In my household, sriracha makes an appearance at every meal, no questions asked. Like brushing my teeth or turning on my car, the act of taking out a bottle of hot sauce from the refrigerator and squeezing a dollop on top of my rice or noodles is so common that I can’t imagine not doing it. Not only does hot sauce amplify my meal from one that is good to one that is incredibly satisfying, it also has several health benefits that it would be foolish not to take advantage of.
Admittedly, for years I stuck with the most common sriracha—a 17-oz. plastic squeeze bottle made by Huy Fong Foods, with the quintessential rooster on the front—simply because it was the first brand I was introduced to upon arriving in America. In the past few years, though, I’ve branched out and tried other brands of hot sauces. All have unique flavor profiles, from mild to smoky to bite-your-tongue-and-cheek hot, and having them on hand means I’ll always enjoy a variety of ways to make a common dish even better. Here’s selection of the best brands I’ve found.