What’s your preferred hot sauce? I’m no Tabasco girl but I love Sriracha.

casaveneracion.com Tabasco or Sriracha?

Until I met Speedy, I wasn’t really into spicy food. I grew up with parents who thought that spicy food was only for adults and, perhaps, in their eyes my brother and I never became adults so all that chili crushing in dipping sauces was reserved for them. My brother learned to appreciate spicy food earlier than I did because, in college, spicy food seemed to be the preferred beer companion for boys. I never really craved any companion for my beer — so long as the beer was ice cold and the company was good, I was fine.

Then, I got married. Speedy and I lived with his family for a few years and those first years opened my eyes to new food experiences. Not only did his family eat pork fat (we were taught to remove and discard the fat as children), there was also a wide array of condiments and sauces on the dining table including a bottle of Tabasco. They were all into it — dousing the food with Tabasco, a habit I never acquired despite repeated reassurances that food tasted better with a little heat in it. Truth be told, my tolerance for hot food has never been that high.

When I became a mother, I raised my girls with the same philosophy that spicy food was not for young children. Tabasco was not a staple in our house, Speedy did not seem to miss it and things were fine. I don’t remember how and when exactly it happened. Speedy bought a bottle of Tabasco, Sam discovered it, tried it and started using it in much the same way that everyone did at my in-laws’ house. Blood is thicker than water? Maybe. In more ways than one, in fact, because Alex, on the other hand, is no fan of Tabasco either. Whatever the reason, by the time Sam was in her late teens, Tabasco had become a staple in our house.

casaveneracion.com Tabasco or Sriracha?

Then, several months ago, Sam started hankering for something else — Tabasco Habanero sauce. Heck, I didn’t even know that Tabasco came in different varieties (that’s how a Tabasco non-fan I am). Speedy and I searched for the Habanero sauce, it was elusive at first since most groceries sell only the original Tabasco sauce, but we managed to find it and we now keep a permanent supply of the red hot sauce.

Then, one day in the grocery, on a whim, I bought a bottle of Sriracha. For the uninitiated, Sriracha is a chili sauce thought to have originated in Si Racha in central Thailand. I still don’t touch Tabasco but I started adding Sriracha to just about everything — not just for dipping but for cooking. I add Sriracha to barbecue sauce, pizza, spaghetti sauce, stews and even to burgers and meatballs.

Why? What is it about Sriracha that made me gravitate to it? What does it have that I never found in Tabasco? One word — balance of flavors.

casaveneracion.com Tabasco or Sriracha?

Tabasco is hot, sure. But apart from the heat, it doesn’t have much else going. Sriracha, meanwhile, is hot AND tangy AND sweet. I guess it’s the Asian in me. Speedy was raised on a more Westernized diet; I was raised on a very Asian diet. So, quite automatically, I look for the presence of all flavors in my food. It’s a delicate balance where all the flavors are there, each never overpowering the others but, together, they form a perfect symphony that plays like an opera in the mouth.

I love Sriracha. I really do.


  1. misao says

    Sriracha! Love it! Frank’s Red Hot is good too though I’m not sure if it’s available in the Philippines.

    But Sriracha… I use it in strifries, mexican food, sandwiches, even mixed with vinegar and garlic for tapa!

  2. Beatrize says

    Will ask hubby to check this brand. A hot sauce is also a staple in our dining table (he is from Naga City). Thank you for the recommendation.

  3. says

    Both are staples in my pantry but I too am partial to sriracha especially for Asian type dishes. Tabasco has a very distinct vinegar taste that is too strong for some dishes, I think.

  4. says

    My husband and I love hot sauce. Texas Pete is a staple item in my grocery list. We like our fried chicken with it. I also use it for the hot wings. I like Tobasco too. Especially with shredded hash browns. Oh they’re soooo good :)

    My son is not much into spicy things so he won’t touch hot sauce. My daughter on the other hand…. But since she’s too young we tell her to wait a few more years. Although I let her have a taste once in a while and some of hot cheetos when I’m eating those :).

  5. Ken_L says

    I remember reading somewhere that kids’ taste buds are more sensitive to spiciness than adults’, and that what tastes good to us is painful for them. Sounds plausible and would account for your mother’s philosophy. Certainly I find as I get older that I enjoy spicy foods more, while some things that I used to love are a bit bland now.

    Where can I buy Sriracha in Malabon? JOKE LANG :)

  6. says

    Beatrize, ahhhh Bicolanos love their hot food, don’t they? :)

    JMom, Tabasco is good for one thing — Bloody Mary! But now I’m wondering if Bloody Mary can be made with Sriracha. :-P

    Dexie, so you have the same philosophy about kids and spicy food… Seems I’m not alone. :D

  7. babysaffron says

    I’m a tabasco girl….any variant….But mostly the Chipotle…
    Quite a late bloomer also…but once i tasted it on food..never give up….
    Very open-minded when it comes to hot sauce…but never tried Sriracha. Thanks for the reco…

  8. Peng tuazon says

    I like that brand too….i usually buy a lot of this brand when we go to clark at the puregold duty free….it cost less than the one sold at s n r

  9. MCS says

    I too prefer Sriracha over any other hot sauce in our fridge. The husband and I first tasted this at Pho Hoa. It’s their staple condiment I guess… Stir it in with their beef pho and it’s just delicious!

    The taste actually reminds me of the dried pusit my father would bring home from Vietnam.

    After that Pho dinner, my husband tried looking for it in the grocery. When he couldn’t find it, he’d buy a different hot sauce (buffalo wings sauce, local chili sauce, etc). Finally, he found it at SM, somewhere in the Asian goods section I think. But the long search cost us three different bottles of hot sauce plus the Sriracha!

  10. peterb says

    misao, i think i recall seeing Frank’s Red Hot at Unimart and Cash and Carry.

    I love Sriracha too! I haven’t used Tabasco in a long time because of it. Apparently so does our helper, dahan dahan naubos eh! :p

  11. Charo says

    Hi Ms Connie,
    Husband is more into spicy food. I love spicy food too, Tabasco, Jalapeno, red chilli flakes anything in all types of degree. It’s funny how I raised that hot and spicy food were for adults only as per my mom. But for my dad, since he’s into spicy food he allowed us to taste it but I think we were already in grade school. I tried my son taste a pizza with hot sauce and he scream and cried… I guess he’s not ready yet true enough kid’s taste buds were more sensitive. :)

  12. says

    tabasco is a staple in our pantry but i mostly use it when i need condiments for fried food. for everything else i put cayenne pepper in the food itself or chilli flakes in pastas to add a little heat. sriracha is love in a hot bowl of pho, that’s the only time i take it but i reckon it would be good with stir fried dishes too.

  13. jhing says

    hi mam!wat particular po na grocery did got Sriracha?me and my hubby been looking for that for so long…natry nmn yan sa My Thai resto…super sarap adn sakto lng ung anghang.i hope i can get one na! thanks!

      • Len says

        Maam, Wala po sa SM, Puregold , Unimart , Robinsons and landmark, all they have is Sriracha Pantai one, not the rooster logo

          • Len says

            Maam, Its a food blog as what I see, The title says Sriracha on the URL, You are talking Hot sauces, So it would generally implied you are knowledgeable of such different Sriracha sauces right? Would it hurt to ask a person managing a Food Blog in general? Concretely and Automatically, A person such as you who is running this blog may encounter such as measly as a simple hot sauce, and this is not even a gourmet one yet giving a remark like that? Any way the topic is still Sriracha sauces and Im not tackling other Food recipes.

            Lets answer this wonderful questions of yours,

            1. why would look for instructions on where to find it here in my blog and in this post?

            the url, the photos , and the words says this is a food blog, so this would be a great source of such knowledge. THis post tackles Sriracha, so be selfish enough to share other infos?.

            Really Got offended on your response Madaam. Next time, if you got time, stop making a foodblog any more if you dont want people roaming around and asking questions regarding Food in general and specific questions regarding a post!

            Cant believe this…..

            Go a head moderate this. Really dont give a crap….

          • says

            Yes, this is a food blog, not an encyclopedia nor a directory.

            The topic of the post is WHY I LOVE SRIRACHA but not Tabasco. The title alone makes that clear; the post amplifies that. Regretfully for you, I do not teach reading comprehension.

            And a food blog means it is divided into posts, and comments must be relevant to the post. RELEVANT. That is so, so basic. A food blog is not a free-for-all food forum (gee, even a forum is divided into topics and participants are presumed to know what that means). If you think it is MY responsibility to tell you where you can buy a specific brand of Sriracha that I did NOT even mention in my post, you don’t know what a food blog is.

            It’s unfortunate that you were offended. But it’s even more unfortunate that you re-define what a food blog is, according to your misguided sense of entitlement. Worse, you want to dictate how I should run mine. So sad. So very sad.

            P.S. I also notice that you use a different e-mail address every time you post a comment. And that convinces me not to bother with you anymore. Troll.

          • zonks says

            nice mam, whats with other people nowadays in the internet world that they dont use their logicor worse their commonsense. the person is computer literate so i think that she can search through google and not here in your blog. Maybe if ever you answered her queries on where to buy the hot sauce, she would then be asking for the maps and the price….hehehe really a troll…

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