Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

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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!

A small, white condiment dish sits filled with this Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. A spoon lifts some of it up for the camera.

Homemade Sauces

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.

Consistency

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!)

An overhead view of a spoon dipping into a small condiment bowl filled with this Thai Sweet Chili Sauce.

Spice Level

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
  • Rice
  • Raw veggies
A close up of a spoon lifting some of the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce out of a white condiment bowl.

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.

Optional Additions

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

The minced peppers, garlic and ginger.

Use a microplane to grate your ginger. Then mince the garlic and peppers.

Pouring vinegar and water into a pot.

Pour the vinegar and water into a medium pot.

Pouring sweetener into pot.

Add the sweetener to the pot.

Adding coconut aminos to pot.

Add coconut aminos to the pot.

Adding salt to pot.

Add salt to the pot. (omit or cut in half if using soy sauce)

Adding garlic to the pot.

Add garlic to the pot.

Adding ginger to the pot.

Add the ginger to the pot.

Adding peppers to the pot.

Add the minced chili pepper to the pot.

Adding arrowroot powder to the pot.

Finally, add the arrowroot powder.

Whisking all the ingredients together in a pot.

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.

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Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

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A small, white condiment dish sits filled with this Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. A spoon lifts some of it up for the camera.

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

Delicious sauce you can use on many different dishes for wonderful Thai flavors.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: Thai
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 25kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

Equipment

  • Medium pot

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • Use a microplane to grate your ginger. Then mince the garlic and peppers.
    The minced peppers, garlic and ginger.
  • Pour the vinegar and water into a medium pot.
    Pouring vinegar and water into a pot.
  • Add the sweetener to the pot.
    Pouring sweetener into pot.
  • Add coconut aminos to the pot.
    Adding coconut aminos to pot.
  • Add salt to the pot. (omit or cut in half if using soy sauce)
    Adding salt to pot.
  • Add garlic to the pot.
    Adding garlic to the pot.
  • Add the ginger to the pot.
    Adding ginger to the pot.
  • Add the minced chili pepper to the pot.
    Adding peppers to the pot.
  • Finally, add the arrowroot powder.
    Adding arrowroot powder to the pot.
  • Turn the stove to medium-low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens. (about 5 minutes, give or take)
    Whisking all the ingredients together in a pot.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbsp. | Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 508IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

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