What Are the Ingredients of Sriracha?

ingredients-sriracha Credit: Mike Mozart/CC-BY 2.0

The main ingredients of traditional Sriracha sauce from Thailand are chili peppers, sugar, salt, garlic and distilled vinegar. There is a popular Americanized version of Sriracha sauce, made by Huy Fong Foods, that contains all the ingredients of traditional Thai Sriracha sauce, as well as the preservatives potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfite and the thickener xanthan gum.

Huy Fong Foods has been making Sriracha sauce in America with the same basic ingredients since 1983. The main differences between Huy Fong's Sriracha sauce and traditional Sriracha sauce are the additional ingredients, two preservatives and one thickener, and the use of garlic powder as opposed to fresh garlic.

The company was founded in 1980, one year after the founder moved to the United States seeking asylum to escape the Vietnamese government's discrimination of ethnically Chinese people in south Vietnam. He had been making sauces since 1975 but didn't start selling them until he started his company in the Chinatown of Los Angeles. The sauce quickly gained popularity outside of the Chinatown and continues to be extremely successful, as of 2015. In 2012, over 20 million bottles of Sriracha were sold. The sauce has grown so popular that you can find people putting it on almost any food items, including burgers, snacks, candy and beverages. Huy Fong doesn't advertise Sriracha sauce because the demand is so high that supply couldn't keep up.