6 Best Replacements for Chili Garlic Sauce


Chili garlic sauce is a very popular condiment used in a variety of recipes.

This sauce is unique since it has a very distinct fiery flavor that blends very well with the garlic present in it.

6 Best Replacements for Chili Garlic Sauce

The best substitute for Chili Garlic Sauce are – Sriracha, Sambal Oelek, DIY Chili Garlic Sauce, Ketchup, Chili Powder, Garlic Paste, Fresh Chili Peppers and Garlic, and Hot Sauce. They are discussed in detail here –


Sriracha is a bottled chili sauce made up of red chilies, vinegar, garlic, salt, and more ingredients. Sriracha is a good substitute for chili garlic sauce.

It can be added to any recipe to emulate chili garlic sauce. It originates from Thailand.

However, it is much spicier than chili garlic sauce; it is made of dried red jalapeno peppers and cautiously used.

It can replace chili garlic sauce easily since it contains almost all the similar ingredients.


This is a great alternative to use instead of chili sauce; it has other complex flavors since it has a high quantity of secondary ingredients. It is a lot hotter than chili garlic sauce and should be used carefully.

Sambal Oelek

Sambal Oelek is a chili paste that originates from Indonesia. It is made of ground red chilies, salt, lime juice, garlic, shrimp paste, scallions, shallots, and palm sugar blended into a smooth paste.

It goes very well in Asian recipes.

It can make a good replacement for chili garlic sauce since it involves a lot of the same ingredients.

You must check the ingredient list of bottled sambal oelek since it may add other flavors to your recipe- lime, sugar, scallions, and more.


Sambal oelek tastes very similar to chili garlic sauce given the similarity in the constituent ingredients. It also involves additional ingredients and should hence be used with caution.

DIY Chili Garlic Sauce

If you have the ingredients and the time, make your batch of chili garlic sauce! It is very simple and can be bottled and stored for future use.

This way, you can have a longer supply and save some biurden on your pockets too.

All you need are fresh red chili peppers; dried ones work too, though you’ll have to hydrate them; Garlic, salt, vinegar, and some sugar.

Make a fine grit-free paste, sieve the paste, and cook on a stove to thicken to the desired consistency. You can add water to thin it down too.


This is a great cost-effective alternative to using chili garlic sauce. It is greatly customizable and can be made with ease. You will need some time and the correct ingredients for the best results.

Ketchup, Chili Powder, Garlic Paste

This is a fantastic, quickly available alternative to us in case chili garlic sauce isn’t available. It makes for a good dip and as a replacement for the spicy sauce.

You can use any red pepper powder, cayenne, paprika, or red chili flakes too.

Mix all the ingredients; you may flavor the mix according to your taste by increasing and decreasing the quantity of garlic and chili in the ketchup.

Ketchup does contain salt, sugar, and vinegar, and you must keep in mind that it may add a distinct tomato flavor to your recipe.


This alternative is an easy, quick fix to a lack of chili garlic sauce. It can be customized greatly to fit your recipe’s requirements. It needs some basic ingredients and may add a sweet and sour flavor to your recipes.

Fresh Chili Peppers and Garlic

This is a very simple alternative to be used, especially in recipes involving high-heat cooking, everything from Asian stir-fries to broth, soups, and stews. It can add a very fresh chili and garlic flavor.

For the most accurate result, you’ll have to finely chop both ingredients and then replace them with the sauce in a 1:1 proportion.

You may have to add some vinegar to emulate the sourness in bottled chili garlic sauce.

This substitute is best used in cooked recipes, dressings, and topping in some cases. This alternative is also easy to make, affordable, and easily available.


This alternative is an easy-to-access and easy to make a substitute for chili garlic sauce. It is affordable and can emulate the flavor of chili and garlic and get closest to the original flavor of the seasoning ingredient.

Hot Sauce

When you’re in an absolute pinch and need a spicy hit in your recipes, hot sauce can do the trick. While it will be missing the distinct taste of garlic, it works just fine to add heat.

You can compensate for the missing garlic by adding fresh minced garlic or garlic paste.

Hot sauce is often very hot and has other ingredients in it as well. This means it will add sourness to your recipes. Use with caution.

You can add hot sauce to dressings, as a topping, in marinades, into dips, and more.


Hot sauce is an easy access method to add heat to your recipes. It will not add any garlic flavor, and you may need to compensate by adding fresh garlic to your recipes. It is versatile and works in several recipes.


What is chili garlic sauce made up of?

Chili garlic sauce is made of chilis, garlic, salt, vinegar, and sugar blended and processed. Bottled varieties often contain several other ingredients, like preservatives, colors, stabilizers, and additional additives.

Can I use ketchup in recipes instead of chili garlic sauce?

Ketchup may work fine in your recipes. However, it lacks both the heat of the chili and the flavor of garlic. It is sweet, salty, and sour and makes for a good dip or spread. But it cannot replace the indistinguishable flavor of chili garlic sauce.

Is chili paste the same as chili garlic sauce?

No. Chili garlic sauce is processed with other ingredients like vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic. Chili paste is made of fresh chilies and is usually not processed. Chili pastes do come in several varieties, though, some like Gochujang, which is fermented.

Bottom Line

Chili garlic sauce is a crucial part of several cuisines and is known for its unparalleled heat and strong garlic flavor.

The sauce, however, is not the only ingredient that can do the trick in several recipes.

Bottled chili garlic sauce has several better substitutes, from do-it-yourself preservative and stabilizer-free versions to more natural bottled ingredients like sambal oelek and more.

Hopefully, you can find an alternative here to replicate the flavor of chili garlic sauce in your recipes.


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About Pooja Jain

Pooja is a foodie who likes experimenting with different cuisines every day. Cooking for Pooja is not just about following recipes, but also adding something of herself into it making each dish unique as well as delicious!

2 thoughts on “6 Best Replacements for Chili Garlic Sauce”

  1. I only require 2 tablespoons of the chili-garlic sauce, To make my own with the Ketchup, chili powder and garlic paste, do I use 1 (one) tablespoon of each ingredient, or would you recommend some other quantities?

    • Hi Valentine, the proportion completely depends upon your preference here. While equal proportion sounds like a great starting point, if you do not want it to be too spicy, I will take a slightly lower quantity of chili powder. Do share how it worked out for you!


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