Sambal Oelek and Sriracha sauce are two different delicacies that spicy food lovers around the world have embraced. But how are they different from each other? Hence, we will share everything you need to know about Sambal Oelek vs Sriracha sauce.

Sambal Oelek is less processed, less runny, and chunkier, usually with chili pepper seeds. In comparison, Sriracha sauce is more processed and has a more liquidy, smooth, and saucy consistency. Moreover, Sambal Oelek is generally less sweet and tends to be spicier than Sriracha sauce.

So, on this note, continue reading to check out further what more differences these two hot treats contain.

Sambal Oelek Vs Sriracha Sauce- Difference Explained.

Sriracha sauce is considered a hot cousin of Sambal Oelek since both their base flavors are established on hot chili peppers. In fact, you will sense a similar heat level between the two. 

Sambal Oelek Vs Sriracha sauce - SpiceRally

But still, they actually possess a slight difference in terms of hotness since many pre-packaged Sambal Oelek options do not contain any sweeteners. However, some homemade Sambal Oelek recipes use palm sugar or brown sugar. In such instances, both of them could have a pretty similar heat, but still, they differ in their consistencies.

The reason is that both pre-packaged and homemade Sriracha sauce recipes are typically runny and smooth. While on the contrary, almost all Sambal Oelek options are less liquidy and chunkier in texture compared to Sriracha sauce.

So, refer to the detailed table below to get a more accurate idea about Sambal Oelek vs Sriracha sauce.

Sriracha SauceSambal Oelek
Base FlavorHot chili peppersHot chili peppers
Types of chili peppers used– Red jalapeno peppers (in most store-bought options)
– Thai chili peppers (red) and red Fresno chili peppers (can be seen in homemade recipes)
– Thai red chili peppers (optimal option)
– Red Serrano peppers
– Red jalapeno peppers
– Cayenne peppers
– Red Fresno chili peppers
Other Ingredients– Sugar
– Salt
– Garlic
– Distilled vinegar
– Other additives and preservatives (in store-bought options)
– Salt
– Distilled vinegar/rice vinegar
– Lime juice
– Garlic
– Shallots/onions
– Palm sugar/brown sugar (in some homemade recipes)
– Other additives and preservatives (in store-bought ones)
Flavor ProfileSpicy, savory, and sweet with garlicky and vinegary notesSpicy, tangy, and umami with less sweetness and slightly vinegar notes.
Heat LevelIt tends to be less hot than Sambal Oelek since Sriracha usually contains sugar.Most store-bought options are typically a bit hotter than Sriracha, but the homemade recipes that contain a sweetener could have similar hotness.
ColorBright redBright red
Mode of usage in cookingFunctions as a condiment and an ingredientFunctions as a condiment and an ingredient
Usages in cooking– With meat, fish, and other seafood dishes
– Directly used as a dipping sauce
– To mix with other dips and sauces
– With eggs
– With pasta and spaghetti
– In rice and noodle dishes
– In marinades
– With cocktails and other juices (tomato juice)
– With soups and stews
– To be incorporated with vegetables
– In meat, fish, and other seafood dishes
– With stir-fries
– With eggs
– With rice, noodles, quinoa, and couscous dishes
– As a soup base
– In marinades
– In sauces and dipping sauces
– To be incorporated in sandwich fillings/spreads
– Used in cocktails and Margaritas
– To be incorporated with vegetables
OriginThailand (but at present, Sriracha is widely being produced in the USA)Indonesia
Category of foodHot SauceHot sauce/sambal/chili paste
Mode of productionCommercial and homemadeCommercial and homemade
Availability– Typically comes in bottles.
– Widely available in groceries, supermarkets, and online shopping sites.
– It generally comes in jars.
– Readily available in supermarkets, grocery stores, Asian food stores, and can be purchased from online sellers.
Storage– It can be stored in the fridge, but refrigeration of store-bought options is not compulsory after opening.
– Can be stored in a cool, dry place.
– It can stay well longer in the fridge, but refrigeration is not mandatory for those purchased from the store.
– Can be stored in a dry, cool place
Sambal Oelek Vs Sriracha Sauce – SpiceRally Drill Down

Did you know Sriracha is one of the closest substitutes for Sambal Oelek? To learn more about the best Sambal Oelek substitutes, click this link and refer to our article here. 

Wrapping Up Things With Sambal Oelek Vs Sriracha Sauce

Both of these hot and spicy guys are absolute stars in the savory world of food! As you see, Sambal Oelek can be slightly thicker in texture while Sriracha is way runnier. Moreover, the level of heat and flavor may also be slightly different since all Sriracha options contain sugar and most store-bought Sambal Oelek recipes do not contain any sweeteners.

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