We snagged a bottle of the saucy new contender to see if Huy Fong has anything to be worried about.
At first glance, Tabasco’s version is much smoother and more viscous than Huy Fong’s. Tiny flecks of pulverized chili peppers are visible in Huy Fong’s vibrantly red sauce, whereas Tabasco’s sriracha is a homogeneous, rust-colored red purée that could easily be confused for barbecue sauce.
But taste is where it counts, and taste-wise, Huy Fong’s sriracha blows Tabasco’s out of the water. The Huy Fong sauce has a more balanced flavor—sweet with a slight acidic tang, with a spiciness that intensifies on the finish. Tabasco’s version is much heavier on the vinegar (not surprising for Tabasco), and its heat is all up front.
The nail in the coffin: Tabasco’s stuff is twice as expensive as Huy Fong’s, at $4.99 for a 15-ounce bottle.
That said, Tabasco’s sriracha would work in a pinch. Because any hot sauce is better than no hot sauce.