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Chili Garlic Sauce Substitute

Chili Garlic Sauce is a thick, spicy, and common sauce used in Chinese cuisine. It is a highly flavorful sauce with a thick consistency. You can easily locate this sauce in any grocery store around your region. The sauce is used in several dishes, marinades, stir fry’s, dips, etc. In addition, it will add a spicy and salty garlicky taste to delicacies.

What is Chili Garlic Sauce?

Chili Garlic Sauce is a thick, rich, and flavorful paste that adds a spicy and salty taste to Asian cuisines. It is a common content added to several delicacies across the globe. The hot and tangy flavor of this sauce makes it a popular pick.

The sauce is prepared from chili peppers and is found in both sweet and spicy variants. It also has the essence of vinegar to add saltiness and balance the fiery taste. Chili Garlic Sauce is a Chinese-American-inspired recipe cooked in the US.

This sauce is generally prepared using pureed or chopped chili peppers, vinegar, salt, and sugar. All the ingredients are well cooked until they form a thick mixture. Other contents of these sauce includes are garlic, spices, corn syrup, and other seasonings. Some recipes also use pureed tomatoes to prepare this flavorful mixture.

You can instantly get a hot and spicy flavor by adding chili garlic sauce to your favorite dish. It has a rich and deep red color that also helps in improving the texture of your delicacy.

In which foods is Chili Garlic Sauce used?

You can add Chili Garlic Sauce to quite a few dishes to enhance their taste. The sauce will add color and also give you a tinge of spice and sweetness to add flavors. Anybody can easily make this sauce at home without a lot of trouble. It has a simple recipe that is easy to follow and prepare. The widely known ingredient is a must add to your favorite dishes for better taste. Try adding it to your stir fry’s, vegetables, and even rice rather than adding artificial colors and flavors.

Moreover, you can add this magic ingredient to your marinades, curries, and other cuisines to give them a Chinese touch. Besides, you can eat it as a dip for many siders and starters.

The following foods are popular delicacies made using the Chili Garlic Sauce. Do not forget to add this rich sauce while preparing these flavorful dishes.

Substitute List

When you do not have Chili Garlic Sauce in your kitchen, you can try a few substitutes instead. One of the most known substitutes for it is the Harissa sauce. It has a similar taste, smell, and rich flavor that easily gives you a comparable taste. You can also use red chili flakes, chili powder, and cayenne pepper as a close depth of flavor.

We have compiled a few substitutes you can try if you run out of Chili Garlic Sauce while cooking. These substitutes have a similar texture, color, and flavor making them reliable options.

Harissa Sauce

Harissa Sauce


The popular Harissa Sauce is one of the finest substitutes for the Chili Garlic Sauce. It is the best option to add a spicy yet sweet flavor to your dish. Harissa sauce also has a similar texture and color to the Chili Garlic Sauce. However, you may have to use it a little more if you want extra spice. If you want a more balanced flavor, add a little sugar to adjust the fiery taste of this sauce.

Apart from this, you can use the Harissa Sauce in plenty of delicacies. People also add it to their favorite marinades to improve the zest of their meals. You can also add it to stews, couscous dishes and serve it with bread for the best taste. Adding a spoon of Harissa sauce should be sufficient for your Chinese dish. It has a smoky, peppery, and strong garlicky taste with a pinch of sourness to balance all flavors well.




If you adore spicy foods, then Sriracha is a must-add ingredient for you. It is a great substitute for Chili Garlic Sauce because of its hot and spicy flavor. The sauce is popularly used in Thai, Vietnamese and Asian cuisines because of its authentic flavors.

None of the hot sauces you will find in the market are as good as Sriracha. Indeed, it is a top pick ingredient with garlic, spices, and a little sweetness. You can easily replace the Chili Garlic Sauce with this paste. However, add it in limited quantities as it has a strong, pungent vinegar taste.

Chili Paste

Chili Paste


Whenever you run out of Chili Garlic Sauce, you can also opt for Chili Paste. It may not have the garlicky flavor but will give you the spicy taste you need in your dish. The sauce is very spicy and a viable alternative for the Chili Garlic Sauce.

There are many variations of Chili Garlic Sauce you will find across the globe. Also, it has a variation of savors like salty, sweet, tangy, and fiery. People that like earthy flavors will surely adore Chili Paste. However, you may need to add garlic powder or crushed garlic to the sauce as it does not have a garlicky taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chili Garlic Sauce and Sriracha the same?

Sriracha is quite different from the regular Chili Garlic Sauce in your kitchen. Both the sauces may feature similar contents but are noticeably different in taste. Sriracha has a more intense tangy flavor, whereas Chili Garlic Sauce is more balanced because it contains sugar.

Which is spicier, Sriracha or Chili Garlic Sauce?

The sauces consist of chili peppers and garlic in their making, because of which they taste spicy. Both pastes have surprisingly high spice levels; however, Sriracha is slightly spicier than Chili Garlic Sauce. It has stronger flavors that can set a tongue on fire.

How does Chili Garlic Sauce taste?

Chili Garlic Sauce is fiery as well as tangy. It has a unique blend of spicy and salty flavors. Moreover, it also has a rich garlic flavor that quickly enhances a dish’s taste. Further, the sauce is thick and has a rich texture to be suitable for many recipes.

Can I refrigerate Chili Garlic Sauce?

You can store freshly made Chili Garlic Sauce outside the fridge for approximately a month. After this, to extend its life, you need to refrigerate it well. If you notice the Chili Garlic Sauce losing odor, flavor, or color, immediately discard it and discontinue use.

How can I use Chili Garlic Sauce?

There are plenty of ways to use Chili Garlic Sauce. It is a rich flavorful recipe that can be used as a dip, marinade, curry ingredient, and much more. The sauce instantly spices up and adds flavor to any recipe. Also, it is a popular component of Asian cuisine. So, add a spoon of Chili Garlic Sauce to any dish and enjoy the spicy flavor you like.


Harrisa is much more subtle and balanced than Chili paste. Moreover, it has a deep color with the necessary spice and saltiness to enhance the taste of your Asian cuisine. While using Harissa sauce as a substitute, ensure you use the correct measures. It is indeed a better substitute for the Chili Garlic Sauce. The rich flavors in Harissa will certainly give you the savor you crave.