Surviving The Sriracha Shortage Might Be Easier Than You Think

Since the pandemic, people in the U.S. and elsewhere have seen various food shortages and supply chain interruptions. Some experts chalk these grocery aisle shortages up to hoarding behavior in consumers, while others have pointed the finger at labor shortages and their impact on the production and processing of food items. 

To make matters more complicated, crop production is also at the helm of certain food shortages, like the one that has affected sriracha. As Eater recently shared, the heart of the sriracha shortage is due to a lack of red jalapenos imported from Mexico. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions that are possibly linked to climate change, the spicy peppers didn't grow well this past year and have left the Huy Fong brand without one of its top sellers (via NPR).

For diehard fans of sriracha, the news is a hard pill to swallow. Some have even taken to Huy Fong's Instagram to lament the lack of sriracha on their grocery store shelves. As one disappointed user exclaimed, "Rabble rabble rabble I need my sauce!!" Another predicted that "people are gonna riot if stores run out sriracha." So, how can sriracha lovers get through the upcoming months with limited supplies of their beloved hot sauce? The answer may lie in a little experimentation.

Tapping into sriracha alternatives

Eater points out that the most realistic workaround is to simply branch out and try other hot sauces that are similar to Huy Fong's sriracha. Of course, most sriracha devotees will be able to taste the difference between sriracha and the other guys, but there are some other popular alternatives that may be worth a try.

Ever heard of Shark Brand or Polar sriracha? The crew at Serious Eats actually rated them slightly higher than Huy Fong based on sweetness, spiciness, and overall taste. While more obscure brands will have to be ordered online or found at specialty stores, even big name brands like Kikkoman and Lee Kum Kee offer alternatives.

But what if you're simply not a fan of any of the sriracha alternatives you've tried? That's okay. Take this time to get adventurous in the kitchen by making your own sriracha at home. It's not as hard as it may seem, and it'll allow you to tweak the spiciness, sweetness, and vinegary twang to your liking. Plus, it'll help you get through the sriracha shortage for the (hopefully short) time that it lasts.