Sweet, sticky, totally addictive Thai Chili Sauce for dipping grilled meats, spring rolls, dumplings, potstickers, fried wontons, crab rangoon and just about anything else you can dream up.
I can never believe how much they charge for this sauce in bottles at the store. It’s incredibly cheap and easy to make at home.
In testing recipes for this month of Thai food, we’ve gone through many batches of this amazing sauce. And every time a jar of it was sitting on the kitchen counter, inevitably someone walked into the room and told me how much they love it. As in,
“Jess, I could drink that stuff.”
And I’m right there too.
This dipping sauce is the definition of yum. It’s sweet and tart with bright flecks of chilis and garlic.
To those who don’t love Spicy Food
If you don’t love spice, this totally authentic Thai sauce is your new best friend.
The batch you see photographed here was not even the tiniest bit spicy. I carefully sliced all the veins out of the jalapeños and took out all but a few seeds. Once the sauce is simmered with sugar, any spice has disappeared. I’d feed this sauce to anyone, including kids, without hesitation.
If you are one of many people out there who don’t love spicy food, we’ve got you covered all month long. While some Thai recipes are inherently spicy, we’re going to give you tips and tricks all month so you can adapt many of our favorite recipes to fit any spice preference.
And if you like a little heat, leave some of those seeds and veins in the mix. You’ll still get the sweet, tart flavors, with a bit of heat at the end.
How To Use It
Oh my, the list of ways you can use this sauce is endless. In Thailand, we love the classic combination of sticky rice and grilled pork or chicken on skewers (satay). Roll the rice in balls, dip it in the sauce. Now that is a meal.
But we’ve got lots of other ideas for you. Serve the dipping sauce with:
Fresh Summer Rolls (show here dipped in Hoisin Peanut Sauce which is also amazing)
Baked Crab Rangoon (a great recipe for Chinese New Year – coming up next week!)
Crispy Scallion Pancakes (also good for Chinese New Year)
Baked Spring Rolls (one of the most popular recipes on this site)
We’d love for you to join us in this Thai month! Make or eat Thai food and share it on social media with #thaifoodmonth and #inquiringchef so we can find you! And check out all our other Thai Recipes here.
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- 5 Red Jalapeno Peppers (see note about spice)
- 5 cloves Garlic
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Rice Vinegar
- 3/4 cup Water
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Hot Water
- 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
- Slice peppers in half. Remove seeds and veins to your liking (see note below).
- In the bowl of a food processor or blender combine peppers, garlic, sugar, vinegar, water and salt. Blend until only very small flecks of the peppers remain.
- Transfer to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved, 4 to 5 minutes. (Make sure you stir the sauce frequently as it cooks - it's prone to bubble over.)
- To Thicken: Whisk together 2 Tbsp hot water and 2 Tbsp Cornstarch and add it to the sauce. Simmer for a couple minutes longer, until the sauce is thickened to your liking. (You can also skip the addition of the cornstarch and just simmer the sauce down until it reduces by about half which takes 15 to 20 minutes. I think the flavor is more "clean" this way, but it yields a more watery sauce. The cornstarch addition is definitely the fastest and easiest way to go.)
Feel free to halve this recipe or double (or triple!) it. It keeps for 3-4 weeks in the fridge, but never lasts that long at our house.
And with that, these two ladies are off to take a bath. And maybe pull down a curtain or two on the way…