Compare Sriracha:
Huy Fong and Ka-Me Sauces

We love Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. It’s great on all Oriental foods, as well as on our favorite hot chicken wings recipe. But in a recent conversation with our doctor, a hot sauce loving foodie himself, he told us he was unable to find the plastic squeeze bottle of Tuong Ot Sriracha pictured here.

This led us to this post – a comparison of *real* sriracha sauce with a lesser quality one.

In our opinion, the Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce (Tuong Ot Sriracha) produced by Huy Fong Foods is the *real* thing!

The Ka-Me brand is definitely inferior in taste, texture and ingredients, as well as heat-level (or lack thereof).

Tuong Ot Sriracha is made from sun ripened chiles, sugar, salt, garlic, and distilled vinegar.

Ka-Me is made from water, red chili, sugar, garlic, salt, and rice vinegar.

We think the sun ripened chiles help to make the Tuong Ot Sriracha much thicker and bolder, while the Ka-Me starts with water as the first ingredient, resulting in a much thinner sauce.

Here’s a shot of the 2 sauces side by side:

Huy Fong’s Tuong Ot is the thicker, richer sauce on the left. The Ka-Me is on the right.

While the Ka-Me is a “Product of Thailand”, we think the American made Huy Fong product is far superior. We’ve not yet bought any “authentic” sauce from a Thai grocer – typically with no preservatives – therefore needing refrigeration.

Pronunciation of Sriracha:

Wikipedia says, as best I can manage, “see ra’ cha” but I usually call it “sir ra’ chee” … good luck finding out how to really say it!

Author David Chute has written an excellent article about David Tran, the creator of Tuong Ot Sriracha and founder of the Huy Fong Foods family, originally published in Los Angeles magazine, April 2001: David Tran: The Emperor of Hot Sauce – a great history and behind the scenes look at Huy Fong and it’s flagship product!

More Sriracha sauce articles:

Flying Goose Sriracha Sauce Part 1

Flying Goose Sriracha Sauce Part 2

Hot Sriracha Garlic Chicken Wings recipe

About Brian Meagher

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  1. massoluk says:

    It’s pretty easy to find out how to say it. Ask a Thai person.
    SEE RAH CHAH, aka. the name of the town it came from.

  2. Thanks massoluk!

  3. I recently used Sriracha mixed with mayo for a dip. I like super super hot foods, foods so hot your eyesight gets blurry and your nose runs. Not that Sriracha is super super hot but this dip was, for my pals!
    I use it on chicken or pasta mainly.Add in some smoked paprika and it’s even more delicious.
    Too true about wannabe Srirachas.You cannot fake this stuff. I love how it states on the bottle “this is the natural color”. So good.

    mccormickys last blog post..Is it Spam or is it Legit?

  4. Terry Carr says:

    Guess I’m in the minority as most folks here and at other sites talk about Ka-me and its inferior taste. I actually think they make a greate sriacha and like the balance between sweet and spicy hot and it isn’t overpowered by too much heat. I use it a lot by dribbling it over popcorn.

  5. @Terry – I’m glad you like the Ka-me sauce, but have you tried the Huy fong brand?

  6. Terry Carr says:

    Yes Brian, I do have a bottle of the Huy Fong brand sriracha. Although Ka-me is much more prevalent in this area, one of the Independent Grocers carries the Huy Fong. I even agree with your points about heat level and quality appearance etc. Looking at the breakdown of ingredients Ka-me has more water and twice the sugar per serving so I can see where the sriacha “purists” prefer the Tuong Ot. I like it but I just don’t think the Ka-me is as bad as many claim it is and it’s actually very good when one wants something not quite as hot or overpowering. I know a few folks who can handle a lot of heat or capsaicin levels and you’re apparently one of them.
    These are actually the only two srirachas I’ve tried although I’ve tried several hot sauces including quality ones( at least price wise) IMO, the two sriachas are superior to all of the other sauces I’ve tried but I’m still experimenting with new ones.

  7. @Terry – Like you, those are the only 2 sriracha sauces I’ve tried. But now, I’m looking at a bottle of Shark Brand Sriracha Chili Sauce, imported from Thailand. Can’t wait to open it and try it! Of course, I’ll post all about it soon.

  8. @Brian – I think you’ll find that Shark brand is very much a tradtional style Sriacha chili sauce and is a milder more balanced flavor then the Huy Fong*an American brand and recipe* version. If you’ve ever had appetizers at Thai restaurants and they have a smooth slightly thick chili sauce*uniform in color with no visible flecks of anything* with it odds are it’s either shark or a similar brand imported from Thailand. My first exposure to a true Thai style sriracha came with an appetizer ordered at one of my familiy’s favorite Thai restaurants known simply as “the Thai Place” it was served with an appetizer known as “poor mans beef” which is a marinated cut of beef thats sliced relatively thin and then fried *not battered* until it gets just a bit crispy on the outside. Several years *and a couple moves including to the west coast* later my dad ordered some online and we throughly enjoyed it, we then had the luck to find it a couple of times in local stores *asian food markets and Wal-Mart of all places or so we think can’t exactly remember where we acquired one of our bottles 🙁 * It’s a sign of authentic Thai versus other if the Sriracha has preservatives or not. Authentic Thai made Sriracha *I belive there may be some made in Indoneaisa but don’t quote me on that* has no preservatives so be sure to refrigerate that Shark brand when not in use whereas American made like Huy Fong have preservatives which is why you see bottles of the stuff out on tables all day at some restaurants. I’m looking forward to your comments and review on the Shark brand.

  9. I like the brand with the rooster on it. It seems more authentic and I like the thickness. I’ve always considered it asian ketchup. I like to go to the international market and get a huge size bottle of it and put it on pretty much anything that doesn’t get Tapatio.

    Paunchinesss last blog post..Win an Apple® iPod® Shuffle

    • Sriracha lover says:

      The rooster is not authentic at all it is american sauce for hot sauce lovers. It is great for spice but for better flavor and more authentic sauce you gotta go with Shark Brand hands down best chili sauce ever. It is sweeter and more flavorful than Huy Fong/Rooster brand but still has a nice kick. You also have to refrigerate it like all real sriracha but that means no artificial ingredients or preservatives meaning better for you.

  10. @Paunchiness – Hi James,
    I still like the Huy Fong the best (the rooster), but I’ve found a close second in the Shark Brand I recently tried. I’ll be posting about it soon.
    Now, Tapatio… there’s a whole topic to talk about!

  11. Has anyone ever seen Flying Goose brand sriracha? The Wikipedia entry for sriracha has a nice photo ( showing six varieties of sauce. I’ve googled all around it and all I can figure out is that it must be more common in Europe. I would love to find a US source for this stuff to give them all a try!


  12. @Jeff – Wow, that looks like a quest has to happen. I’m going to try and find a supplier. Interesting variety of added flavors – galanga, sour, lemongrass, onion and ginger. Thanks for bringing this up!

  13. Wow. I was just looking up Sriracha (for the proper spelling!) and saw the same multi-flavored Flying Goose-brand picture, which brought me here. I’m now on a mission to find one of these flavored versions!! I’m heading for Chinatown (nyc) and I’ll report back if I find something. woo-hoo!

  14. @melissa – Puhleeze let me know if you find a source for the Flying Goose Sriracha in Chinatown. I have my doubts… from what I’ve seen, it’s only available in the U.K.
    Also, check out this awesome recipe for wings with garlic and sriracha sauce!

  15. i have an answer on the pronunciation. it is pronounced (see-rah-chah) In thai, it means color of the king. there is a town in chonburi province named Siricha where the sauce originated. say(sah-rachee) and no thai will understand you

  16. @wes – Thanks for clearing that up! I will practice saying “see-rah-chah” to get it right.

  17. Smittsburg says:

    Has ANYONE found the Flying Goose flavors??? I’ve searched Hawaii’s (Oahu) Chinatown, and found nothing. I was hoping SF or NYC would turn something up, but I’m not visiting either one of those for another year or two.

    • I’m on a serious quest to find a source for the Flying Goose products. Will keep you posted! .brian.

  18. Hi

    Just to let you know that all brands of Flying Goose Brand Sriracha are available at – UK based but I think they ship anywhere. I’ve not tried the Hoo Hung one with the rooster on the front but the Flying goose brand looks almost identical.

    I’m quite looking forward to trying the super hot one…

  19. Jeffro says:

    Scorchio does indeed have the Flying Goose sauces, but they will only ship orders to the US if the total weight does not exceed 1 kg, or about 2 bottles of sauce. I was ready to order 2 of each, plus some of their naga jolokia products.

    The search continues…

  20. @Karl @Jeffro – Their limit of 1kg = One bottle (.85kg).
    At almost $20 USD, it’s just not worth it.

  21. Has any body ever tried Marie Sharp’s Habanero Sauce..
    Originally made at Belinda Farms in Belize..
    That’s the hottest pepper there is..habaneros..

  22. i was thinking it was pronounced “see-rah-cha” or “ser-rah-chee” as well, but for some reason i think of sri lanka where the first part is pronounced “SHREE”. either way, it’s pronounced “damn good”
    .-= A post from john carter’s blog …SKY EATS AIRPLANE, my son’s birth to =-.

  23. oddly enough we can easily find the Huy Fong brand in our local Wal-Mart. And we live in a small town! I absolutely love this stuff.
    .-= A post from Robb’s blog …New interview online =-.

  24. Joseph Fitzpatrick says:

    Years ago (too many to count), I worked in Thailand and for a few months in Sriracha. I pronounce it Si ra cha (accent on cha) although everyone on the Food Network says siracha, (accent on ra).

    I still like the sauce but remember that there were many Sriracha sauces, some red, some green and maybe one yellow.

    What I also find interesting is that I’ve seen brands of the sauce with Chinese and Vietnamese labeling but no Thai.

    Long live the burn!

  25. I use an excellent Sriracha sauce that I get at Whole foods Market. It has the same texture as Tuong Ot, but it has no MSG or preservatives in it. Also, it tastes great! Made your wing sauce with it and it was excellent. Thanks for the recipe and being creative in the kitchen. Keep it up!

    The brand is: Lee Kum Kee

  26. Follow up to previous post:

    The brand is – Lee Kum Kee
    Sriracha Chili Sauce
    Tuong Ot Sriracha

    Available at Whole Foods Market, if they dont have it, they will order it for you. Give it a try, it’s much healthier and tastes great.

    • Hey Jay,
      Thanks for the heads up on the Lee Kum Kee brand at Whole Foods!
      Sriracha Lovers unite!

      Keep us posted on your Sriracha endeavors.

      • I just got the Lee Kum Kee brand and the taste is very different from the kind I’m used to from Hoy Hung foods…It’s good and has the same consistency, but the taste is very different. I’m disappointed as it does not satiate my craving.

  27. dmass says:

    this place sells the flying goose:

  28. Does the Huy Fong brand sriracha sauce contain MSG? Hard to tell since food manufacturers rename MSG under different names. Any input on this?

    • No MSG, Lori. It does have contain Sulphite (Sodium Bisulfite) if that’s an issue for anyone. Sodiu Bisulfite is used in almost all wines to prevent oxidation and to preserve flavor.
      Huy Fong Sriracha Ingredients: chili, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled vinegar, potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfite, and xanthan gum

  29. Joseph Fitzpatrick says:

    While I probably agree with the quality comparisons, you’ll get an argument about what’s “real”. Having worked in Thailand many years ago in Siracha as well as other places, I know that the real Siracha sauce comes from Siracha. The fact that they make more than one kind only further confuses things. What I find interesting is that on the bottles of the Siracha sauce I buy in the US, the labels are in a number of languages but not Thai. And, the proper pronunciation (if memory has not failed me after forty years) is Si ra’ cha, accent on middle syllable.

  30. I think that it is funny that one claims that Huy Fong is authentic. Far from it. My father grew up in that area of Thailand, and I can assure Huy Fong tastes nothing thing like real Sriracha. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get real Sriracha. There are two brands of note, Thai Panich and Shark brand. Aroy-D makes a version, but it is cloyingly sweet. Ka Me? Lee Kum Kee? Neither are Thai brands. The one to get is Shark brand in strong not medium. Most stores stock medium. There is an extra strong of which I sometimes buy. Fortunately, in the Bay Area you can buy it at Marina Food. 99 Ranch no longer carries it. Thai Panich changed their formulation or something but it does not taste like it did a decade ago. Do I like Huy Fong? It’s good in its own right, but it’s not Sriracha.

    • Hey Pete, thanks for the great information!

      I’ve learned a lot more about Sriracha sauce since I wrote this post back in 2008. And while I did say Huy Fong is the “real thing”, I never said it was authentic. And you are correct, it’s not. Entirely made in America, there’s no denying Huy Fong’s popularity.

      We’ve since posted many more time about Sriracha sauces. Here’s a link that sort of rounds them all up:

      I hope you’ll stop by again, I appreciate your knowledge!

      • All the brands mentioned are available now at Amazon. Some at exorbitant prices…but cheaper than flying half way around the world, LOL. Unfortunately, when I tried to order some of them, I couldn’t, because they don’t ship to Hawaii. Sigh.

  31. Adrian says:

    How about asking the inventor of Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Sauce?

    He’s thai lol. it is as authentic as it gets (even it’s better quality because of his principle “Make a rich man’s sauce at a poor man’s price.”)

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