Known in Thailand as nam jim gai (sometimes spelled nam chim kai), the Thai sweet chili sauce is perfect for fried and grilled foods such as chicken wings, Thai pork toast, Thai spring rolls, and crispy fried butterfly pea flowers or crispy pork wontons. It calls for very simple ingredients, is super easy to make and ready under 20 minutes!
Why This Recipe Works
Thai sweet red chili sauce is a versatile condiment that takes just minutes to put together. Also, the ingredients required are very simple that chances are you already have them in your pantry! And the bonus is, if you like this sauce hotter than the store-bought version, this is how you can make it happen.
This is one of the best fried food dipping sauces out there. You can enjoy many appetizers, party foods and finger foods such as Thai pork toast with it. Also, it's great with grilled and roast meat so, be sure to try it with this grilled pork neck or any leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey!
Ingredients You Need
Here is a visual overview of the ingredients in the recipe. Scroll down to the recipe at the bottom for quantities.
- Red Thai chili: Although the green Thai chili tastes the same, never use it to make this dipping sauce because it's just going to look wrong!
- Vinegar: You can use distilled white vinegar. This is going to help keep the cost low while still making the taste authentic. Plus it won't affect the color of the sauce.
Quick Tip: For efficiency preparing this recipe, rinse the chilis under running water and remove the stems. Then, peel the garlic and measure the rest of the ingredients and set aside.
Once everything is ready to go, the rest of the process should take just about 15-20 minutes!
Step 1: Chop the red Thai chilis and garlic into small pieces so that it is easier to pound.
Step 2: Place the chopped garlic in the mortar and roughly pound (see texture in image above). If you don't have a set of mortar and pestle or you prefer, you can use a food processor for steps 2-3.
Step 3: Add the chopped chili and pound until you get the same texture as the garlic.
Step 4: Pour the water into the saucepan and put it over medium heat.
Step 5: Add the salt.
Step 6: Add the chili and garlic.
Step 7: Add the sugar.
Step 8: Add the vinegar.
Step 9: Stir to combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil.
Step 10: Reduce the heat to low and continue to boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Step 11: Turn off the heat and transfer to a bowl or sterile glass bottle or jar.
How Long Does Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Last?
A homemade version of Thai sweet chili sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to about 1 month.
If you make a large amount for or you'll be using it after a few days of making, then the sauce should be refrigerated to keep it fresh.
As hot as you want! Traditionally, this sauce is supposed to be just mildly hot. But since you're making this yourself, you can up the amount of chili or even garlic to suit your preference.
Of course! We do enjoy grilled chicken, pork and beef with this sauce. So you could have your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey with this sauce. If you feel that it's too untraditional, then have with the leftovers!
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- Sauce pan
- Mortar and pestle or food processor
- Chop the red Thai chilis and garlic into small pieces so that it is easier to pound.
- Place the chopped garlic in the mortar and roughly pound. If you don’t have a set of mortar and pestle or you prefer, you can use a food processor for steps 2-3.
- Add the chopped chili and pound until you get the same texture as the garlic.
- Pour the water into the saucepan and put it over medium heat.
- Add the salt.
- Add the chili and garlic.
- Add the sugar.
- Add the vinegar.
- Stir to combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and continue to boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and transfer to a bowl or sterile glass bottle or jar.
- Although the green Thai chili tastes the same, if you want to make the sauce look authentic, use the red Thai chili only.
- You don't need to use a fancy vinegar to make this sauce. A cheap Asian white vinegar will do. This is what we use to make this sauce and also the white vinegar won't affect the color of the sauce.
- This Thai sweet chili sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
- If you're going to make a large amount of the sauce and store it for many uses, it's recommended to keep the sauce in a sterilized glass bottle or jar before refrigerating.