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12 Spicy Substitutes for Chili Garlic Sauce

Lisa Price
Last Updated on
by Lisa Price

Chili garlic sauce is a popular choice for spice lovers but why stick to it when you have so many other spicy sauces with similar ingredients to choose from? Let’s travel around the world to check out the best substitutes for chili garlic sauce.

Chili Garlic Sauce
Chili Garlic Sauce

Chili Garlic Paste Substitutes

1. Pebra Sauce

Pebra Sauce
Pebra Sauce

The first substitute on our list comes from Chile and is known as Pebra sauce. Chileans love to have this spicy sauce whenever they are having barbecues, family dinners, and other gatherings.

The basic components in the Pebra sauce recipe are habanero peppers, tomatoes, and cilantro. This hot sauce makes a mean salad dressing, a great spread for toast, and a versatile dipping condiment for empanadas, pork, seafood, or roasted vegetables.

2. Sriracha

Sriracha
Sriracha

Sriracha is a specialized topping for Thai food that originates in Indonesia. It has become an international obsession thanks to its signature fiery tang followed by a sweet punch.

This vibrant red sauce is prepared by blending spicy peppers with garlic, sugar, salt, and vinegar. The original recipe calls for mashing the ingredients using a mortar and pestle, as this method gives the sauce a chunkier consistency.

3. Gochujang

Gochujang
Gochujang

Next on our list of substitutes is the well-known spicy sauce from South Korea called Gochujang. It’s made with sticky rice, fermented soybeans, and chili peppers.

Thanks to its thick consistency, it goes great with fish, potatoes, vegetables, and meat. You can even add it to soups, like tomato soup, to make it a little thicker and more fiery, or use it as a marinade for meats or vegetables.

Also Read: Gochugaru vs Gochujang Difference Comparison (with Table)

4. Bajan Pepper Sauce

Bajan Pepper Sauce
Bajan Pepper Sauce

If you’ve grown tired of chili garlic sauce, you’ll love this fiery Bajan pepper sauce from Barbados.

The classic recipe calls for mustard, vinegar, and a Caribbean pepper known as a Scotch bonnet. To make one, you can use spicy brown or Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar. This sauce goes amazingly well with seafood, meat, salads, or sandwiches.

5. Molho Apimentado Sauce

Molho Apimentado Sauce
Molho Apimentado Sauce

We present to you Molho Apimentado, a spicy wonder from Brazil. It’s as versatile as it’s tasty — you can eat it with just about everything you choose, including pasta, tacos, pork, and roasted vegetables.

The recipe includes a lot of peppers — green and red bell peppers, chili peppers, red, white, and cayenne ground peppers. It also contains onion, garlic, tomatoes, mustard, apple cider vinegar, and tons of herbs. Because it has so much going on, you can easily adjust the peppers’ spiciness while still keeping its signature taste if you’re making it at home.

6. Chakalaka Sauce

Chakalaka Sauce
Chakalaka Sauce

By its name alone, Chakalaka can give the impression that it hails from Mexico, but it’s actually a South African sauce. Nobody truly makes Chakalaka precisely the same way, but it’s always peppery, zesty, and tremendously flavorful.

It’s made with everyday ingredients like beans, onions, tomatoes, and peppers. You may use it as a topping for sandwiches, tacos, and burritos, or as a side dish for fried potatoes, grilled cheese, fish, and meat.

7. Agrodolce Sauce

Agrodolce Sauce
Agrodolce Sauce

Agrodolce is a famous sauce from Italy. Its name is a blend of the Italian words “agro”, for sour, and “dolce”, for sweet. The spice isn’t as prevalent as the sour and sweet taste of the sauce, but it’s still noticeable.

The recipe calls for olive oil, wine vinegar, honey, onions, lemon zest, pepper flakes, crushed nuts, and herbs like parsley and chiles. Feel free to add it to anything, including sandwiches, salads, fish sticks, pork, and roasted vegetables.

8. Nam Jim Jaew Sauce

Nam Jim Jaew Sauce
Nam Jim Jaew Sauce

Thailand is where this well-known dipping sauce originates from. Although there are numerous Thai sauces, Nam Jim Jaew is particularly memorable, thanks to its smokey and spicy aroma.

Plus, it’s common and very simple to make, which is why you can get it on any street corner in Thailand. The major ingredients are fish sauce, squeezed lime juice, a mixture of herbs, rice powder, and dried chili powder. It can be served with either grilled meat or vegetables.

9. Schug Sauce

Schug Sauce
Schug Sauce

Schug is one of the most popular sauces used in Yemenite Jewish cookery. You can find it as Schug Yarok (green sauce) or Schug Adom (red sauce).

The green Schug sauce is more prevalent, and it’s prepared using green chiles, cilantro, minced garlic, and olive oil. The red one includes crushed red pepper or dried chiles, cumin, olive oil, and garlic.

Use it with grilled meat or include it in beef stew. You can also smear it over hot dogs, tacos, and sandwiches. It’s also a good idea to drizzle it over pasta.

10. Peri Peri Sauce

Peri Peri Sauce
Peri Peri Sauce

This African sauce, also known as Pili Pili or Piri Piri, is produced from spicy African Bird’s Eye chili peppers. If you appreciate heat, you will adore it.

You don’t need actual cooking needed to make this sauce, only a little chopping. All you need is garlic, smoked paprika, cilantro, olive oil, squeezed lemon juice, African Bird’s Eye peppers, or any red peppers you have on hand.

It pairs well with chicken and sea bass and is fantastic for dipping.

11. Harissa

Harissa
Harissa

Harissa, which is a hot chili paste, originates in Tunisia, North Africa. It became a Middle Eastern staple shortly after the first chili peppers were introduced to Tunisia in the 16th century, as part of the Spanish invasion.

The ingredients are straightforward: red chilies, garlic, oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and spices.

It’s widely used as a dip or marinade, as well as to add rich red color and spice to stews and soups.

12. Salsa

Salsa
Salsa

This Mexican sauce has the perfect amount of zest and sweetness, as well as the right amount of heat.

The recipe calls for fresh cilantro, tomatoes, onions, cumin, sugar, salt, Jalapenos for a spicy kick, lime for zest, and garlic for a burst of flavor. It tastes fantastic, whether served with tortilla chips or as a topping for tacos, burritos, or taquitos.

Conclusion

Are you ready to spice it up with our suggestions?

Gochujang is the ideal spicy marinade, while Pebra sauce is fantastic when served with grilled meat. The fans of mustard-like sauces will like Molho Apimentado and Bajan pepper sauce. Choose Chakalaka, Salsa, or Agrodolce if you want something with a lot of flavors.

Nam Jim Jaew, Schug, or Harissa have a hot, smoky, and tangy flavor.

If you can’t find these alternatives in your grocery store and don’t feel like making the sauce on the stove, you can easily make Peri Peri by chopping a few ingredients. Alternatively, you can purchase Sriracha at the store — you can never go wrong with this one.

About Lisa Price
Lisa Price
Lisa is Food Champ's resident fitness enthusiast and nutrition expert. She holds a nutrition degree in her home state of Florida and works for a large health system to ensure sound nutrition and dietetics information is passed on to all members.
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