Asian Sweet Chili Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

Good Asian cooks never run out of rice, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. I’ll also throw fish sauce and Thai sweet chili sauce in the mix too. I must be a bad Asian because I’m constantly out of these ingredients – too lazy to drive 30 minutes to the Asian market and too cheap to pay the crazy mark-up at my local regular grocery chain.

Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

While I’m not quite ready to grow a rice paddy out back (though with all this rain this year, I’m seriously thinking we can!), I am going to start growing garlic and attempt to grow ginger as well. Scott, the boys and I bet our neighbors too, will surely veto homemade fish sauce (fermenting anchovies!??) but homemade Thai Sweet Chili Sauce is a definite YES!

Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

I use Asian Sweet Chili Sauce on everything. More importantly, my kids like it on everything. It’s sweet, not spicy – though some brands are spicier than others. We use it to dip Chinese Egg Rolls, Mushroom Tofu Potstickers, Roasted Tofu, Firecracker Shrimp. Toss after roasting Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Chili Sauce. Add a spoonful to any stir fry – like Bok Choy with Ground Chicken. Smother on Baby Back Ribs. Make a salad dressing for Fried Green Tomatoes.

Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

When I make my own Asian Sweet Chili Sauce – I specifically choose a combination of very mild, sweet peppers and just a few medium hot peppers. I want flavor with a little bit of heat….not searing heat like most sriracha).

See list of recommended peppers at bottom of post!

Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

Cooking Asian Sweet Chili Sauce

cft_automaticJamMakerIn my video, I used the Ball® FreshTECH Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker (by Jarden Home Brands)
This nifty machine heats up your concoction and auto-stirs. It’s convenient if you can a lot of jams, jellies AND hot sauce.

But you can use any large pot, pan or wok. You’ll just have to stir occasionally.


Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 12.15.00 PMCanning Asian Sweet Chili Sauce

This recipe makes 5-6 cups! Sure, you can cut down the ingredients to make less, but why not make the full recipe, can them in cute jars and give some away as gifts.

Those pretty jars that I used are from Sur La Table, they have some GORGEOUS jars from France and Italy! I especially love these canning jars with colored gaskets for $3.95 each.

The type of chili (or chile – however you prefer to spell it!) pepper you choose is up to you! Use a total of 2 pounds of chili peppers. Remember, you can always ADD more heat. It’s hard (if not impossible) to take away the heat!



Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe Video



Asian Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

Servings: Approximately 5 cups Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
sweet chili sauce recipe featured-9696


2 pounds of chili peppers of your choice
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup fish sauce


In a food processor, add in the chili peppers, onion and garlic. Process until desired consistency. I like mine a rough mince.

In a wok, large pot or large sauté pan, heat the cooking oil until shimmering on medium high heat. Add in the pepper/onion/garlic mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the remaining ingredients, mix well and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Quickly taste and decide if you would like to add more spicy-hot chili pepper.

Taste and adjust seasonings. If you feel like it needs more saltiness and savoriness, add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce. Need it sweeter - 1 tablespoon brown sugar. If the sauce is lacking that tang, or high flavor note - 1 tablespoon vinegar.


Use a combination of peppers based on your tastes:

bell pepper (yes, you can use regular bell peppers!)
Banana pepper
Sweet chile pepper (like the ones I show in the video)
Anaheim chile
Poblano chile
Hungarian wax chile
Japanese shishito peppers
Cherry peppers

jalapeño pepper
Fresno pepper

Cayenne pepper
Serrano pepper
Thai bird’s eye chile

Scotch bonnet

For my batch – I used:
1 1/2 pounds sweet mini chili peppers
1/2 pound Fresno and jalapeño peppers

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Comments 37

  1. Cindy

    Can you recommend a brand that’s sweet with minimal heat? I’m too lazy to make it 🙂 I’ve avoided sweet chili sauce because I thought it was spicy.

  2. R.A.

    This looks delicious but I have some questions as to the canning. Is this high acid enough to can with a water bath or does it require a pressure canner? I only have experience canning with fruit and want to be absolutely sure I am doing it correctly when using vegetables. How long in either a water bath or pressure canner to be safe? Thanks!

    1. SteamyKitchen

      The peppers are naturally low acid, but we’ve included vinegar in the recipe to bring up the pH level. HOWEVER – I am a canning novice. I’m going to contact Ball and get a professional answer 🙂

  3. Chris

    I’ve always just bought the stuff but I really like the flexibility or control in making your own like this. When I first got to the list of chile ideas, I thought I was reading an ingredient list until about 5 lines in and was thinking, “Man she used a lot of different chiles….” before I realized it, lol.

  4. Row

    Cool! Never thought of making my own sweet chili sauce, but this would be an excellent recipe to try. Thanks! 🙂

  5. Barry

    Sweet chili sauce is also one of our goto faves. It is so versatile.

    I would imagine that, considering everything is cooked, it would freeze well for storage. A quick reheat and stir should bring it all together again.

  6. Deb

    Try your hand at growing garlic, it’s so easy. I also grow ginger inside my sunroom, as NH doesn’t have enough warm summer days. It grows slow, but what a difference. Thanks for this recipe, can’t wait to try.

  7. Harrison

    great recipe. looks pretty easy.

    I REALLY like that plate that looks like a leaf. Where can I get one?

  8. Laine Drotos

    Have you heard back from Ball yet regarding the processing of the wonderful looking chili sauce. I really would love to make some for the holidays as gifts but not sure how to process

  9. BarbaraD

    I only had a pound of mini peppers left in the bag (we eat a lot of them every week) so I made half a recipe, which gave me about 1 & 1/2 pints. It was late afternoon, so I put it in jars and cooled it, then put it in the refrigerator overnight. I tried some at noon today – Pow! Bam! Zap! That’s what happened to my Ramen noodles, and added more of that delicious Woohoo flavor! Oh, boy does it ever wake up food! It’s absolutely delicious, and I’ll be buying a lot more peppers to make lots of jars full of this treat! I’m back here today to find a recipe for something new to do with chicken and rice and that will showcase this deliciousness so I can show off for my Hubs. Do you mind awfully much if I claim it to be my own? LOL! I’d like to, but I’ll give you fill credit for all this mouth candy. Thank you for the recipe! I pinned it for my friends to see and thus come rushing to your blog!

  10. BarbaraD

    I couldn’t stop. Tonight I made soft tacos with lightly fried corn tortillas and my taco beef and seasonings. Instead of pico de gallo or salsa or picante sauce I used the sweet chile sauce and said that it is a marriage made in heaven. I’m never eating another soft taco without it. A couple of drops of Tabasco Chipotle sauce and I was transported to a better place.

  11. Cathy

    How would I can this sweet chile? Can it be processed in a hot water bath? Please advise. Thank you.

  12. Tanya

    Just a suggestion: try substituting brown sugar with palm sugar, add lime juice, and discard vinegar. This is a southeast asian sauce that everyone uses to dip meat, seafood, etc. 🙂 I hope you try it!

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  14. Dutchess

    Can you please share processing information for canning? I would love to can this so I can have jars on hand for hostess gifts.

    1. beth

      Use pressure canning method. Can be stored for like twi weeks without any method! Be safe.

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  16. Karen

    Lawsy, I tried a half-batch of this with jalapenos (no seeds/membranes) and it’s hot!

    I’ll cut it next time with bell peppers from the garden.

    I wonder if it’d jell up if we added sure-jel or certo? Does it thicken when it cools? It seems more like a salsa after 20 minutes of simmering.

    Thanks! Looking forward to tinkering with this to get a bunch canned 🙂

  17. Jennifer

    Thanks for saving dinner! Like you isn’t always easy to get to the market last minute and the local grocery is less than international! Lovely compliment to my Ahi with lemongrass crust! Thanks again!

    1. Post
  18. Chris

    Fantastic recipe! I got addicted to Mae Ploy years ago when I worked in an Asian Bistro. I prefer making things from scratch because I know everything that goes into it. I used 1.5 lbs of the little sweet peppers and 2 whole habaneros (with seeds) and it was perfect heat (I like very spicy food). I added it to a stir fry and was blown away! Thank you for this recipe!

  19. Megan H

    Thankyou so much, sweetie. I’m wanting to make sweet chilli sauce to give at Xmas. I regularly shop at an Asian fresh food market here in Australia and will hit it up for bell peppers (capsicums, to us) and bird’s eye chillies tomorrow.

    1. Post

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