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Sweet Chili Sauce

This homemade Sweet Chili sauce is a flavor booster!  A sweet and spicy condiment made from chilies, garlic, and sugar. Learn how to make within 10 minutes, and with just a few pantry ingredients! 

Filipinos are well acquainted with dipping sauces, and a peek at their cupboards will prove it. Sweet chili sauce is a favorite at get-togethers because it elevates the overall taste of the dishes. Each mouthful dipped in this gives a pleasant kick and a sweetness you will enjoy!

A dipping sauce that is super delicious with shrimp, chicken wings, fried tofu, or any of your favorite dishes. It’s similar to a Thai sweet chili sauce recipe,  except it’s easier to make and takes a few minutes to put together. Try this homemade sauce before buying the bottled ones in supermarkets with preservatives.

What Is Sweet Chili Sauce?

This versatile sauce is a classic condiment used extensively in Asian cuisine, especially in Thailand and Vietnam. It’s locally known as nam chim kai in Thailand that also works as a marinade for grilling. It’s mainly peppers, chili, garlic, sugar, and vinegar which you simmer in water until it thickens. 

Why Is Homemade Better?

Most will agree that homemade is better because you know what goes into the dish. If that’s not enough to persuade you into making it at home, here are other reasons why:

  • Unlike the ones you usually find it in bottles at the supermarket, homemade sauce has no preservatives
  • Easily adjust the recipe – Adjust the over all taste, like sweetness or spiciness according to what you like.
  • Make a batch depending on how much you need to avoid unnecessary waste.
  • Lastly, using fresh ingredients will reward you with best results.

Notes On Ingredients

The ingredients are already probably in you pantry! If not, a quick trip to an Asian grocery store near you will help you find this ingredients.

  • Long Red Chili Peppers – Can be replaced with red bell peppers with seeds remove to avoid bitterness when cooked.
  • Red Thai Chili – Is milder than bird’s eye chili so you can choose between the two according to your “spice level” preference. Optionally, you can use chili flakes or red pepper flakes.
  • Garlic – Gives the sauce additional flavor.
  • Salt – Helps balance some of the sweetness. Fish sauce can also be used as a substitute.
  • White Vinegar – Makes the sauce last longer since it is a natural preservative and provides a bit of tanginess. Can be replaced with rice vinegar.
  • Sugar – Acts as the sweetener of the dipping sauce and can be substituted with honey or brown rice syrup.
  • Slurry – Is a tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in one tablespoon water. This is the thickening agent that gives its sauce its consistency.

Cooking Tips

  • No food coloring was used in this recipe and it turned out great. If you want a deeper orange hue you can use natural food red coloring.
  • You can use sambal oelek or chili paste if you can’t get hold of fresh red chili or chili flakes.
  • Honey is sweeter than sugar so make sure to use less if you plan on using honey to replace sugar.
  • Use powdered/granular sweetener of your choice as an alternative for those with high blood sugar. 
  • To avoid burning the sauce, whisk or stir continuously and keep a gentle simmer while cooking.
  • Do not blend ingredients into a paste. Blend it just so that you can still see bits and pieces. 

How To Serve And Store

  • You can store the sauce in the fridge in an airtight container or glass jar with lid for about a week.
  •  If you want to freeze it, place sauce in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months. 
  • To reheat, gently heat it up on the stovetop or in the microwave until its texture returns to original consistency.  
  • Serve in a dipping bowl with your favorite fried dishes.

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Sweet Chili Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce

Yield: 24 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This homemade Sweet Chili sauce is a flavor booster!  A sweet and spicy condiment made from chilies, garlic, and sugar. Learn how to make within 10 minutes, and with just a few pantry ingredients! 


  • 3 pcs. long red chili
  • 1 pc. red Thai chili
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp constarch
  • 1 tbsp water


  1. Place chilies and garlic in a food processor or blender and pulse until spices are cut into small bits and pieces.
  2. In a saucepan or pot, place the blended chilis and garlic, cook-stir for 2-3 mins over low to medium heat.
  3. Add water, vinegar, sugar, and salt and stir to incorporate. Bring to a boil then simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in water then gradually add into the saucepan with chili mixture.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring until sauce thickens. Do not overcook and remove pan from heat. Sauce will become more thick as it cools down. Serve and enjoy. Bon appetit!


Be sure to leave a comment and rating below. I appreciate your feedback!

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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