sweet chilli sauce recipe
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Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe | Easy and Delicious!


Discover the authentic joy of homemade sweet chili sauce. This easy sweet chili sauce recipe lets you create a delightful, tangy, and spicy condiment right at home, perfect for any dish you want to jazz up. The preparation and cooking together take only twenty minutes, resulting in approximately 3 cups of delectable sauce. The key ingredients include water, rice vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger, hot chili pepper, ketchup, minced garlic, and cornstarch for thickening.

To make this sweet chili sauce recipe UK-friendly, combine most ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Then, whisk in a cornstarch slurry to achieve the perfect consistency. With its sweet, tangy, and spicy flavours, this sauce can be stored in the fridge for later use, making it a convenient and flavourful addition to your kitchen.

What is Sweet Chili Sauce?

Sweet Chili Sauce, also known as Thai sweet chili sauce, is a versatile condiment celebrated globally for its sweet, sour, and spicy flavour. It’s a staple in Asian cuisine, enhancing a broad array of dishes, from tofu and chicken to seafood and vegetables.

This sweet and chili sauce recipe incorporates sugar, chili, vinegar, and garlic to create a robust flavour profile. The rice vinegar imparts a mild tanginess, while the chili offers the perfect kick of heat, balanced by the sweetness from sugar. The additional garlic adds depth, making it a flavourful accompaniment.

Whether used in cooking or as a dip, Thai sweet chili sauce provides a delightful punch to any meal. Its adaptability allows it to function impeccably in various culinary contexts, adding a harmonious balance of zest and sweetness to your dishes.

Ingredients for Sweet Chili Sauce

Creating the perfect sweet chilli sauce at home begins with choosing the right ingredients. The base is a simple combination of water, rice vinegar, and sugar, which together form the foundation of the sauce. These sweet chilli sauce ingredients meld to produce a delicate balance of sweet and tangy flavours.

Complementing the base, minced fresh ginger, hot chilli pepper, and minced garlic are essential for adding distinct layers of flavour. Adding a touch of ketchup enhances the sauce’s sweetness, while the heat from the chilli pepper gives it the signature kick. These elements are vital for a robust recipe for sweet chilli sauce that’s packed with character.

The final component, a cornstarch slurry, is crucial for achieving the ideal thickness. This mixture ensures the sauce has the right consistency, making it perfect for both dipping and glazing. Mixing cornstarch with a bit of water before adding it to the sauce ensures that it blends smoothly, avoiding any lumps.

Altogether, these sweet chilli sauce ingredients come together to create a condiment that is versatile and full of flavour. The thoughtful combination of these elements guarantees a delightful recipe for sweet chilli sauce that can elevate a variety of dishes.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Make Sweet Chili Sauce

Creating homemade sweet chili sauce is a delightful culinary endeavour that adds authentic Thai flavours to your dishes. Below, we break down the process into easy steps that you can follow at home.


Before you start cooking sweet chili sauce at home, prepare the key ingredients. Mince fresh ginger, hot chili pepper, and garlic. These ingredients are crucial for infusing authentic Thai flavours into your sauce. Gather and measure the remaining ingredients to ensure a seamless cooking experience.

Cooking the Sauce

Begin by combining water and rice vinegar in a saucepan, then bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in sugar, the minced garlic, ginger, hot chili pepper, and ketchup. Let the mixture simmer for five minutes to allow the flavours to meld together. This step is vital to dissolve the sugar and soften the garlic, creating a harmonious balance of taste.

Thickening the Sauce

To achieve the perfect consistency for your sweet chili sauce, it’s time to thicken it. Combine cornstarch with a tablespoon of water until smooth and then whisk it into the simmering sauce. Continue to stir and heat until the sauce begins to clear and thicken, indicating that it’s reaching the desired consistency. This process ensures that your sweet chili sauce is perfect for dipping or glazing.

Tips for the Best Sweet Chili Sauce

Creating the best sweet chili sauce hinges on a few key techniques and ingredients. For an authentic sweet chili sauce, it’s essential to use fresh garlic and chili. This choice ensures a robust foundation of flavours, blending the sweetness and spice perfectly. Additionally, selecting rice vinegar is advisable as it delivers a mild tanginess that balances the sauce’s rich sweetness.

best sweet chili sauce

To achieve a quick sweet chili sauce recipe with an even texture, finely mince or chop your ingredients. This approach guarantees a uniform distribution throughout the sauce, enhancing both taste and presentation. Moreover, ensure the sugar mixture is fully dissolved before incorporating the cornstarch slurry. This step is crucial for a smooth and glossy finish.

Implementing these tips will not only save time but also result in the best sweet chili sauce, bursting with authentic flavors. By focusing on the quality of ingredients and precise cooking techniques, you can elevate your homemade sauce to match or surpass store-bought varieties.

Alternative Ingredients and Substitutions

Finding substitutions for key ingredients in Sweet Chili Sauce is essential when the original components are unavailable. Here, we explore sambal oelek substitutions, vinegar alternatives for sweet chili sauce, and sweetener substitutions, ensuring your homemade sweet chili sauce remains delicious.

Sambal Oelek Alternatives

Sambal oelek is a popular spicy chili sauce, but suitable alternatives exist for those unable to find it easily. Consider using dried chili flakes, which provide excellent heat intensity. Ground fresh chili can create a robust flavour profile, whilst ground Thai red chili offers an authentic touch. Adjust the quantity based on your spiciness preference to ensure a balance in your homemade sweet chili sauce.

Vinegar Alternatives

While rice vinegar is favoured for its mild taste, there are effective vinegar substitutions for sweet chili sauce. Apple cider vinegar imparts a subtle fruity tang, whereas white wine vinegar delivers a more refined acidity. It’s best to avoid harsh white vinegar, as it can overshadow the sauce’s inherent sweetness.

Sweetener Alternatives

Sugar is the traditional sweetener for Sweet Chili Sauce, but several sweetener substitutions can be made. Brown sugar or light brown sugar brings a molasses-like depth, while honey adds a floral sweetness. Rice syrup is another excellent option, though adjustments may be necessary to maintain the sauce’s consistency. Extra cornstarch can help achieve the desired thickness when using honey.

Here’s a comparison between the original ingredients and their substitutes:

Original Ingredient Substitution Unique Flavour Profile
Sambal Oelek Dried Chili Flakes Intense heat
Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chili Robust, fresh chilli flavour
Rice Vinegar Apple Cider Vinegar Fruity tanginess
Rice Vinegar White Wine Vinegar Refined acidity
Sugar Brown Sugar Molasses depth
Sugar Honey Floral sweetness
Sugar Rice Syrup Delicate sweetness

How to Store Sweet Chili Sauce?

After concocting a delightful batch of Sweet Chili Sauce, proper preservation is essential for retaining its flavour and quality. Storing sweet chili sauce correctly can extend its shelf life, ensuring you have this versatile condiment readily available for various culinary delights.

To begin storing sweet chili sauce, transfer the freshly prepared sauce into a clean, airtight container. Opt for glass jars or BPA-free plastic containers as these materials help maintain the sauce’s integrity. Once sealed, place the container in the refrigerator.

storing sweet chili sauce

For effective homemade sweet chili sauce preservation, it is advisable to consume the refrigerated sauce within 2 to 3 weeks. Always ensure the lid is tightly sealed after each use to prevent any exposure to air, which can cause the sauce to deteriorate faster. Properly storing sweet chili sauce under refrigeration keeps its sweet, tangy, and spicy notes intact, allowing you to enjoy its sumptuous taste over a longer period.

Here’s a helpful table summarising the key points:

Storage Method Container Type Duration Key Points
Refrigeration Glass jars or BPA-free plastic containers 2 to 3 weeks Tightly seal the container to prevent air exposure.

How to Use Sweet Chili Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce is a versatile condiment that can enhance a variety of dishes. Here’s how you can incorporate it into your meals:

As a Dipping Sauce

One of the most popular uses of Sweet Chili Sauce is as a dipping sauce. Its delightful blend of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavours makes it the perfect accompaniment for appetisers such as chicken wings, chicken nuggets, dumplings, or fried foods.

As a Glaze

Sweet Chili Sauce can also be used as a mouth-watering glaze. By brushing it onto meats like tofu, chicken, or seafood during cooking, it creates a sticky, caramelised, and flavourful outer layer. This method not only intensifies the food’s taste but also adds an attractive glossy finish.

In Stir-Fries

Incorporating Sweet Chili Sauce in stir-fries is a fantastic way to bring a burst of flavour to your dishes. When added to stir-fried vegetables and proteins, it imparts a perfect balance of sweetness, acidity, and spice. This seamless integration ensures that each bite is packed with bold and harmonious flavours.

Whether as a sweet chili dipping sauce, sweet chili glaze, or sweet chili sauce in stir-fries, this condiment proves to be a versatile and delicious addition to your kitchen repertoire.

Health Benefits of Sweet Chili Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce isn’t just a delightful addition to your meals; it also offers several health benefits when enjoyed in moderation. This spicy-sweet condiment is a source of essential nutrients like Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting properties and supports overall cellular health, while potassium helps maintain optimal body functions such as regulating fluid balance and nerve signals.

health benefits of sweet chili sauce

One of the most significant health benefits of sweet chili sauce comes from capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers. Capsaicin has been shown to offer metabolism-boosting properties, assisting in weight management by enhancing the body’s natural fat-burning processes. Additionally, capsaicin is recognised for its anti-inflammatory effects, which can contribute to reducing inflammation and pain in the body.

To summarise, while it is essential to enjoy this condiment in moderation, the health benefits of sweet chili sauce make it a worthy addition to a balanced diet. Its nutritional perks include small amounts of Vitamin C and potassium, along with the metabolism-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties of capsaicin.

Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

The spicy sweet chili sauce recipe begins with combining everyday kitchen staples such as water, rice vinegar, and sugar. These form the base of the sauce, which is then enhanced with aromatic ingredients including ginger, chili pepper, ketchup, and garlic. These flavour enhancers are crucial for achieving the delectable taste of the sauce.

To prepare this spicy sweet chili sauce recipe, start by blending all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer to meld the flavours together. The simmering process ensures that all the components are fully integrated, creating a cohesive and delicious result.

Once the initial simmering is complete, it’s time to thicken the sauce. A simple cornstarch slurry is whisked into the simmering mixture, giving the sauce its desired consistency. After achieving the preferred thickness, let the sauce cool down.

This cooling period allows the flavours to set, resulting in a perfectly balanced spicy sweet chili sauce recipe ready for use. Whether you use it as a dip, glaze, or as a component in other dishes, this sauce is a versatile addition to any kitchen.

Adjusting Sweetness and Spiciness

Adjusting the sweetness and spiciness of your Sweet Chili Sauce can be an art in itself. A well-balanced sauce not only enhances the flavour of your dishes but also ensures a delightful culinary experience. To achieve the perfect sweet and spicy balance, start by tweaking the sugar content. If you prefer a sweeter profile, add more sugar or consider alternatives like honey. For those who enjoy a spicier kick, incorporating additional sambal oelek or chili flakes can elevate the heat level.

  1. Sweetness Adjustments:
    • Increase sugar for a more pronounced sweet note.
    • Explore alternatives like honey for a richer sweetness.
  2. Spiciness Adjustments:
    • Boost sambal oelek for intensified heat.
    • Add chili flakes for a sharper spice.

To master the art of adjusting chili sauce, a cautious approach is key. Gradually add your chosen ingredients while tasting regularly to maintain the ideal sweet and spicy balance.

adjusting chili sauce

Making Sweet Chili Sauce in Larger Batches

When embarking on creating sweet chili sauce in larger batches, it is crucial to maintain the ingredient ratios to ensure consistent taste and texture. By adhering to this balance, you can achieve a product that remains uniform in quality regardless of the quantity prepared. This method is ideal for those looking to can the sauce, extending its shelf life and making it readily available for all your culinary needs.

Here are some key pointers for producing a big batch sweet chili sauce:

  • Accurately measure all ingredients to maintain consistency.
  • Use large pots to allow the sauce to boil evenly.
  • Consider using a food processor for quicker preparation of large quantities of ginger, garlic, and chili peppers.

Canning your sweet chili sauce in larger batches ensures that you have a plentiful supply for meals, events, or gifts. Following safe canning procedures, such as sterilising jars and using appropriate sealing techniques, will help preserve the sauce’s flavours and prevent spoilage. This approach not only enhances the efficiency of your cooking processes but also guarantees that your favourite sauce is always on hand, even during busy times.


Crafting the perfect sweet chili sauce at home is an easy endeavour that anyone can enjoy. With just a few simple ingredients and a bit of time, you can produce a versatile and delicious chilli sauce recipe that serves multiple culinary purposes. Whether you’re using it as a dipping sauce, glaze, or in stir-fries, its delightful balance of sweet, sour, and spicy flavours will elevate any dish it accompanies.

One of the outstanding features of this recipe is its adaptability. By adjusting the levels of sweetness and spiciness, you can tailor the sauce to suit personal preferences, ensuring that everyone at the table is satisfied. Potential substitutions for ingredients, including the use of different chillies, vinegars, or sweeteners, offer flexibility without compromising the sauce’s effectiveness.

Moreover, understanding how to store the sauce and even prepare it in larger batches ensures that you can have this delightful condiment ready for various culinary needs. A perfect sweet chili sauce can make a significant difference in enhancing the flavour profile of many dishes, making it a valuable addition to any kitchen. Whether you’re impressing guests or simply enjoying a meal with family, this delicious chili sauce recipe brings a little extra magic to your cooking.


What ingredients are needed for homemade sweet chilli sauce?

To make homemade sweet chilli sauce, you will need water, rice vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger, hot chili pepper, ketchup, minced garlic, and cornstarch for thickening.

How do I make sweet chilli sauce from scratch?

Start by mincing fresh ginger, hot chili pepper, and garlic. Combine water and rice vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add sugar, minced ingredients, and ketchup, then simmer for five minutes. Thicken the sauce with a cornstarch slurry and stir until it reaches the desired consistency.

How long does it take to cook sweet chilli sauce?

Cooking the sweet chilli sauce takes about ten minutes, with an additional ten minutes required for preparation. Overall, the process takes around twenty minutes.

Can I adjust the sweetness or spiciness of the sauce?

Yes, you can adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar or a sweet alternative like honey. To increase spiciness, add additional sambal oelek or chili flakes according to your preference.

What are some good substitutions for sambal oelek?

If sambal oelek is unavailable, you can use dried chili flakes, ground fresh chili, or ground Thai red chili as alternatives. These options will allow you to adjust the heat level of the sauce to your taste.

Are there any alternatives to rice vinegar in the recipe?

While rice vinegar is preferred for its mild tanginess, you can use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar as alternatives. These substitutes will impart a tangy flavour but may produce subtle taste differences in the final sauce.

What types of sweeteners can I use in sweet chilli sauce?

Besides sugar, you can use brown sugar, light brown sugar, honey, or rice syrup as sweeteners. Each option will provide unique flavours, and adjustments to the recipe may be necessary to maintain the proper consistency.

How should I store homemade sweet chilli sauce?

After preparing the sweet chilli sauce, transfer it to a bowl, cover it, and refrigerate. Properly stored, the sauce remains fresh in the refrigerator for an extended period.

What dishes go well with sweet chilli sauce?

Sweet chilli sauce complements various dishes like chicken wings, chicken nuggets, dumplings, fried foods, tofu, seafood, and vegetables. It can be used as a dip, glaze, or ingredient in stir-fries.

What are the health benefits of sweet chilli sauce?

Consumed in moderation, sweet chilli sauce can offer a small amount of Vitamin C and potassium. The capsaicin from chili peppers is known for potential metabolism-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties.

How can I ensure my sweet chilli sauce has the best flavour?

To achieve the best flavour, use fresh garlic and chili, opt for rice vinegar for its mild tanginess, and ensure the sugar mixture is fully dissolved before adding the cornstarch slurry. Using fine minced or finely chopped ingredients will also contribute to a perfect texture.

Is there a way to make sweet chilli sauce in larger batches?

Yes, maintaining the ratio of ingredients will ensure consistency in taste and texture when making larger batches. This method is ideal for canning, which can extend the sauce’s storage period for future use.

sweet chilli sauce recipe

Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

With just a few simple ingredients and a bit of time, you can produce a versatile and delicious chilli sauce recipe that serves multiple culinary purposes.
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 3 people


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp fresh ginger minced
  • 2 hot chili peppers minced
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch


  • In a saucepan, combine water and rice vinegar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Stir in sugar, minced ginger, hot chili peppers, ketchup, and minced garlic. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
  • In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with a tablespoon of water to create a slurry.
  • Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce, stirring continuously.
  • Continue to heat and stir until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.
  • Remove from heat and let the sweet chili sauce cool before transferring it to a jar or container for storage.
  • Once cooled, store the sweet chili sauce in the refrigerator for later use.
Keyword Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

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