This best homemade Thai Sweet Chili Sauce recipe is so quick and easy to make, naturally vegan, and tastes way better than the store-bought Asian dipping sauces! It’s free of additives, versatile, and perfect for any kind of food, including dumplings, scallion pancakes, spring rolls & more! With this easy to follow step by step instruction, you’ll learn how to make the best spicy sweet-sour chili sauce in under 10 minutes!
Best Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe
A delicious Thai Sweet Chili Sauce that you can put in any Asian inspired dishes is the perfect pantry staple that’s easy to make at home. It only takes a few minutes to put together, and you can find everything you need in your pantry or at your local supermarket.
This Asian sauce is not only delicious with Dumplings, Scallion Pancakes, and Spring Rolls, but also with Crispy Tofu Nuggets, Cauliflower Nuggets, Vegan Meatballs, Zucchini Corn Fritters, Asian Noodles, … – basically everything that you can serve with a dipping sauce!
Why is homemade Asian or Thai Sweet Chili Sauce better for you?
While bottled Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, sometimes also referred to Asian Sweet Chili Sauce, can be found in most grocery stores, there are several advantages of making your own. Not only is it super quick and easy to make, but it’s also vegan, gluten-free, and doesn’t have any additives or preservatives.
Since you can choose the ingredients yourself, you also adjust the amount of sweetness and spiciness to your preferences. Anyway, this homemade Thai sweet chili sauce recipe is sure to become your go-to whenever you’re craving a deliciously sweet, savory, tangy, and spicy sauce!
Perfect to make ahead & freeze!
Besides being fresher and tastier you can also adjust the quantities how much you make of the sauce. This recipe makes about 1 cup which is usually enough for 4-8 Servings, depending on what you’d like to serve. However, if you need more or want to make it ahead, you can simply double or even triple it. Since the vegan Thai Sweet Chili Sauce keeps in the fridge for a week and also freezes well, there is no need to worry about leftovers.
Use your favorite red chili peppers
What I love about this recipe is that you can use your favorite variety of red chili peppers – from sweet to medium to spicy to hot or even super hot! I often buy a mixed chili bundle with different heat levels and then I pick those ones I need and use the rest for other recipes. Usually, I use 1 or 2 hot chili peppers such as “Thai red chili peppers” or “bird’s eye chili peppers”, and 2 medium or mild chili peppers such as “red pepperoni”.
Furthermore, I like to add 1/2 red bell pepper which gives the sauce a nice red color and juicy flavor. Alternatively, you can also use 1 tbsp of ajvar or a bit of beet juice or paprika powder for a more intense color. But that’s just optional!
Can I make sweet chili sauce with sambal oelek or picked red peppers or dried chili flakes?
In my opinion, fresh is always best! However, feel free to use pickled red chili peppers if you can’t get fresh ones. Also, 2 1/2 tbsp (80g) sambal oelek or 2 tbsp dried red chili flakes should work as a substitute.
Further Ingredients you need:
- Garlic: for flavor.
- Soy sauce or Tamari (gluten-free): adds depth and umami flavor.
- Rice Vinegar: or white wine vinegar for the sour taste.
- Salt: for salty flavor.
- Cornstarch: or arrowroot to thicken.
- Sugar: I use raw cane sugar but you can use your favorite variety (see below).
Which sugar can I use?
Basically, any sugar will do such as raw cane, white, brown, or coconut sugar. You could also use agave syrup or brown rice syrup if you prefer. However, since syrup is liquid you may need to add a little extra cornstarch to thicken it. For a sugar-free alternative, you could use a granulated sweetener like erythritol.
How to store sweet chili sauce?
You can store the sauce in the fridge for about 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. The consistency of the sauce will change when frozen. But when you gently warm it on the stovetop or in the microwave, its consistency will return to normal.
How to make Sweet Chili Sauce
Step 1: Blend the peppers
Rinse the peppers, remove the stems, and chop into pieces. Then place along with the garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, salt, and 3/4 cup of water in a blender. Blend into coarser or finer pieces, depending on your desired consistency.
Step 2: Cook the mixture
Now, pour the mixture into a saucepan, stir in the sugar and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoons of water to a small bowl and stir in the cornstarch to dissolve. Then stir it into the sweet-sour chili sauce and simmer for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce has thickened to desired consistency (the sauce becomes even thicker as it cools).
Step 3: Store in a sealed jar or bottle
Finally, pour it into a clean jar or small bottle. Seal airtight and let cool. Store in the refrigerator for a week or freeze for the future.
This Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe is:
- Vegan, Vegetarian (without fish sauce)
- Dairy-free (lactose-free)
- Gluten-free (if using tamari)
- Easy to make
- Loaded with fresh red chili peppers
- So delicious!
- The perfect dipping sauce for any savory dishes!
More Vegan Asian, Chinese or Thai inspired Recipes to try:
- Vegan Pad Thai with Veggie Noodles and Tofu
- Chinese Eggplant with Chili Garlic Sauce
- Vegan dumplings with vegetable filling
- Scallion Pancakes (Chinese flatbread)
- Asian Peanut Noodles with Crispy Tofu
- Crispy Sesame Tofu with Tahini Peanut Sauce
- General Tso’s Tofu with Sweet-Sour Sauce
- Asian Chili Garlic Noodles
If you try this homemade Thai sweet chili sauce, please leave a comment and rating on how you liked the vegan recipe! And if you take a photo of your spicy dish and share it on Instagram, please tag me with @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love to see your remakes! Enjoy!
Thai Sweet Chili SauceAuthor:
- 1-2 hot red chili peppers e.g. Thai or bird's eye chili peppers, depending on desired heat
- 2 medium red chili peppers e.g. red pepperoni
- ½ red bell pepper or 1 mild red chili pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic peeled
- ¼ cup rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- ¾ cup water + 2 tbsp to dissolve
- ½ cup raw cane sugar or another sugar/syrup, *see suggestions above
- 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
- *Note: See recipe video and step-by-step photos above!
- Rinse the peppers, remove the stems, and chop into pieces. Then place along with the garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, salt, and 3/4 cup of water in a blender and blend into coarser or finer pieces, depending on your desired consistency.
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan, stir in the sugar and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons of water to a small bowl and stir in the cornstarch to dissolve. Then stir it into the chili sauce and simmer for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce has thickened to desired consistency (the sauce becomes even thicker as it cools).
- Finally, pour it into a clean jar or small bottle. Seal airtight and let cool. Store in the refrigerator for a week (or freeze for the future).
- Red Chili Peppers: You can adjust the spiciness to your preferences by adding more / less hot, medium or mild red chili peppers or fruity bell peppers!
- No fresh ingredients on hand? Use pickled red chili peppers OR substitute 2 1/2 tbsp (80g) sambal oelek OR 2 tbsp dried red chili flakes.
- Red bell pepper (optional): gives your sauce a nice red color. Alternatively, use 1 tbsp of ajvar or a bit of beet juice or paprika powder for a more intense color.
- Please read my blog post for further information and helpful tips!
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