06 Nov / Homemade: Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
There are many recipes for this delightful sweet chili sauce, some requiring it to be cooked down to a syrupy consistency, using up a lot of time and patience, neither of which I have much of. So I prefer to thicken it with starch, which is the way of the bottled sauces. Depending on your capsaicin quota, you can remove as many seeds from the chili peppers as you wish, or if you veer toward the other end of the spectrum, add in a Thai chili or two. Whatever you decide, this condiment will seem overly spicy and tart at first, but the flavors will dissipate over time.
Time: 20 minutes
Makes: about 2 cups
6 cloves garlic, peeled
3 long red chili peppers like Fresno or Serrano (about 2 ounces), seeded to your liking and chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water to form a slurry
Using a mini food processor, grind the garlic, chilies, ginger, and salt to a coarse paste. Set aside.
Pour the water and vinegar into a 4-quart saucepan. Add the sugar and garlic and chili mixture. Stir to mix and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 10 minutes, until all the sugar has dissolved and the liquid has reduced to 2 cups.
Stir the cornstarch slurry and pour it slowly into the saucepan. Stir continuously and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let it cool, uncovered. Once it has cooled completely, transfer to a jar and refrigerate.
Serve as a condiment to accompany roast chicken, fried egg rolls or fried noodles.
Keeps for several months in the fridge.