Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Put This On Everything: Sweet Chili Sauce

There's a new condiment in town. He's sweet, he's fiery and he's ready for all the food you can put him on. He's sweet chili sauce, and he's in it for the action.
Photo courtesy of Sweet Sensation

I rarely blog about specific sauces, but this particular condiment is a real favorite. Sweet chili sauce is a Southeast Asian wonder. Combining my three favorite characteristics of SE Asian food (sweet, salty and spicy), you just can't beat this stuff.

We live in Colonialtown neighborhood in Orlando; our streets are lined with Vietnamese and Thai characters on store front marquees. When a door opens, a breeze thick with five-spice and simmering stocks waft through. There's no dearth of this ultra-condiment. This week alone, I've used it for flavoring ground meat for burgers, marinating jerk pork and as a dipping sauce for tangy fried green tomatoes. I'm not one for hyperbole, but sweet chili sauce really does go with almost anything. I'd love to make it into an ice cream - I bet it would be amazing.

Sweet Sensation blog (in Croatian, but with English versions of recipes) has an excellent recipe for homemade sweet chili sauce, which I may use once my current bottle of "Taste of Asia" runs out. That could be any moment now. The measurements are in metric, but I'm sure Google Convert can help you out, American readers.

Sweet Chili Sauce

makes 230 ml

2 red hot chili peppers
3 large cloves of garlic
100g white sugar
180 ml water
60 ml white vinegar
1/2 tbsp. salt
splash of soy sauce
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. water

Cut the chili peppers in half and remove seeds. If you like it extra hot, keeps the seeds. Peel the garlic cloves and put them in a blender. Add chili peppers, vinegar, salt and sugar and puree. Pour the mixture into a saucepan, add water, soy sauce and fish sauce. Put the saucepan onto medium-high heat and cook until garlic and chili pieces are soft (4-5 minutes).

Combine the cornstarch and two tablespoons of water. Whisk the mixture into the chili sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens a bit. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Transfer to a clean jar, close the lid and refrigerate. This sauce keeps for a few weeks.

1 comment:

Clifford Alejos said...

It is really the best stuff ever goes well with anything fried, crispy, rice, meat, salad, you name it!