What Is the Best Chili Paste Substitution?

Recently, spicy foods seem to have taken the internet like wildfire for some reason. From the two-minute spicy Asian dishes to your spicy buffalo wings, chili has become an important ingredient in almost any dish.

However, despite the demand for chili or chili paste, it is still a little bit difficult to find them in local grocery stores. So today, we are going to help you find the best chili paste substitution that is compatible with almost, if not all dishes.

bowls of various dip sauces

And the Best Substitute Is?

There are a lot of good substitutes for chili paste. Other spicy sauces such as the Tabasco Hot Sauce, Sriracha, and the like even made their way to the market already.

There are even substitutes that are not liquid, but rather dry or in powder form So instead of answering this question with one particular ingredient or method, we are going to list down a few options for you to try:

1. Bottled Hot Sauce

Any bottled hot sauce can do as a chili paste substitute as long as they have similar consistency and taste. Sriracha, hot sauce, the Korean gochujang paste, and Thai chili paste among others can be a good substitute for the conventional chili paste.

Korean red pepper paste gochujang

But then again, this won’t guarantee you of an exact similar flavor or consistency. It can only give a hint of spiciness. This is because this bottled hot sauce has different flavors that are entirely distinct from one another.

Choose the one that is most appropriate for your dish to avoid that off-taste or “wrong kind” of spiciness.​

2. Ketchup With Chili Flakes or Ground Cayenne Pepper

Ketchup has an excellent consistency similar to the traditional chili paste. This is why when added with the right ingredients, the ketchup might work as a real chili paste substitute.

Cayenne pepper

All you have to do is simply add ground cayenne pepper or chili flakes. Just one to two teaspoons of ground cayenne pepper and it’ll give you that fiery kick similar to the traditional chili paste already.

However, if you still find it lacking, there’s one final substitute you can try. And that is to make your own!

3. Or, Make Your Own!

Now, this is the best part about chili paste substitutes. If you can’t find the best substitute, you can always just make your chili paste with these simple ingredients you can even find at home.

best substitute chili paste

Here are some things you might need:

  • Chili peppers

  • Garlic cloves
  • Shallots
  • ​Olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Salt and pepper

The Recipe:

First, simply chop one pound of chili peppers. You can use a combination of this along with other peppers like red cayenne peppers. It does not have to be as fine because you will be processing the ingredients.

Next, chop two cloves of garlic as well. This is what will give the aromatic flavor and excellent smell for your chili paste.​

And then, chop finely two small shallots as well. This can help balance out and combine all the flavors, without making the chili paste too spicy for any dish. Make sure to process these three ingredients to make sure that they have the right consistency.​

Add all these (chili peppers, garlic, and shallots) in a pot on low heat before adding some olive oil. Cook for about 20 mins and stir the mixture occasionally.​

If you feel as if it needs more olive oil, feel free to add more. This will keep the mixture from burning efficiently.​

Add the cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. However, do not turn off the gas yet. Cook the mixture for another five minutes to let the flavors develop and combine properly. Then cool down.

​After cooling the mixture down, transfer it to a food processor. Process until smooth enough, until you get the right consistency for you. Finally, transfer this to a jar and refrigerate before using.

However, do note that the storage life of a homemade chili paste is not as long as the store-bought ones. This is why it is ideal to consume the homemade chili paste within a week. This ensures you of the best quality and taste.​

Wrapping It Up

​Finding the best substitute chili paste for your recipe can be a little bit of meticulous work, especially if you are particular about the texture and taste.

​This is because when finding a substitute, you must find an alternative that has a similar flavor and spiciness to the original ingredient.

The best part here is, you can customize your chili paste substitute! By trying to create your chili paste, you will be able to get the exact taste and flavor that you want—one that is perfect for whatever dish you are cooking.​

I'm Laura, I like all the kind of delicious grilled foods which makes me hungry all the time I see them. That's why I built this blog to share with you all of my Grilling experiences, recipes, and all the tips about foods that I've learned from food experts.

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