Is Sriracha Vegan? Hot Topic! Spice Up Your Vegan Life With This Sauce!

Vegan-Sriracha

Back in the days, hot sauce is just hot sauce, plain and simple. Now, it goes by many names! And of course that means many different recipes and ingredients too! But this time, the spotlight is on SRIRACHA. This Thai concoction is not your regular hot sauce and it’s getting more popular than ever!

Is sriracha vegan? What goes in this tangy, garlicky hot sauce? 

Depending on the ingredients, sriracha may or may not be vegan. There’s one surprising ingredient that can make this tricky. 

Hold up! No need to make a guess. Just keep reading!

is-sriracha-vegan

Meet Sriracha

Asian cuisine has been taking over the world like wildfire! Sriracha (see-ROTCH-ah) is originally from Thailand, which is also known for their (mostly) spicy food. It’s a hot sauce with a distinct garlic flavor that’s also a little tangy and sweet. Proving to be versatile, sriracha is also useful in many dishes because of the hint of sweetness.

Unlike most hot sauces, sriracha is good enough to add to just about anything. Aside from the usual sandwich and dip use, you can also add it in soups, toasts, and salads. You can even use it in marinating and baking!

Traditional Sriracha Ingredients

  • Ripe chilli peppers 
  • Garlic 
  • Vinegar 
  • Sugar 
  • Salt

It’s not surprising though, that every brand will have their own version of this popular hot sauce. In particular, commercial brands will have more ingredients, and will usually include some type of preservative. However, even homemade blends are no exception. 

Here are some additional ingredients you might find in other other sriracha blends:

  • Fish sauce/fish extract
  • Soy sauce 
  • Tomato sauce
  • Shallots
  • Vegetable oil
  • Lime/lemon juice
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Sodium bisulfite/benzoate
  • Xanthan gum
  • Dextrose 
  • Citric acid

Fish sauce is of course not vegan. Now what else could there be?

Sriracha (see-ROTCH-ah) is originally from Thailand, which is also known for their (mostly) spicy food. It’s a hot sauce with a distinct garlic flavor that’s also a little tangy and sweet. Proving to be versatile, sriracha is also useful in many dishes because of the hint of sweetness.

Is Sriracha Sauce Vegan?

Traditional sriracha sauce is vegan. However, one of its main ingredients can be very tricky.  If you’ve been a vegan for quite some time now I’m sure you’ll know already.

It’s the sugar!

A lot of commercial brands use BONE CHAR to filter and refine their sugar. Although there are alternatives, some companies find it cheaper, since they’re really just using scraps from the meat industry. 

The problem is the labels will never tell you if the sugar in it is vegan or not. That’s why it’s better to stick to brands that do have a vegan label.

Traditional sriracha sauce is vegan. However, one of its main ingredients can be very tricky.

Vegan-Sriracha-Sauce

Is Sriracha Healthy?

Sriracha is primarily made of chilli peppers, which are known to have a significant amount of nutrients in it. However, let’s not forget the rest of its ingredients. Some sriracha blends may have more sugar and salt than you think, which as you know, is bad for you.

According to Nutrition Value, a 100g serving of sriracha sauce contains over 2000mg of sodium! That’s almost the daily limit for sodium already! While it’s also high in Vitamins A and C, this extremely high amount of sodium is not worth it.

This will vary per brand of course, but this gives you a general idea. However, if you’ll notice, most commercial brands are often high in sodium. 

What can you do about it? 

Well if you think you can’t live without sriracha, making your own blend at home can be the answer. This way, you can control the amount of salt and sugar (and just about anything!) that goes into it! 

There are also brands with lower sodium content, so always check the label!

By the way, homemade sriracha will not last as long as the commercial ones. But hey, it definitely won’t need an over-the-top amount of salt and sugar anyway!

According to Nutrition Value, a 100g serving of sriracha sauce contains over 2000mg of sodium! That’s almost the daily limit for sodium already! While it’s also high in Vitamins A and C, this extremely high amount of sodium is not worth it.

FAQs

1. Is sriracha mayo vegan?

Mostly NOT! As you know, mayo is made with lots of eggs! The good news is there are vegan mayo products (made with vegan milk) and vegan sriracha mayo too!

2. Is the sugar in sriracha vegan?

It depends on the manufacturing process. Some companies like Huy Fong admits to using non-vegan sugar, which most probably involves the use of bone char filters. To avoid this, go for unrefined sugar or sugar-free sriracha

However, figuring out whether a bottle of sriracha’s sugar is vegan or not is a tough nut to crack. If there’s no vegan certification, the only way you can make sure it’s vegan sugar is to ask the manufacturer.

3. Is creamy sriracha vegan?

Most creamy versions of sriracha contain mayonnaise, which is not vegan because of the eggs. However, their are vegan sriracha mayo brands, made using eggless mayo. Plus you can also make your own creamy sriracha the vegan way anyway!

4. Is Flying Goose sriracha vegan?

The Flying Goose Brand doesn’t claim to be vegan. Their sriracha mayo has a vegetarian label, but that’s it. Although Flying Goose appears in online vegan shops, their website only says “suitable for vegetarians”. 

5. Is Huy Fong sriracha vegan?

Unfortunately not. According to Double Check Vegan, a representative from the brand has said that their sugar is not vegan. Most likely, the brand is using bone char to filter their sugar.  

6. Is tuong ot sriracha vegan?

Tương ớt is just the Vietnamese term for sriracha chili sauce. You might see this in some sriracha bottles as Vietnam is also a major producer of sriracha. In fact, the popular Huy Fong Sriracha was developed by a Chinese-Vietnamese immigrant in the U.S..

To answer the question, it will depend on the ingredients of course, especially the sugar in it. You can only make sure it’s vegan if the label says so. Otherwise, you can find out directly from the manufacturer.

7. Is Trader Joe’s sriracha vegan?

Trader Joe’s product website no longer shows their regular sriracha sauce, which I’m guessing means its has been discontinued. However, they do have tofu baked sriracha, which appears on their vegan list.  

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Vegan Sriracha Brands

While most sriracha sauces are vegan-friendly, strict vegans might find themselves hesitating a lot when the labels aren’t specific enough with sugar. The problem is the labels will never tell you if their sugar is vegan.  

So, to take away all the impossible guesswork with sugar, here’s a list of sriracha brands with vegan labels! No need to guess or ask! Plus, most of these brands (not all) also have lower sodium and sugar! 

Sky Valley

A blend of cayenne peppers and red jalapeño, this sriracha is vegan, organic non-GMO, and gluten-free, with zero fat!

  • Sodium 110mg/1tsp serving
  • Sugar 1g/1tsp serving

Fix

Get your spicy vegan fix with this all-natural blend made from organic chili peppers! It has no artificial and processed ingredients, plus it’s gluten-free, non-GMO, with zero cholesterol, and made with no nitrates. The sauce also comes in a BPA-free plastic bottle.

  • Sodium 127mg/1tsp serving
  • Sugar 0.6g/1tsp serving

Yellowbird 

Commercial sriracha with no preservatives and no artificial ingredients? Yes that’s possible! This non-GMO sriracha is 100% organic, low sodium, and has no sugar added. Instead of table sugar, it uses dates and raisins as a sweetener. It’s also paleo- and keto-friendly!

  • Sodium 190mg/1tbsp serving
  • Sugar 2g/1tbsp serving

Thai Taste

Versatile and award-winning, this medium spice level sriracha is made with traditional ingredients. It’s also gluten-free and has no MSG!

  • Sodium 3.7g/100g serving (high!)
  • Sugar 13g/100g serving

Uniquely J 

Made in small batches, Uniquely J’s sriracha is a blend of jalapeño, habanero, and bell peppers. It’s also USDA organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free!

  • Sodium 35mg/1tsp serving
  • Sugar <1g/1tsp serving

Simply Natural

This organic sriracha is gluten-free, lactose-free, and cholesterol-free!

  • Sodium 50mg/1tsp serving
  • Sugar <1g/1tsp serving

I must also share this warning with you:

When shopping on online vegan shops, always check the ingredients! There were a few times I’ve seen a sriracha that says vegan on the page, but the ingredients have fish! Well, fish extracts, to be exact. There was also honey, and God knows what else.

I’m guessing these online shops are a mixture of vegan and vegetarian. My only frustration is their website should not have a “vegan” name. It’s just misleading! 

When shopping on online vegan shops, always check the ingredients! There were a few times I’ve seen a sriracha that says vegan on the page, but the ingredients have fish! Well, fish extracts, to be exact. There was also honey, and God knows what else.

Vegan-Sriracha-Sauce-1

Easy Vegan Sriracha Recipes

One of the best ways to guarantee your food is vegan is to make them yourself! Now I know not everyone will have the time and all, but DIY sriracha is easier than you think. If you’ve got helpful kitchen stuff like a vegetable chopper and a blender, it’s even easier!

You can also have your way with whatever kinds of peppers you want to use. More importantly, you can choose your own sweetener! If you need help with that, check here for vegan sugar brands. If you prefer alternatives, I have that too, right here!

A quick reminder before you start: Use plastic gloves when you chop your peppers!

Homemade Sriracha

From The Edgy Veg

Ingredients

  • 1.5 -2 lbs red jalapeño pepper (remove half of the seeds)
  • 1 Habanero pepper (remove seeds)
  • ½ cup organic white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ¼ cup organic brown sugar

Procedure

  1. Chop the jalapeño peppers as fine as you can. Combine with water, vinegar, garlic, and habanero peppers. Blend all together for a few minutes until smooth and even.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and heat until it’s slightly boiling. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 more minutes, or until it reduces to around one-third less.
  3. Add the salt, sugar, and peppers. Stir well. You can put the mixture on the blender again (cool down first) or just mix it manually until you get a smooth blend. Just a reminder: use a blender with a cap or lid, or it will get very messy!
  4. To get a smoother blend, you can use cheesecloth or a strainer. This will also remove the seeds and other remaining solids.
  5. Transfer into a jar or enjoy it hot! This blend can keep for a few weeks or longer when frozen.

Whole 30 Sriracha

From 40 Aprons

The Whole30 diet sets a preference for whole foods while also eliminating inflammatory food items. So believe it or not, this recipe is sugar-free! 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pound red jalapeno peppers (remove the stems)
  • 6 cloves garlic (remove peel)
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

Equipment 

Procedure

There are 2 ways to make this recipe. One is a quick and easy blend, while the other one requires fermentation. Fermented sriracha has a distinct taste and will last longer on your shelf.

For fermented sriracha: 

  1. Except for the vinegar, combine all the ingredients in the blender. Pulse a few times to get a fine chop, then blend on high speed until you get a smooth mixture.
  2. Transfer the mixture into a container (preferably a glass jar). Use a small towel to cover the jar then secure it in place with a rubber band or a string. 
  3. Keep the jar in a dark and cool place for 3 to 5 days. Make sure to give the mixture a stir once a day. By the day 3rd or 5th day, the mixture should start to form bubbles. This means it’s fermenting. 
  4. Pour mixture into the blender and add the vinegar. Blend until smooth. You can also use a strainer if you want a finer blend.
  5. Your sauce is ready! Just transfer into a container and refrigerate.

For non-fermented sriracha: 

  1. Combine all the ingredients in the blender. Pulse to chop, then blend until your mixture is smooth and even. 
  2. Use a strainer to get a smoother mixture without the solids. 
  3. Transfer into a container and refrigerate.

BONUS: To learn other vegan Sriracha recipes, check out the video below!

Conclusion

Most sriracha sauces are vegan. However, as one of its key ingredients is sugar, it can be very tricky especially for strict vegans. Sugar may be filtered through bone char, leaving it with traces of animal products. The problem is this is something that won’t appear on the label!

So, if you’re a strict vegan or just don’t want to risk any animal products, go for brands with a vegan certification instead. They’re also healthier than the regular high-sodium blends! 

What’s your favorite vegan sriracha brand? Do you have recipes you’d like to share with us? Let me know in the comment section below. And don’t forget to share this article on your favorite social media platform.

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