Exquisite Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce

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Embark on a culinary adventure with Sweet Chili Sauce, a versatile condiment also known as Thai Chili Sauce or nam chim kai. Elevate your dishes with the perfect blend of sweet, sour, and spicy notes.

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Exquisite Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce

Ingredients & Substitutions


Rice vinegar, derived from fermented rice, imparts a subtle sweetness. White wine vinegar can be a substitute if rice vinegar is unavailable. Avoid using distilled white vinegar.


Granulated sugar forms the foundation of the sauce, providing its delightful sweetness.

Chili Pepper:

Introduce a hint of spice with a chili pepper; habanero peppers add a satisfying kick. Retain the seeds for extra heat or experiment with red pepper flakes or a spicier pepper variety.


Finely chopped ginger root adds a layer of complexity. Ground ginger is an alternative in this recipe.


A cornstarch and water slurry works its magic, thickening the sauce to perfection.

Exquisite Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce

What does Sweet Chili Sauce Taste Like?

Sweet Chili Sauce offers a symphony of flavors—sweet, sour, and a touch of heat from the habanero pepper. While reminiscent of sweet and sour sauce, this homemade version allows for customization of spice levels. Enjoy it hot or cold, tailored to your taste preferences.

How Thick is the Sauce?

The sauce achieves a thickness that coats the back of a spoon. As the slurry is added and the sauce cools, it continues to thicken. Adjust the consistency by adding water if it becomes too thick. Warming it in the microwave briefly can also thin it out.

Exquisite Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce

Difference between Sweet Chili Sauce and Chili Sauce

Distinguish Sweet Chili Sauce from chili sauce; the former blends chili peppers and sugar, resulting in a sweet profile. Chili sauce, resembling ketchup, has a more tomato-based composition.

How to Store Sweet Chili Sauce

Keep your Sweet Chili Sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy it warm or cold, reheating in the microwave if desired. This batch yields approximately 1 1/2 cups of delectable homemade sauce.

Exquisite Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce


Chili Sauce Mixture

  • 1 cup (250 g) water
  • 1 cup (238 g) rice vinegar
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 habanero pepper, finely diced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

Exquisite Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce

Exquisite Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water and rice vinegar.
  2. Add sugar, tomato paste, chili (habanero) pepper, ginger, and garlic. Boil, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Create a slurry by combining cornstarch and water in a small dish. Stir until smooth.
  4. Pour the slurry into the saucepan, stirring to combine. Continue cooking for 8-10 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly, coating the back of a spoon.
  5. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool. Adjust thickness by whisking in water if necessary.
  6. Store Sweet Chili Sauce in the refrigerator for up to a week. Serve warm or cold.

Exquisite Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce

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