally I really love the flavours of the different Eish Chilli sauces. I don’t know if you can get that up north, but they’re available in Cape Town.

      • HvR

        With you on that, it is flat tasting chilli sauce. 99% of hipsters will not be able to tell the difference between Sriracha and old HQ Foods Chilli sauce in a blind taste test

      • miaau

        And good old fashioned South African Chutney? Personally, and this is not just because I cannot have sugar, I hate it. But I know many people love the flavour profile to brings to food.

        • HvR

          BUt you chutney, Balls chutney and then the most wondrous flavourfull sweet and sour chutney my aunt makes from peaches and apricots.

          And also new jalapeno chutney from antie balls is the bomb.

        • I’m not a fan if chutney at all; far, far too sweet for me. I cant take sugar too much. I’ll have it with a curry or a bobotie , but generall avoid the stuff otherwise.

      • Admiral Chief

        Ssamjang? Is that the fake Samsung brand?

    • Got any recommendations?

      • PurplePariah

        Actually yeah:

        http://eishchilli.co.za/

      • Not ones that turn you into spiderman again.

        • Spathi

          One of the grossest things I’ve ever seen!

      • MonsterCheddar

        Mrs. Balls.

    • Hammersteyn

      I don’t wanna see him shoot spiderwebs from his mouth again

  • HGGGGGGGGGGGNNNNNNNNNNNNNN. Now I need to go home and have a cheese and Sriracha sammich!

    • Sunny side up eggs on toast with Sriracha… *drools*

    • Lu

      Or a chicken-mayo cheese with Sriracha.

    • Hammersteyn

      Best I can do is Tabasco :'(

  • Original Heretic

    Darryn, I have scoured PE to find this stuff, but to no avail! I found some at the Spar down in Humerail a few months back, then never again.
    Which P’n’P and Checkers do you find at it in the Windy City?!
    (don’t even mention WW to me, I hate that place and refuse to support it)

    • Checkers Hyper almost always has them in stock.

      • Original Heretic

        Not in PE…

        • Viking Of Science

          Solution: Move out of PE 😛

          • PurplePariah

            Seems like the most efficient, win-win solution to me. 😛

          • Original Heretic

            If only it were that simple for me…

        • I always thought people were joking when they say there is nothing in PE…so I guess the rumors are true O.o

          • Hammersteyn

            LOL!

        • But isn’t Darryn from PE? So how does he find?

          • Original Heretic

            Hence why I asked him the question! I am awaiting his response, if he so chooses to do so.

          • PurplePariah

            Well it IS Darryn. He could be sacrificing babies to the Overlord for some. You never know.

          • You leave my Daedric religion out of this.

          • PurplePariah

            I KNEW IT!

    • Check Woolworths (SORRY BUD!). I’ve seen the stuff for sale at the Miramar Woolworths near Builder Warehouse, and also Walmer Park. Otherwise, you can order Suree Sriracha online from Yuppiechef.

      • PurplePariah

        Suree you can.

      • Original Heretic

        Gaaah! I hate Woolworths and their snooty ways!

        Guess the online route is the way for me then….

        • Hammersteyn

          The only thing WW has that I need is fresh avos

          • HvR

            BS!!!! You get the freshest Avo right here on CH

          • Hammersteyn

            Not in my town 🙁

          • Original Heretic

            You’re saying need, but it’s actually want. Nobody NEEDS anything from that overpriced place of devil worship.

          • Hammersteyn

            I adore Avocados. On toast with salt and Tabasco. Mouthwatering

          • miaau

            We buy a lot from them, we pick and choose what we want and do not pay more.

            ALSO. and with a family like mine that has loads of different allergies, some of which put you in an ER if triggered, a few years back Woolworths labelling, ingredients, was far superior to other brands / shops. Now, they are just mostly superior.

            We had several local food suppliers us letters that said “we admit nothing legally, but the chance of contamination on X on that line is high. That is likely the cause of your going into shock and needing Adrenalin. ” We had 3 that read pretty much the same, where the WW products said as much when we bought it. Now, though, most products state that upfront.

            A certain big, local food company, man, we queried if there was a problem, they sent us two letters from a law firm, took samples, withheld the promised lab reports with a lawyers letter, all saying they admit nothing. The only comms from them was the law firm they appointed, not marketing or sales from the company. We only wanted to warn, in case there was a problem and someone else dies. Wrote that in the original letter, only intent.

          • miaau

            And their Gouda is very nice!

        • miaau

          yeah, we buy from Woolworth online a lot too. Very convenient!

          • Original Heretic

            NOT from WW online. Refuse to support them. Darryn mentioned Yuppiechef, I’ll give them a bash.

          • miaau

            You talk about wanting good prices and mention Yuppiechef? Sjoe. We have been ripped off, buying without checking elsewhere.

            We buy most of our stuff online, shopping is for small stuff. And only PicknPay and Woolworths deliver food and groceries, so we compare prices online (also Checkers) and then buy what is priced ok from the two online suppliers and make a smaller list for Checkers.

          • Original Heretic

            I’ll look elsewhere then, when I get a chance to.

            As I’ve read, you’ve had good experiences with WW.
            As you can gather from my strong reaction against them, I’ve had very bad experiences with them.

          • miaau

            Oh, we have also had SUPER BAD experiences with them AND Pick n Pay. Delivering Chicken, 4 KGs, that expired last week, for example.

          • miaau

            Do not misunderstand me, Yuppichef has awesome stuff.

            BUT we paid R99 a mug, Maxwell Williams, in a hurry, and then found several other vendors had them for R55.

          • Original Heretic

            I can bargain hunt. I’ll check their prices and also take a look around at other places.

            I know Yuppiechef is good, one of my mates (who happens to be a pretty damn good chef, but doesn’t work in the industry, what a bloody waste) swears by them.

          • miaau

            Yeah, my wife normally does the bargain hunt stuff very well. Then tells me Friday night, on Saturday we drive there for X, there for Y and so forth.

            BUT she sometimes discounts the travel cost, so saving R50, but driving a 40km roundtrip, is just not worth it.

          • HvR

            LOL, Yuppiechef are for people who think Woolworths is to common.

          • Original Heretic

            I don’t think WW is common, I just detest them.

      • He said don’t mention Woolworths you plank

        • If you want Sriracha, be prepared to do terrible things.

          • I’ll do terrible things to you

          • HvR

            Bowchikiwowwow

          • Hammersteyn

            XD

          • miaau

            That is weird. Cause Sriracha will do terrible things to me.

            Nandos Lemon and Herb is getting too spicy for me.

          • Original Heretic

            To each their own.

            Personally, I was basically weaned on spicy food since about the age of 5, so the spicy stuff totally agrees with my constitution.

          • miaau

            Yeah, that is it. My family NEVER ate anything spicy, so I break out in sweats very easily from even very slightly hot food.

    • I despise WW and refuse to shop there.. all they do is screw over the local manufacturers and sell overpriced crap.. HATE THEM

      • Original Heretic

        Upvoters unite for this comment!

      • I can’t understand how people are ok with their prices.

        R25 a pie? GITFS

        • Hammersteyn

          Extortion!

    • Hammersteyn

      Same here

  • Ricardo Harvey

    Checkers had theirs going for R35 a few weeks back 🙂

  • Magoo

    I don’t know what anyone here is talking about. Perinaise is about as exotic as it gets for me.

    • Hammersteyn

      LOL

  • Hammersteyn

    Saucy!

  • Admiral Chief

    Dammit, missed this article.

    DEMMMMMMIT

  • Admiral Chief

    Quick glance at the comments, and I really cannot understand the WW hate.

    Fruit/veg is the best, and sometimes better priced.
    Meat is kak expensive mostly, but quality.
    Prepared meals are kak expensive, but sometimes nice on special, and delicious.

    We shop there at least once a week, but mainly buy the specials, and it works us out cheaper than Spar or PnP and def Checkers (checkers can gitmfs)

  • Admiral Chief

    Flying goose FTW