Helen’s sweet chilli sauce

At my friend home she made dumplings: ha kao, siu mai, gyoza, just to name a few. She also made spring rolls, party beef pies and samosas. Guess what she had this gorgeous sweet chili sauce with Asian black vinegar sauce to go with the dumplings. She remembered me, whom like chili sauce, so she gave me a bottle to take home.

Google: “Sweet chili sauce is referred to as Thai Sweet Chili Sauce or Asian Sweet Chili Sauce, it’s a simultaneously sweet, savory, tangy and spicy sauce incorporating red chilies, garlic, ginger, sugar and vinegar.”

I of course ask her for recipe. She said her sister gave her; her sister had more garlic and tamari sauce instead of fish sauce; as her sister also change the recipe to suit her palate. She too changes to suit her palate; she had added sambal olek and rice wine. Hmm!!! I too change as I wanted it a bit more spicy and more sticky liquid. I have my sweet chili sauce with my drumette nuggets and vegetables. Let’s make it spicier!!!!


700g long fresh red chillies, stems trimmed
60g Bird’s eye chillies, deseed
4 garlic cloves, peeled
750ml white wine vinegar
150 ml apple cider vinegar
700 g caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tsp fish sauce
1/2 Tbs salt
2 cm ginger, peeled skin


Use disposable gloves to cut 300 g of the chillies into halves, and place in the bowl of a food processor. Halve and deseed the remaining chillies and bird’s eye. Coarsely chop them and ginger add into the food processor. Add garlic and 300 ml white wine vinegar. Process until finely chopped.

Place the chilli mixture, remaining vinegar, apple cider vinegar and caster sugar in a large saucepan over a low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.

Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Add lemon juice, salt, fish sauce. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 35-40 minutes or until the sauce thickens. When it had cool slightly, pour into sterilised airtight bottles and seal. Keep in the pantry for about 3 months, I would have finished it even before, I am a chili lover. Enjoy it with salad, chicken, beef, lamb, prawns and dumplings.

Note: If you can’t take too hot cut down bird’s eye chilies to half and the long fresh red chilies to 400 grams. I supposed you could use chili pepper and add chopped tomatoes so it’s not spicy for you.