Thai Sweet Chili Sauce is an integral ingredient or accompaniment for making various Thai dishes. It can be used as a stir fry sauce or a dipping sauce and once you make it at home, there is no going back to the store-bought ones. Here is how to make it.
About This Recipe
Thai Cuisine is my absolute favorite and along with the delicious dishes, I love the Thai Sauces that instantly enhances the taste of a dish.
One such sauce is Thai Sweet Chili Sauce which is traditionally known as Nam Chim Kai, which certainly comes in handy while making various Thai dishes.
It is a Thai condiment that is a must-have in all the Thai kitchens. It is a thick, sweet, garlicky sweet and spicy sauce that is so versatile, it can be used almost everywhere.
This sauce is extensively used in stir fry and as a dipping sauce with most of the crunchy appetizer dishes. Made using simple everyday ingredients, it is a delicious recipe that holds the promise to elevate the taste of any mundane dish.
It is readily available in markets these days, but then why make it at home?
You can be sure what’s going in it, which means no preservatives, artificial colors, etc.
It’s super easy to make.
Use basic ingredients which are mostly available easily.
It can be made in a big batch and refrigerated.
The amount of chili can be controlled.
The thickness of the sauce can be controlled. You can keep it thick for dipping and thin for stir-frying.
This sauce is,
- Spicy Sweet
- A Thai favorite
- Better than the store-bought one
This Sauce is very easy to make at home and uses some of the most flavourful ingredients such as,
Tomato Ketchup – You can use any Tomato Ketchup. I use the store-bought one as it is thick and adds a nice flavor. But in case you have homemade tomato ketchup, you can use that too.
Garlic – This is one of the key ingredients that add a delicious flavor to this recipe. Crush the garlic and use it in the sauce.
Red Chilli Flakes – This is added for that much-needed heat and spicy taste. You can increase or decrease the amount of the same according to your taste.
Sugar – Add the sweetness with sugar. Use granulated sugar so that it gets mixed with the sauce nicely. You can replace sugar with Honey, Agave Syrup or Brown Rice Syrup to make it a little sweet. Make it sugar-free by replacing sugar with stevia. 4-5 drops of stevia should be good enough to sweeten the sauce.
Corn Starch – Corn Starch is mixed with water and added in the sauce to make it thick.
Sambal Oelek – Sambal Oelek is a chili paste made using a variety of chilies and some added ingredients like shrimp paste etc.
It gives a great depth to the sauce, but it is definitely not an essential ingredient.
If you don’t have Sambal Oelek, you can definitely add some Sriracha Sauce or Red Chili Paste to this dip.
Rice Vinegar – To add a little tanginess, add rice vinegar.
Step by Step Recipe
Add sugar, garlic and red chili flakes, water, vinegar, salt, ketchup, sambal oelek, and fish sauce in a pan and bring it to boil.
Mix cornflour with little water to make a lump-free mixture.
Add it slowly in the pan.
Cook for 3-4 minutes until sauce thickens a bit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some versions of this sauce like the one I have shared have fish sauce and soy sauce in it. In that case, it’s not vegan but you can easily replace it with vegan soy or tamari and make a vegan chili sauce.
If you do not have sweet chili sauce, you can add in a little honey in hot sauce, give it a mix and use the same in your recipes.
When you use Chilli Sauce like Sambal Oelek, it gives a nice red color to this Thai chili Sauce. If you do not use the same, it will not be as red as the store-bought one. You can alternatively add a little red food coloring, but I would not recommend the same.
Yes, you can either finely chop the same or make the paste to use in the sauce. Fresh red chilies can be very hot, you can remove the seeds and then use the chilies to decrease the amount of heat.
I practically use it almost always to dip anything I am munching at.
In Thailand, this sauce is served with steamed rice and grilled chicken or pork. You roll the meat in rice, dip it in the sauce and gobble.
I always serve it with my homemade Vietnamese Summer Rolls and scallion pancakes.
A cheesy sandwich goes on the next level after dipping into this sauce.
You can use it as a marinade for tofu, chicken, shrimps, fish like salmon or tilapia, or beef before grilling them.
I also like to mix some of it with hung curd, cream cheese, or sour cream and churn up a quick dip for crackers and veggies.
Use it as a stir fry sauce for noodles and rice or veggies, chicken and shrimps.
Apply a little on wraps to give a nice after kick.
Toss mushrooms, carrots, and bell peppers in this sauce and bake until done for delicious vegetarian sides.
I have a version of this sauce with Pineapple. Do check out Pineapple Chili Sauce.
If not refrigerated properly and stored in a contaminated container, the sauce can go bad. Make sure to use a clean glass jar to store the sauce and keep it in the refrigerator at all times. This way, the sauce can be kept for up to a month.
This Sauce can be stored in a sealed glass jar in an airtight container, for about a week or you can freeze it for about 2 to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.
The sauce will become semi-solid while freezing, but if you heat it up gently in microwave or pan, it will return to the normal texture.
You can can it as well. I am not an expert in canning but I have seen people canning this sauce and use it all round the year.
You might also like
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe
- 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 3-4 cloves Garlic (Chopped)
- 2 tsp Red Chilli Flakes
- 1 cup Water
- 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Sambal Oelek
- 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp Cornstarch
- Add sugar, garlic and red chili flakes, water, vinegar, salt, ketchup, sambal oelek and fish sauce in a pan and bring it to boil.
- Mix cornflour with little water to make a lump free mixture and add it slowly in the pan.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes until sauce thickens a bit.
- Remove the pan from heat and let it cool.
- Transfer in a glass bottle and refrigerate for about a month.
- Use as and when required.