Too Much Sriracha? How To Calm Down The Rooster Sauce

| Last Updated: September 5, 2019 |

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When it is used in moderation, Sriracha sauce is generally regarded among spicy condiments as being fairly mild. When measured on the Scoville scale, the sauce rates at only 5,000 Scoville heat units. The issues come when you go overboard with it. Not only will using too much increase the heat, it will make the sauce’s other flavors stronger as well. The other flavors come from the fact that the peppers in it have been fermented and are acidic as a result. It also contains garlic. If you want to save your dish after adding too much Sriracha sauce, you will have to find a way of neutralizing all of its flavors. Try one or more of the options below to balance the flavor profile of your dish.

Physical removal

If you have added too much Sriracha and it has not been stirred into the dish, the best course of action is to try removing as much of it as possible. Use a spoon to remove it or blot with a paper towel. Of course, simply removing the sauce is not always an option. By the time you realize that you have used too much, it may already be thoroughly blended with other ingredients in a dish. If that is the case, try one of the other options.

Dilution

In dishes where the sauce has been mixed in thoroughly so that there is no possibility of physical removal, your best option lies in diluting the problem ingredient. By adding more of the ingredients aside from the Sriracha sauce, you can reduce the relative amount of it in your dish. Assuming you have extra ingredients available, this is usually the easiest path to take when rescuing a dish from an excessive amount of a single ingredient. Dilution has the benefit of overcoming all of the overpowering flavors that come from too much Sriracha, not just the heat. In addition, this step can also help you to recover the texture of your dish as too much Sriracha may make it too saucy.

Add sweetness

Too much heat and too much garlic can give dishes a bitter taste. Sweetness is the best way to remedy bitter notes. Along with being bitter, a high amount of Sriracha sauce can make dishes too acidic. Sweeteners work for counteracting high levels of acidity as well. Add sweeteners in small increments and taste after each addition to keep from over-sweetening your dish. You want to add just enough to neutralize the flavors of Sriracha sauce, but not so much that you turn the dish into a dessert.

Add baking soda

Baking soda is a base or alkaline. It will react with the acidity in Sriracha sauce and neutralize it. You will want to proceed carefully as too much baking soda can give your dish an extremely unpleasant taste. Add a pinch at a time and taste after each addition. Note that the addition of baking soda may cause fizzing for a short period as the compounds react with other.

Add dairy

Dairy works primarily as a tool for neutralizing heat, though it can be effective for diluting other overly strong flavors in the dish as well. The capsaicin in the chili peppers used to make Sriracha sauce bind to the casein in dairy products, which is why milk is often recommended as a treatment for the effects of excessive chili pepper consumption. This effect is also why adding dairy to your dish can result in the heat being lessened considerably. Adding dairy can either be done in the cooking or provided as a side with the meal (sour cream or yogurt dips with over-Sriracha’d wings, for instance).


Photo by anokarina from United States (sriracha chicken wings) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Tammy
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Tammy

Thanks for the information on how to tame the heat.