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.
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!
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.
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!
In 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.
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.
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!
Servings: Approximately 5 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
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!)
Sweet chile pepper (like the ones I show in the video)
Hungarian wax chile
Japanese shishito peppers
Thai bird’s eye chile
For my batch – I used:
1 1/2 pounds sweet mini chili peppers
1/2 pound Fresno and jalapeño peppers