Sweet, savory, tangy and spicy! This easy Thai sweet and spicy chili sauce is sure to become a go to recipe. It is super easy to make, and you don’t need to worry about any of the preservatives that are in a store bought sauce. The addition of pineapple adds a delightful sweet and tart flavor profile to the mix. This Thai sweet and spicy sweet chili sauce is extremely versatile, as it can be used as a great dipping sauce or topping for a wide variety of dishes. It’s also a very accommodating recipe as you can easily control your levels of sweet and spicy.
What you need to make Easy Thai Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce:
FEEL THE HEAT: I would like to highlight one of the ingredients in my Thai Sweet Chili Sauce that may need some attention. In this recipe, I’m using two types of peppers; the mini sweet peppers and Thai chili pepper. For this section, I am going to focus on the Thai chili pepper. Cooking with peppers in general packs a major health punch, aside from the vitamins and antioxidents, they also act as an anti-inflammatory. However, Thai chili peppers are fiery hot! On the Scoville Scale (a scale that measures the spiciness of peppers), Thai chili measures between 70,000 – 130,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units). To put that into perspective, Poblano peppers are between 1,000 – 2,000 SHU and Jalapenos are between 2,500 – 8,000 SHU. If Thai chilis are not available, cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes are good substitutes, though not as hot and a bit more subtle in flavor. If using Thai chili, start off with half a pepper, test the sauce to be sure you can handle the fiery heat before adding more. To reduce the spiciness, you can also remove the pith or any white membrane and the seeds from the pepper. When handling any hot peppers, use gloves when chopping or wash hands thoroughly with warm soapy water when done.
How to make Easy Thai Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce:
PREP IT: Prep your garlic, ginger, sweet peppers and Thai chili peppers for the sauce. I prefer to peel the garlic and smash it with the side of a chef’s knife to release the flavor while leaving the clove mostly intact. Same for the ginger, remove the skin using a spoon. The skin is very delicate and tissue like, it will come off easily when scraped off with a spoon. Once peeled, chop the ginger into chunks. Since I plan on removing the ginger and garlic once the sauce is done, leaving them whole and in big chunks makes it easier to remove from the sauce once done. If you plan on leaving the ginger and garlic in your sauce, mince them into finer pieces. Dice your sweet peppers and Thai chili peppers and set aside.
BOIL & SIMMER: In a medium saucepan, add the water and vinegar and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the sugar, ginger, garlic, Thai chili pepper, sweet peppers, pineapple and ketchup. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
THICKEN IT: I like this sauce a little thicker in consistency, that way it clings onto whatever is being dipped into it. So to thicken, I am using cornstarch. Add 2-3 tablespoons of cold water to the cornstarch. Stir and mix to combine, removing any lumps. Add cornstarch and water mixture to the sauce; remove sauce from stove and let cool. Once cooled, you can remove the large chunks of garlic and ginger.
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1" ginger root
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 Thai chili or to taste (sub. cayenne or red pepper flakes)
- 1-2 sweet mini red peppers
- 1/4 cup pineapple, chopped into chunks, fresh or canned
- 2 teaspoon ketchup
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch + 2 tablespoon water
- Prep your garlic, ginger, sweet peppers ,Thai chili peppers and corn starch for the sauce. Peel the garlic and smash it with the side of a chef's knife to release the flavor while leaving the clove mostly intact. For the ginger, remove the skin using a spoon. Once peeled, chop the ginger into chunks. Dice the sweet mini peppers and Thai chili pepper and set aside.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of cold water to the cornstarch. Stir to combine, removing any lumps and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, add the water and vinegar and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in the sugar, ginger, garlic, Thai chili pepper, sweet peppers, pineapple and ketchup. Continue simmering for 10 minutes.
- Add cornstarch and water mixture to the sauce; remove sauce from stove and let cool. Once cooled, you can remove the large chunks of garlic and ginger.