This Thai sweet chili sauce is exactly like what you get from a restaurant or grocery store. It’s delicious for stir fry’s, wraps and more!
It has the sweetness, the spice and the tang you get in the commercial versions of this sauce. Nobody (including you!) will know the difference!
I love homemade sauces. The best part about them is that you control what goes in them and you can always adjust to taste until you get it just right. Many easy recipes like this homemade sweet chili sauce, are super simple to make and really add tons of flavor to any dish you use them in.
What Is Thai Sweet Chili Sauce?
It’s a sauce used often in Asian cuisine.
Thai sweet chili sauce, known as nam chim kai in Thailand, is a classic condiment used in Thai, Afghan, Malaysian, and Western cuisine. (1)
The sweet and tangy asian sweet chili sauce pairs well with many foods (particularly foods with veggies!) and adds amazing Thai flavor to a whole host of different dishes.
This delicious sauce has a slightly thick consistency created by using some sort of starch. In many cases, corn starch is used. But these days, I tend to use arrowroot powder for just about everything. (It’s much easier on my blood sugar!)
The spice level of this versatile sauce can be adjusted in several ways. As the recipe currently stands, this sauce is mildly spicy. To make it spicier, you have two options. You can:
- Add more red chili peppers.
- Use the called for amount of chili peppers, but also include the seeds.
- Add red chili flakes to taste for extra heat.
What To Eat It With (Dipping Sauce)
While this spicy sauce is great for stir fry’s and lettuce wraps, it’s also wonderful as a dipping sauce for finger foods.
- Chicken wings
- Egg rolls
- Spring rolls
- Chicken nuggets
- Crab rangoon
- Stir fry
- Lettuce wraps
- Asian noodles
- Raw veggies
Ingredient Checklist And Alternatives
½ tsp. minced fresh ginger – If you don’t have fresh ginger, you can use ¼ tsp. ground ginger.
2 tsp. minced garlic – If you don’t have fresh garlic, 1 tbsp. garlic powder will work well here too.
2 tbsp. minced red chili peppers – These red chilies look like red jalapenos with a pointier tip. You should be able to find fresh, whole chili peppers located right next to the green jalapeño peppers. Some people use prepared sambal oelek in place of the chili peppers. This works just as well . Start off with 1 tbsp. and adjust up as needed for flavor.
Note: This is NOT a red bell pepper.
¼ cup rice vinegar – If you don’t have rice vinegar, white vinegar is the next best thing.
¼ cup water
¼ cup sweetener – I used xylitol because that’s what works best for my blood sugar. But other options are Sucanat, monk fruit, coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey. All of those can be used in the same amount, except the honey. Start with 2 tbsp. of honey and add more as needed.
¼ cup coconut aminos – You can use soy sauce instead if you don’t have coconut aminos.
½ tsp. salt – Use whatever salt you typically season your food with.
½ tsp. red chili flakes – While this is optional, it’s a good option for those who want a truly spicy sauce. This will really kick up the heat level in the finished sauce.
1 tbsp. arrowroot powder – You can also use ¼ to ½ tsp. xanthan gum, or 1 tbsp. corn starch if you don’t have arrowroot powder.
Some folks like adding more stuff to their sweet chili sauce. A couple possibilities are:
- Fish sauce – Start with 1 tbsp. for added umami.
- Cayenne peppers – Add small amounts to up the spiciness in this sauce.
How To Make Thai Chili Sauce
Use a microplane to grate your ginger. Then mince the garlic and peppers.
Pour the vinegar and water into a medium pot.
Add the sweetener to the pot.
Add coconut aminos to the pot.
Add salt to the pot. (omit or cut in half if using soy sauce)
Add garlic to the pot.
Add the ginger to the pot.
Add the minced chili pepper to the pot.
Finally, add the arrowroot powder.
Turn the stove to low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens. (about 5 minutes, give or take). This may be more of a medium low setting for some stoves. Use your judgement here. You want to slowly thicken the sauce. Not boil it as fast as possible.
Note: If you prefer a smoother sauce, simply run the cold ingredients through a blender or food processor until it reaches the consistency you like. Then heat it while whisking to thicken the sauce.
More Healthy Chicken Salad Recipes
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Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- Medium pot
- ½ tsp. minced fresh ginger
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. minced roasted red chili peppers
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup sweetener
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. red chili flakes (optional)
- 1 tbsp. arrowroot powder
- Use a microplane to grate your ginger. Then mince the garlic and peppers.
- Pour the vinegar and water into a medium pot.
- Add the sweetener to the pot.
- Add coconut aminos to the pot.
- Add salt to the pot. (omit or cut in half if using soy sauce)
- Add garlic to the pot.
- Add the ginger to the pot.
- Add the minced chili pepper to the pot.
- Finally, add the arrowroot powder.
- Turn the stove to medium-low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens. (about 5 minutes, give or take)