Sweet Chili Sauce may become your new favorite condiment. It’s easy to make, lasts a while and uses real ingredients you already have in your pantry!

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Starting off the Sauce Series with a favorite of mine, Sweet Chili Sauce.

Here on Sweet Tea and Thyme, I figure if we can make it at home with little fuss and effort, why buy it? We were strolling through Whole Foods and found the sweet chili sauce for $4 but I couldn’t really figure any of the ingredients out on the back besides HFCS and pureed chili peppers. I have a big rule of ‘if I don’t know what’s in it, I don’t eat it.’ when it comes to food.

Not from an ignorance standpoint, more of a I don’t want to drink antifreeze or accidentally eat peanut products (allergies!) standpoint. It’s a legit rule, especially with the products carried in stores not being what they seem.

Why do you need to tell us, “NOW WITH REAL MILK”, “NOW WITH REAL BLUEBERRIES” or “NOW MADE WITH REAL CHEESE”? What else would you use in queso?

What was it made with before?

What exactly is ‘cheeze-flavored dairy by-product’ anyway?

Shout out to Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats and her first taste of American ‘cheese’ products! Trust me, even we don’t understand why these cheese products are the way they are. The FDA swears it has to do with shelf life.

All the ingredients in this sauce are pretty common and you can use different things for the chili aspect. The most authentic is to find some Thai chilies at a store (they have them at Whole Foods), but you can also use red pepper flakes, which is what I used to do. Nowadays, I use sriracha for color and heat. It’s easy to find in the store and reduces your clean up versus getting the Thai chilies and chopping them up (and trying to not touch anything with chili hands).

Sweet chili sauce has a great flavor, sweet, savory, with a bit of spicy, and I keep it in the fridge (keeps for 2 months!) to dip a ton of our faves in. This goes with anything takeout, like potstickers or wantons, and things not takeout, like calamari. After having calamari paired with sweet chili sauce at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, it’s now my go to dipping sauce for it. Seriously, give it a try.

Here are the tools used in this recipe:

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Sweet Chili Sauce may become your new favorite condiment. It's easy to make, lasts a while and uses real ingredients you already have in your pantry!
Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  1. In a saucepan, pour vinegar and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in sugar, garlic, fish sauce, sriracha, ketchup, and ginger, then bring heat down to medium and let reduce for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir together cornstarch and 2 tbsp water in small bowl to create a slurry. Whisk in slurry then let cook for 2-3 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool, then put into a container and cover. Refrigerate.
Recipe Notes

Stays fresh for 2 months.

Try this sweet chili sauce out by dipping some homemade potstickers into it!

Gyoza - Sweet Tea & Thyme

Or if you want some more saucy stuff, check out this chimichurri sauce. I put this stuff on everythang!

Chimichurri Sauce Recipe - Sweet Tea & Thyme

See you in the next post!