Aged Sriracha Hot Sauce Recipe


Did you know that the Huy Fong company that makes the beloved “rooster sauce” sells 20 million bottles of its sriracha sauce a year without spending a single dime on advertising? I find the story about David Tran’s success so amazing and can’t even think of another company that can thrive like this without a PR or marketing strategy.

While I’ve made many versions of sriracha and hot sauces before, this recipe is the closest homemade version I’ve ever tasted. The secret is a simple fermentation that I learned from Karen Solomon’s brand new book, Asian Pickles.

 The book is a tribute to “sweet, sour, salty, cured and fermented preserves from Japan, Korea, China, India.” Here’s a sampling of recipes:

pickled ginger, preserved seaweed, pickled asian pear with lemon, miso pickles

kimchi, radish kimchi, squid kimchi, water kimchi, gochujang

radish in chile oil, pickled shallots, Tianjin perserved vegetable, five-spice pickled carrots, XO sauce, chile-black bean oil

South Indian coconut & cilantro chutney, peach, coconut and ginger chutney, sweet mango pickle, pickled chickpeas

SE Asia
daikon & carrot pickle, pickled chiles with lime, thai pickled cabbage, banana ketchup, Malaysian pickled vegetables

Well, there are many more, but this gives you an idea of what type of concoctions to expect. I highly recommend this book, almost all of the recipes are simple and Karen’s directions are crystal clear. If you’re a lover of the sour and spicy condiments, you’ll find Asian Pickles right up your alley.

I followed the “Fermented Cock Sauce” recipe with great success. I had never fermented hot sauce before, but really, it was as easy as opening a dark cupboard and leaving it there for a week undisturbed. In fact, I had almost forgotten about all about it!


My version is much thicker, chunkier than the Huy Fong Sriracha sauce, but that was on purpose. One of the last steps in the recipe is to strain the vinegar (similar to Tabasco) from the chunkier sauce. If I wasn’t so forceful in my straining (you’ll see in the video), the consistency of my sriracha sauce would be smoother, less chunky. I would also run the sauce through a blender one more time at the end.

The resulting flavor is brighter, fresher and more “fruity” than the bottled version. I’m not sure if fermenting longer would provide a more deeper earthy flavor that I love about the bottled version.


What type of peppers to use? Any that you would like! I use red jalapeño peppers, which is what Huy Fong uses.

Yes, there are red jalepeño peppers! But they are difficult to find. Karen Solomon recommends looking for Red Fresno peppers, which have a similar taste and heat index as red jalapeño.

I found red jalapeños at Super Target as well as Publix. You can also ask the the produce manager to stock them in for you.

The only rule is red peppers = red sauce. Since I like my hot chile sauce…..not so hot….I added baby red bell peppers, which gave the sauce a sweeter, more mellow taste.

The recipe from Asian Pickles will give you a 2-for-1: you’ll get the sriracha-like sauce on the left and a thinner, vinegary hot sauce that’s similar to Tabasco to the right.


Sriracha Making Notes

-In the video, I only made half of the recipe (to yield 1 cup).

-Vary the spiciness with the type of chilies you use. Use red chilies to keep the sauce red.

-For a thinner sauce, similar to Huy Fong Sriracha sauce, only strain lightly (in the video, you’ll see me using a spoon to press down on the hot sauce to extract as much liquid as possible….I ended up with a chunkier sauce!)

-If you find the sauce still too chunky, run it through a blender before bottling

-Both sauces will keep for months (yay for fermentation!) in the refrigerator

How to make Sriracha Sauce video


Aged Sriracha Hot Sauce Recipe

Servings: 2 cups Prep Time: Cook Time: 15 minutes

Recipe from: Asian Pickles by Karen Solomon.


2 pounds Fresno chiles (or other red chilies)
9 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 tsp regular table salt)
6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar


Wash the chiles and chop off their stems. If you like your sauce less hot, remove the seeds and membranes and discard. 

Work the next step in 2 batches so you don't overload the food processor. Add the chiles,  garlic, salt, and vinegar to the food processor. Process for 2 minutes until very liquid. The mixture should have consistency of a smoothie and appear a bit foamy on top.

Scrape the sauce into a very clean 1-quart (or larger) glass jar. Don't use plastic. Cover the top of jar with paper towel and secure with rubber band. This prevents bugs from entering and allows sauce to breathe. 

Place jar in cool, dark place for 2-4 days. The liquid will settle at bottom, and the thicker sauce will rise to top. The top should be bubbly - which is a sign of fermentation. Taste, and let sit for a few more days if desired. I prefer 7 days of fermentation.

If mold grows, remove the mold with a small spoon - and then proceed to the next step (basically, don't eat the mold directly, but the sauce should be okay).

Pour the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve. Now you'll have the thinner "Tabasco" like vinegary hot sauce and the thicker hot chile sauce. To each, add 3 tablespoons of vinegar and stir well.

You may like to run the thicker sauce through the blender for a finer, thinner consistency. 

Store each tightly sealed in refrigerator. The thicker hot sriracha sauce will keep for up to 4 months. The thinner vinegar hot sauce will keep indefinitely. 

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Comments 38

  1. Lisa

    I’ve made this before…here in KS, when we can find them, red jalapeños or fresno chiles cost about $14 per pound! But if I want it I have to make it, as I’m allergic to allium (onions & garlic, etc).

    1. David Lopez-Kopp

      I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for a while. Found fresno chiles for only $1.99 a pound in Seattle. Excited!

  2. caryl hodgdon

    I don’t know why I’d bother when I can buy it—but I love to bother! It’s why I love your site. Thanks keep up the greatness.

  3. Wendy W

    In your version, how much bell pepper did you add to your sauce? I love “cock” sauce but I can only use a tiny bit due to it’s heat. It would be great to make a milder version.

  4. Pingback: Loving it!

  5. Ms. Tweetley

    When printing the recipe using your print command, the right hand edge is cut off. Any fix? Thanks.

  6. Shashi @ RunninSrilankan

    Yum – nothing better than homemade sriracha! Thanks so much for this recipe!!

  7. Shashi @ RunninSrilankan

    Yum – nothing better than homemade sriracha! Thanks so much for this recipe!!!

  8. Tonya

    In my excited to make this, I accidentally added the vinegar pre-fermentation . . . any suggestions on what I should do? Also, is it possible to can or freeze batches to help them last longer?

    1. SteamyKitchen

      Hi Tonya, the vinegar added pre fermentation will slow down the fermentation. Hmmm, I’m not sure what to advise you. The great thing is that the fermentation is not necessary. You can use the sauce as-is! You’ll be missing some depth of flavor, but it’s not a wasted batch 🙂
      yes you can freeze however, they might change color. You are better off canning the sriracha instead.

      1. Tonya

        Thank you!! I ended up making two batches, one pre-vinegared, one without. I let both “ferment” for 4 days and just processed both batches (one with vinegar, one no vinegar). You could definitely see the difference between the two fermentation wise. Both taste great, but definitely different. I can really tell the difference, your recipe’s fermentation adds more robust flavor.

  9. Ann Murphy

    The fermentation process of the peppers/garlic/salt makes my cabinet smell heavenly! Today’s about the 4th/5th day (hummm… honestly can’t remember), but, I’ve tasted it and LOVE it like it is! Tastes kinda ‘kimchi-y’, and figure the vinegar might change the taste too much… Guess it would be ok to leave out the vinegar, using it as a thick condiment? Thanks so much!

  10. Ann Murphy

    No need in posting this, but wanted to bring it to your attention~

    Also, I noticed where another commenter accidentally added the vinegar pre-fermentation, and it was mentioned that it could possibly slow down the fermentation…
    Listening to the introduction in the video, you say, “The blend of chili, garlic and vinegar will hang out in a cool, dark spot for about a week.”
    Just thought you might wanna change the word ‘vinegar’ to ‘salt’. ;0)

    1. Post
  11. Jerry F

    At the introduction, prep time is blank, cook time 15 mins, Typo?
    Only reason I ask is this the only recipe that a person does’t cook.

  12. Enlightenment

    I love the ‘rawness’ of your recipe. Most recipes include boiling the chilli mash in vinegar after the fermentation stage. I assume that boiling will change the favour but preserve the product longer. However many fermented products don’t require boiling since they are ‘cooked’ by the fermentation process. Any thoughts on this?

    1. Post

      Hi there! Yes, fermentation “cooks” the product, so there is no need to cook on stovetop. I’ve cooked many hot sauces before, it mellows out the flavor. But sometimes I like the sauce uncooked- it’s brighter, fruitier.

  13. Adri Reeman

    Hi there,

    I’ve done this recipe before and I loved it! I’ve started a new batch while visiting my mom from peppers grown in her garden. It’s been fermenting for about 5 days and I tasted today and WOW! It’s way too hot. What can I do to make it less fiery?

    1. Post

      Hi Adri – use less spicy chilies next time. For this batch, get some red bell pepper. Process in food processor and add that to your batch. Also make sure you add a little more of the other ingredients – salt, garlic and vinegar as well.

  14. steven dornin

    I just found your recipe,love the not ‘cooking’ …but I added the same amount of light brown sugar , interested to know what the difference will be..headed to the market now to get more chilies to follow yours exactly! I’m living in the philippines so I’m using the long thai red peppers with red bells,,see how that turns out!

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  15. Mel

    I didn’t have any separation or bubbles after a week, or two but now third week I have separation and some bubbles between the liquid and solid layers. No mold. Should it be okay to eat after being left so long?

  16. Andrea

    I’m in India and can’t get fresh red chillis, but have plenty of dried red Kashmiri chillis – would love to make this shriracha sauce – how could I do it with the dried chillis?

    1. Post
  17. Scott Graham

    I see this article has been around for a while.
    I am trying to figure out the purpose of fermenting the peppers. Tobassco says they ferment for 3 years in oak barrels. With wine the fermentation continues till the alcohol reaches a level that kills the bacteria. Is this the same with peppers? I see from the replies it is stated that fermenting cooks the peppers and you say it keeps the flavor brighter.

    Also where can people get red peppers (jalapeno and Fresno). Most of the peppers at the grocery store are green. I have tried buying the green ones and waiting for them to turn red, but many go bad before changing color.

    1. Post

      Scott – fermenting the peppers gives it a more complex flavor – bright, tangy, without being too sour. I don’t think the fermentation kills all the bacteria – but it will help the hot sauce last longer. Surprisingly, I found red jalepeno peppers at Super Target! You can also request your supermarket to stock or special order. Go to an Asian or International market for red peppers.

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