We all know Trader Joe’s, right? That super popular grocery store chain that’s got a whole smorgasbord of condiments? Well, guess what’s part of the brand line up now?
They’ve jumped into the sauce game too, with their very own Trader Joe’s Sriracha, as it’s called!
Now, the question is: Can it stand up to the classic Huy Fong Sriracha or even give the Flying Goose Brand a run for its money?
In this piece, we’re gonna take a deep dive into Trader Joe’s Sriracha sauce, put it head to head with those popular Sriracha bigwigs, and let you know if we reckon it’s worth adding to your shopping cart.
What Is Trader Joe’s Sriracha And Where Is It Made?
Trader Joe’s Sriracha is a spicy little number the company has on their shelves.
This specific sriracha is made from red jalapeno and Anaheim peppers which gives it a kick and a bright red color that you can’t miss!
It’s also thick and perfect for drizzling over, well, just about anything!
Interesting fact, it’s actually made in Thailand.
I know, right? You might think it would be made locally, but nope.
Trader Joe’s works a bit differently, actually!
They don’t have their own factories where they cook up their branded items.
Instead, they get their stuff from well-known brands (and sometimes little brands too) across the world, pop a Trader Joe’s label on them, and sell them on their shelves, often at a lower price.
What Are The Ingredients In Trader Joe’s Sriracha Sauce?
Below is a breakdown of the ingredients in Trader Joe’s Sriracha and the role they play in the sauce.
- Ground Red Chili Peppers (Red Jalapeno Peppers, Red Anaheim Peppers): plus Salt and Citric Acid): These peppers give the sauce its characteristic spicy kick as well as bright red color. They’re mixed with salt to enhance their flavor, while the citric acid preserves the peppers for use in batches and adds a touch of tanginess.
- Water: It’s used to dilute the sauce to the right consistency.
- Sugar: Sugar is added to balance the heat of the chili peppers with some sweetness, making the sauce more palatable.
- Crushed Garlic (Garlic, Citric Acid): Garlic adds a savory depth of flavor to the sauce. The citric acid here also acts as a preservative.
- Salt: It’s a fundamental seasoning that heightens and balances all the other flavors.
- Garlic Powder (2% or less of ): This porportion ensures a robust garlic flavor throughout the sauce, even when the chunks of crushed garlic aren’t present.
- Cultured Dextrose (for freshness): It’s a natural preservative (Instead of chemical) that helps to keep the sauce fresh for a longer time.
- Distilled Vinegar: Vinegar provides acidity to the sauce, balancing the heat, sweetness and savory aspects. It also acts as a preservative.
- Salt Enhancer (Vegetable Extract [Potato], Maltodextrin [Processing Aid], Natural Flavor): This complex ingredient helps to boost the saltiness without adding more salt. The vegetable extract likely provides some umami flavor, while maltodextrin assists in processing and texture.
- Citric Acid: It’s primarily used as a preservative and can also add a bit of tangy flavor which enhances the overall profile of the sauce.
- Xanthan Gum: This is a thickening agent that gives the sauce its nice, saucy consistency.
What Does Trader Joe’s Sriracha Taste Like Compared To Original Sriracha?
Put it simply, Trader Joe’s Sriracha is like that cousin who shows up at the family reunion and everybody can see the resemblance, but they know it’s not quite the same.
Trader Joe’s Sriracha is a touch more watery than Huy Fong’s.
Picture it like a soup versus a stew, you know?
It’s also got a bit of an extra garlic kick.
There’s also less of that tangy vinegar taste compared to the Huy Fong brand.
When it comes to heat, if you’re someone who enjoys a spicy salsa but not a five-alarm chili, you might appreciate Trader Joe’s Sriracha. On the spice-o-meter, I’d probably give it a 4 out of 10 – it’s got a little tingle, but it won’t have you reaching for the milk.
In the grand scheme of things, Trader Joe’s Sriracha is a pretty okay alternative to Huy Fong’s original, especially if you’re a fan of Trader Joe’s already.
How Hot Is Trader Joe’s Sriracha?
Well, if I were to take a wild guess, I’d probably peg it around the 1,000 to 2,500 Scoville unit range.
What’s that mean? It’s kinda like comparing a friendly summer day to a scorcher – not too hot, but with a bit of a kick.
But listen, the actual Scoville rating isn’t up on Trader Joe’s website, so we’re just spitballin’ here based on my personal experience with the hot sauce.
The key thing here is the ingredients in Trader Joe’s Sriracha kind of tone down the heat, so it’s a bit milder compared to Huy Fong Sriracha.
But here’s the deal – spiciness is as personal as your favorite pizza toppings.
What I find just a tad zingy, you might think is blazing hot or vice versa.
So, your mileage might vary!
What Is Trader Joe’s Sriracha Sauce Good For?
You ready? ’cause I’m about to show you five awesome ways to use Trader Joe’s Sriracha Sauce:
- Jazz up your brekkie by adding a drizzle of this zingy sauce to your scrambled eggs, omelets, or breakfast burritos. It’ll give ’em a good wake-up call.
- Picture this: Your chicken, pork, beef, or tofu, marinated or glazed with this sauce, coming out of the oven all tender and juicy, with a spicy crust that has you salivating. Sounds good, huh? Of course yes!
- Fancy a dip with a kick? Mix Trader Joe’s Sriracha with some cream cheese, sour cream, or yogurt which gives a perfect sauce for dunking your chips, crackers, or veggies.
- Soup, stir-fry, noodles, or rice feeling a bit meh? Toss in some of this sauce and take your dishes from “meh” to “mmmm”. It’s like a magic potion for comfort food
- And finally, let’s not forget about sandwiches, burgers and pizzas. Spread a little (or a lot) of this sauce on and bam! You’ve just added an extra layer of flavor that every single one will love.
Trader Joe’s Sriracha Nutrition
Here is a table showing the nutrition of Sky Valley sriracha and the value provided:
|Nutrient||Value||% of Daily Recommended Value|
|Total Fat||0 g||0%|
|Saturated Fat||0 g||0%|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||1 g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g||0%|
|Total Sugars||1 g|
|Includes Added Sugars||0 g||0%|
|Vitamin D||0.0 mcg||0%|
Note that these values are for a serving size of 1 tsp (4g).
Do You Have To Refrigerate Trader Joe’s Sriracha Sauce?
Unlike your favorite jam or pickles, this sauce isn’t much of a fan of the pantry life after it’s been opened.
The reason is because it has low acid content and the only preservative it contains is a natural one called cultured Dextrose.
Because of this, it’s best to tuck it away in the fridge once you’ve popped the lid.
This is a bit different from the original Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce.
That one’s got a bit more vinegar in it, and vinegar’s kinda like a bouncer for bacteria – it keeps ’em out.
That’s why you can leave Huy Fong’s Sriracha in the cupboard and it’s all good.
But for Trader Joe’s Sriracha?
It’s team fridge all the way after it’s been opened.
How Much Does Trader Joe’s Sriracha Cost? And Is It Cost Effective?
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of cost and value for Trader Joe’s Sriracha Sauce.
Here’s the deal: a bottle of this spicy stuff will set you back $2.99 for an 18.25 oz. bottle if you snag it from Trader Joe’s directly, or a bit more – $3.49 – if you opt for the convenience of Amazon.
As of now, because of this whole sriracha shortage situation, the Amazon price is even close to 12 bucks. Yeah, I know, whoa!
Now, whether it’s cost-effective or not, well, that depends on a couple of things – your personal taste and how much the sauce costs per ounce.
Think about it like choosing between a cheap pizza and a gourmet one.
You gotta weigh up the cost and how much you enjoy the taste.
Let’s break it down.
If you manage to get Trader Joe’s Sriracha for $2.99 for an 18.25 oz. bottle, you’re paying about $0.164 per oz.
Now, if you compare this to Huy Fong Sriracha which costs $2.74 for a 17 oz. bottle (once the sriracha shortage has blown over), it works out to be $0.161 per oz.
If you spring for a larger bottle of Huy Fong, say 28 oz. for $3.98, it’s even cheaper at $0.142 per oz.
So, just on price per ounce, Huy Fong’s the cheaper option.
But, and it’s a big but, you’ve got to consider other things too like the type of ingredients you prefer, whether you’re into organic stuff, additives, or even the convenience of buying the sauce.
After weighing all these factors, you’ll find your perfect bottle of sriracha.