Sriracha powder has become a popular way to add flavor and heat to dishes without adding extra liquids.
The dried powder captures the spicy tang of the original sauce, letting you sprinkle it over everything from eggs to salads.
But what if you're out of sriracha powder and need a quick substitute?
Why Use Sriracha Powder?
Before diving into the substitutes, let's look at why sriracha powder is so useful in the first place:
- Adds heat without extra moisture: Unlike the original sauce, the powder won't make foods wet or soggy when you add it. This makes it perfect for dry rubs, sprinkle blends, baked goods, etc.
- Long shelf life: Ground spices last much longer than fresh sauces and pastes. Sriracha powder will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to a year.
- Easy to sprinkle on anything: From eggs to popcorn and avocado toast, a dash of the dried powder adds instant flavor.
- Versatile for recipes: Sriracha powder can season everything from salad dressings to marinades, spice blends, dip mixes and more.
- Changes the flavor profile: The powder allows you to add heat and tang without the full impact of the sauce. This can be ideal for certain dishes.
Now let's look at some easy ingredient swaps when you've run out of this useful powder.
1. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Crushed red pepper is most likely already in your pantry and makes a quick sriracha powder substitute. These flakes provide a moderate level of heat and work well sprinkled over finished dishes.
Key Takeaway: They lack the tangy, garlicky notes of sriracha powder but bring a similar heat level. Use about the same amount as you would sriracha powder.
2. Cayenne Pepper
Key Takeaway: Cayenne brings heat but has a one-dimensional flavor. Pair it with garlic and lemon juice to round out the flavors. Use about 1/4 the amount of cayenne as you would sriracha powder.
Paprika is a ground spice made from dried peppers like pimentos and red bell peppers. On its own, paprika is not spicy at all. But smoked paprika has a deeper flavor with a bit of heat, making it a tasty substitution.
Key Takeaway: Smoked paprika mimics some of the rich flavor you get from the fermented peppers in sriracha. Use it in place of sriracha powder in a 1:1 ratio.
4. Kashmiri Chili Powder
This bold red chili powder is popular in Indian cuisine. Kashmiri powder provides vibrant color and a mild heat that isn't overpowering.
It's made from dried Byadgi chilies as well as spices like cumin, coriander, fennel and more. This gives kashmiri powder a more complex flavor than sriracha powder.
Key Takeaway: Kashmiri chili powder adds mild heat and rich flavor. Use it in place of sriracha powder in a 1:1 ratio.
5. Homemade Chili Powder
You can easily make DIY chili powder at home by blending dried chilies, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, cumin and salt. Adjust the amounts of each ingredient to match the flavor profile you want.
Key Takeaway: A homemade blend allows you full control over the heat level and flavor. You can tweak it to mimic sriracha powder.
6. Harissa Powder
Harissa originated in North Africa and is traditionally made into a paste. But you can also find harissa sold as a dry spice blend.
It contains chilies, cumin, caraway and herbs like garlic, coriander and mint. These spices give harissa a robust heat with extra dimensions of flavor.
Key Takeaway: Harissa powder has a stronger, more complex taste but can substitute for sriracha powder in many dishes. Use a 1:1 ratio.
Gochugaru is a Korean red chili pepper flake with a slight sweetness. It provides a vibrant red color and moderate spicy kick.
Key Takeaway: Gochugaru flakes can mimic the coloring and gentle heat of sriracha powder. Use it in a 1:1 ratio or add more for extra heat.
8. Homemade Sriracha Powder
You can make DIY sriracha powder at home with just a bottle of the sauce, baking sheet and oven. Simply spread sriracha onto a lined sheet and bake at 200°F until completely dried out. Then grind it into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or small food processor.
Key Takeaway: Homemade lets you control the spice level and replicates the exact flavor of store-bought powder.
9. Aleppo Pepper Flakes
These Turkish chilies have a mild smoky taste and moderate heat. Aleppo pepper flakes provide a similar red coloring as sriracha powder.
Key Takeaway: Aleppo pepper brings more smokiness but less heat than sriracha powder. It works well sprinkled on dishes but not baked into recipes.
10. Chili Crisp
Chili crisp and chili oil are condiments packed with crispy fried chili flakes and oil. They don't have the same dried powder texture but provide plenty of heat and chili flavor.
Key Takeaway: These oil-based condiments work nicely drizzled over finished dishes. But they can't be substituted into recipes calling for dry sriracha powder.
What's the best substitute for sriracha powder when baking?
For baked goods like sriracha cookies or bread, you want a dry powder that can be measured and mixed into the dough. Smoked paprika, kashmiri chili powder or homemade chili powder work well.
Is cayenne pepper the same as sriracha powder?
Cayenne and sriracha powders are both made from ground dry chilies. But cayenne packs almost 10 times the amount of heat as sriracha powder. Use much less cayenne, and combine it with garlic and tangy flavors.
Can I substitute chili flakes for sriracha powder?
Yes, chili flakes can work as a swap in the right dish. They bring a similar heat level. But chili flakes give a bit of texture versus a fine powder.
What else can be used instead of sriracha powder in recipes?
Gochugaru, harissa powder, homemade chili powder or smoked paprika are good flavor matches for recipes. For sprinkling over meals, chili crisp and aleppo pepper also work.
Is sweet chili sauce a good replacement for sriracha powder?
Sweet chili sauce is tasty but much less spicy than sriracha. It works nicely as a sauce but cannot accurately substitute for sriracha powder's heat.
While sriracha powder can take recipes to the next tasty level, it's handy to know substitutes when yours runs out. Options like crushed red pepper, smoked paprika, harissa powder and more can provide the spicy tang your dish needs.
You likely have some of these sriracha powder stand-ins already in your kitchen waiting to be sprinkled on your next meal. The possibilities are practically endless when it comes to uses for these substitutions, so get creative!
Any of the alternatives suggested above can help you mimic the essence of sriracha powder when used in the correct amounts. Just remember to adjust quantities based on the heat level of the particular powder or flakes.