Sriracha is one of the world’s most favorite hot chili sauces, and for good reason. It is commonly used as a dipping sauce for fries, noodles, spring rolls, and an addition to a variety of Asian dishes, including ramen, pho, or chicken noodle soup.
If you’re new to the world of veganism, you’re likely on the hunt for foods and condiments that you can and cannot eat.
Given how popular sriracha is, and how prevalent it is in Asian cuisine, you’re probably wondering “is sriracha vegan?”.
Whether you’re new to veganism or if you just want to check that you haven’t broken your dietary rules, here is everything you need to know about whether sriracha is vegan or not.
So, Is Sriracha Vegan?
Let’s set the record straight – yes, the majority of sriracha brands are vegan! Sriracha is typically made of sun-ripened chili peppers, garlic, sugar, distilled vinegar, and salt. This means that there are no animal by-products in sriracha, making it 100% suitable for vegans to eat.
Here are the main ingredients in sriracha and whether they are vegan or not:
- Chilies – Vegan
- Salt – Vegan
- Garlic – Vegan
- Distilled vinegar – Vegan
- Sugar – Vegan (depending on the brand)
- Xanthan gum – Vegan (made from fermented bacteria)
- Potassium sorbate – Vegan (made synthetically)
- Sodium bisulfite – Vegan (made synthetically derived from baking soda)
Of course, it also depends on what you pair the sriracha with. It’s not exactly vegan-friendly if you have sriracha in chicken noodle soup! However, it all comes down to which sriracha brands are vegan.
While the vast majority of sriracha brands don’t use any animal by-products in their product, it’s still important to properly read the label to confirm that the condiment is vegan.
Here are the most popular vegan sriracha brands:
- Organicville Sriracha
- Flying Goose Sriracha
- Natural Value Organic Sriracha
- Kitchen Garden Farm Sriracha
- Yellowbird Organic Sriracha
Non-Vegan Sriracha Brand To Look Out For
There is one key sriracha brand to look out for that technically doesn’t make vegan sriracha. All sriracha products contain sugar, but where the sugar actually comes from will determine how vegan the final product actually is.
Huy Fong arguably produces one of the most popular srirachas in the world, but the sugar that they use isn’t technically vegan.
The sugar is processed through grinding bone char from animals, which is a process used to neutralize the color through carbon.
The sugar is filtered through the charcoal found in the bone char, reducing it of its impurities. Considering this process means that one of the key ingredients is contaminated by an animal by-product, it’s clear that a lot of vegans feel uncomfortable with this brand of sriracha.
While Huy Fong have stated that their sriracha products are not vegan as a result of this, it’s still an easy mistake to make when buying a bottle of sriracha at the store. This is why it’s so important to read the labels at the back of each product to confirm whether it is vegan-certified.
However, others might have a slightly more relaxed vegan diet. It all comes down to personal preference and ethics, because some might not feel uncomfortable consuming small amounts of sriracha that technically aren’t vegan. It’s all about the contamination of animal by-products, rather than including the animal by-products themselves.
How Is Sriracha Made?
The key to understanding whether a product is vegan or not is to look at how the food item was made. Every brand has their own method of making and manufacturing sriracha, but the general manufacturing process looks something like this.
Sriracha starts with the base ingredients of chili peppers and distilled vinegar, specifically red jalapeño peppers. The peppers are ground up and combined with the distilled vinegar, which helps to break down the peppers and works as a preservative for the final sauce.
Salt is then added to this mixture to help preserve the chilies. After that, the sriracha is then flavored with sugar and garlic to provide more depth and complexity to the spicy flavor.
Brands typically add a similar amount of sugar as with ketchup to get rid of the bitterness of the vinegar. The mixture is then thickened with thickening agents, such as xanthan gum.
Not only does the recipe for sriracha vary depending on the brand, but the official recipe is generally a close-kept secret. This is just the general manufacturing process of a typical bottle of sriracha.
Is Sriracha Mayo Vegan?
Unfortunately, sriracha mayo is not vegan. Sriracha mayo is literally just a mixture of sriracha and regular mayonnaise, which might be dairy-free, but contains eggs as the main ingredient.
If you are vegan and want to enjoy the mild spiciness of sriracha mayo, you can make your own by simply adding sriracha to your chosen vegan mayonnaise.
You can add as much sriracha as you like to make it spicy to your taste. Other additions to homemade sriracha mayonnaise include lemon juice, garlic, and maple syrup, which help to sweeten the overall mixture and create a new condiment to enjoy.
So, there you have it! If you are starting out as a vegan, you’ll be happy to know that you can still consume sriracha as part of your new diet.
Just make sure you confirm that the brand is 100% vegan and avoid Huy Fong, which doesn’t produce vegan sriracha.
Frequently Asked Questions
While sriracha is vegan, it might not be considered raw vegan. The raw vegan diet is defined by someone who doesn’t eat any food that has been processed, cooked, or heated.
Considering the manufacturing process of sriracha involves a lot of heating and adding thickening agents made from synthetic ingredients, it cannot be considered raw vegan.
The same applies to making your own homemade sriracha, which includes heating up the ingredients to make the sauce.
There might be ways for raw vegans to make their own version of sriracha that doesn’t involve providing heat, but they will not be able to buy a bottle of sriracha at a grocery store.