You can put hot sauce on just about anything: burgers, salads, seafood dishes, sandwiches, and Bloody Marys included. But if you’re a spice-obsessed Sriracha die-hard, you shouldn’t stop there. An entire world of hot sauces exists beyond the much-loved red bottle with a green top. From Indonesia to Morocco to Colombia and back again, almost every culture has its own version of a spicy pepper-based sauce that’s versatility reaches wider than the region’s traditional fare.
We have six hot sauce recipes from around the world that you’ll have to taste for yourself–either straight from your kitchen or after you add it to the grocery list. You focus on just how much spice you’re ready to handle. We’ve made sure you’re able to get your hands on your new favorite sauce.
Harissa is a North African chili paste commonly used in Moroccan cooking. Olive oil, garlic, and sun dried tomatoes make this an especially Mediterranean-influenced sauce. Harissa is thicker than your average Sriracha, so spread it on crusty bread for a Moroccan take on bruschetta, add it to a grilled cheese sandwich, or use it to top off a burger.
If you want to buy it: Mina Harissa Red Pepper Sauce
If you want to make it: Homemade Harissa from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Powdered red chili, rice, and soybeans make this fermented chili paste especially savory. Serving as both a marinade for Korean BBQ and key component to traditional Korean stews, gochujang also commonly accompanies bibimbap. With a touch of sweetness and a milder spice when compared to other hot sauces around the globe, it adds an extra kick without overwhelming a dish.
If you want to buy it: Sunchang Gochujang
If you want to make it: Homemade kochujang from Kimchi Mom
Made from yellow or green peppers, Aji doesn’t match the average hot sauce’s “red hot” hue. But never underestimate the combination of peppers, handfuls of cilantro, and squeezes of lime when complimenting a traditional dish of arepas. This Colombian sauce’s salsa-like consistency makes a tasty addition to soups, stews, rice, and tortilla-based meals.
If you want to buy it: Goya Pasta de Aji Armarillo
If you want to make it: Colombian Aji Picante from Skinny Taste
Piri Piri sauce
Piri Piri sauce is considered a Portuguese condiment, but it originated in Africa. Piri Piri translates to “spicy” in Swahili, and for good reason. With a peri peri pepper base (also known as African bird’s eye chili), the sauce also includes onions, oregano, tarragon, and citrus flavors from lemon juice and orange peels. With a mix of sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors, this hot sauce doubles as a marinade for pork, poultry, and seafood.
If you want to buy it: Nando’s Peri Peri Sauce
If you want to make it: Piri-Piri Sauce from Immaculate Bites
Also known as Indian “pickle,” this versatile South Asian hot sauce consists of any one of a variety of pickled fruits or vegetables. With mango and lime or carrots, radishes, pumpkin, and tomato combinations, spiciness isn’t a requirement. But add red chilies, mustard seeds, and a hint of turmeric, and this oil-based spicy vegetable preserves offers spicy, sweet, and sour flavors. Achaar is an everyday condiment for traditional Indian dishes and rice-based meals, but it can also be spread on top of sandwiches or stirred into Greek yogurt for a chip dip.
If you want to buy it: Tomato Achaar from Brooklyn Delhi
If you want to make it: Indian Apple Pickle from Veggie Belly
If you’re a seafoodie, you’ll want to try this tropical take on hot sauce. Indonesian sambal includes a diverse cast of ingredients: red and green chilis, shaved coconut sugar, shrimp paste, ginger, and lime included. Leave it cold and drizzle on shrimp, or heat it up for a hot-and-spicy fried rice dish.
If you want to buy it: Hoy Fong Sambal Oelek Chili Paste
If you want to make it: Sambal Oelek from Cooking Tackle
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