Like many condiments, hot sauce brands have drawn cult followings, with diehard fans prepared to fight for what they feel to be the best recipe. Popular from Mexican, Central and South American, and Caribbean cuisine, there are many distinct kinds of hot sauce, also referred to as chili sauce or pepper sauce, but they contain chili peppers. The wide variety of pepper used affects the spice level of the sauce, with ghost pepper and habanero on the milder side.
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The list of approaches to utilize hot sauce is seemingly endless: Put it on everything from eggs to tacos, or add it to soups, marinades, stir-fry dishes, and sauces (like the favorite Buffalo wing sauce). Whether you want to buy bottles in bulk or try your hand at creating your personal with the support of a handy kit, here are the finest hot sauces on the market.
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If you’re having a little cooking fatigue from weeks of quarantine, perhaps a new hot sauce will spice up things a bit (pun certainly intended). To aid you, we scoured Amazon to your best-rated hot peppers cosigned by the very enthusiastic reviewers we could find. Whether you’re looking for something a bit sweet, something that’ll heat things up with a single fall, or something exceptionally gourmet, we piled up all sorts of options for you to choose from. And if you are still craving something more to zhuzh your food, we’ve got Dimes’ Alissa Wagner’s favorite spices, a highly recommended soy sauce, and a writer’s favorite chili oil to check out, also.
The world of hot sauce is amazing, vast, and competitive. Spicy sauce contests for the tastiest (and spiciest) recipes bring out sauce manufacturers from across the nation, from barbecue fans to bakery owners. The exceptionally popular Hot Ones talk show has only expanded the industry, without doubt there are amazing sauces out there not yet been found also.
We are not here to knock the classics. Tabasco, Sriracha, and Tapatio are all staples for a reason, and we will defend them every day. But there is always joy in exploration, and there are dozens and dozens of great brands to spread (or dab) the love around. Outside the typical top ten hot sauces in the nation, there are dozens and dozens of contenders of diverse popularity and fame. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up 25 of them from all resources and spice amounts.
Chile peppers and peppercorns form a significant foundation in several Asian cuisines–so it’s no surprise you’ll discover an abundance of hot sauces throughout the entire world. Korea is one of the states known for spicy condiments, especially gochujang, a fermented chili paste made with dried red pepper flakes, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, as well as salt. It is not meant to finish dishes; it is a flavorful adhesive for cooking, but there are true hot sauces which feature this crave-inducing taste, like Mother In Law’s Sesame Gochujang sauce (produced in the U.S.).
Fly by Jing chili crisp is made with Sichuan peppercorns
While thick chili oils are a little category of their own, they’re hands down the hot beers of this minute, despite having been around for many decades. In China, the moderate heat Lao Gan Ma hot chili crisp (crisp because the Guizhou chiles are fried before being mixed with oil) stays on many a kitchen table, where the tasty sauce is heaped into soups and on pan-fried noodles. Jenny Gao’s Fly by Jing is a contemporary spin on the condiment, made with 100 percent organic ingredients in Chengdu, using additional Sichuan peppercorns that will make your tongue tingle; Momofuku’s Chili Crunch, made in the States using a recipe directly from their New York City kitchen, has additional Mexican tastes including chile de árbol, along with extra umami from added seaweed.
China is not the only country with chili oil however. At Japan, where dishes go lighter on the spice than in neighboring countries, a milder chili oil known as rayu, such as that one from S&B, is heavier on flavors of chili oil, garlic, and soy sauce. A Vietnamese version of this condiment from Me’s Way is nearer to the Chinese version, though it gets additional umami from the inclusion of anchovy, in a three-generation-old recipe that is representative of the chili oil served during Huế, Vietnam.
Southeast Asia is perhaps best known for bringing sriracha to the planet, however–and not only those reddish Huy Fong bottles using the green shirt. Even the semisweet garlic-forward hot sauce, first made from the town of Sri Racha, Thailand, isn’t available in a number of different renditions, like Shark Sriracha. That stated, Huy Fong’s take on Sambal Oelek, a thick combination of crushed red chiles, salt, and vinegar, is now a favorite mass-produced version of the traditional Malaysian and Indonesian condiment, that includes mid-level heat (other bottled versions receive a bit of umami from shrimp paste). Filipino cuisine is not just known for an emphasis on spiciness, but a new creation of hot sauce manufacturers are seeking to change this: Manila-made Caramba! Hot sauce uses locally developed chiles combined with endemic ingredients like mango, whereas U.S.-based brands such as Djablo and Sarap Shop are creating sauces developed to highlight and enhance traditional Filipino flavors.
It would be impossible to talk about Indian food with no spice, where fiery heat is indeed often incorporated into dishes via chili powder, or delivered via thick chutneys. Nevertheless, more pourable hot peppers exist: Bottles of Swad hot sauce are perfect for shaking onto snacks like samosas.
Australia is getting into the hot sauce game–as Australia GQ admits it, chiefly due to the prevalence of the show Hot Ones. However, the country is home to the native Tasmanian Diemen pepper berry, which is blended into sauces Produced by Diemen’s, for a Ingredient berry taste piled out by salt and vinegar (email the company to get a quote on international shipping