Once you make a batch of your own Thai Sweet Chile Sauce, you won’t want to eat the bottled sauce ever again. From start to finish, excluding the cool in time, it takes no more than 20 minutes!
This is one of my all-time favorite condiments! I’ve been making it for several years now, and even when I run out, I won’t buy it at the store. For me, most of the brands available are cloyingly sweet, and way to thick. I like it a little bit spicier than the purchased sauce, less thick and sticky and I also appreciate recognizing each ingredient, and being able to pronounce them without a problem!
The process couldn’t be simpler:
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
6 red chiles, jalapeños, fresnos, cayenne (depending on how spicy you like it)
1/2 cup white, distilled vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water
Combine the first 6 ingredients and pulse them in a food processor or blender until finely chopped. You want small bits and pieces in the sauce.
Transfer to a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until the chile and garlic bits soften and loose their raw taste. Stir now and again to prevent scorching.
In the meantime, whisk the cornstarch with the 4 tablespoons of water. When it’s lump free, slowly whisk it into the simmering chile mixture. I always start with about half, simmer it for a minute and then check the texture. If it seems to thin, add a bit more.
I must say that I like it better when it’s not so thick. The cornstarch helps suspend the chile and garlic bits throughout the sauce.
Taste, adjust seasoning and let it cool completely Store in glass bottles and keep refrigerated.
The flavors will mellow over the first few days, and improve. I have made this also using coconut sugar and coconut vinegar. Wonderful flavor, but not quite as red. Refrigerated, the sauce should keep 6 months or so. If it separates, just shake the bottle.