Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce (Thai Style)

Thai sweet chili sauce is an integral part of my diet. I use it as a dipping sauce for Asian flavored appetizers or egg rolls, or I add couple of tablespoons of the gooey goodness on breaded chicken bits and vegetables to make a delicious stir fry dish. The possibilities of using this sauce are plenty! And if you’re like me and can’t do without Asian flavors every now and then it’s a must have sauce. But, since I find the ready made  sweet chili sauces you find in the stores a tad bit too sweet and not spicy enough for my palate, I’ve been making my own chili sauce at home for years and have perfected my perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavors.

 If you like Asian cuisine, I promise that having a jar of this highly versatile sauce in your refrigerator will make your life much more pleasant. It’s super easy to make and this recipe uses ingredients that you should easily have at home already…so it’s very cost effective. Refrigerated, it also easily lasts for months so there’s really no reason not to give it a try. Here’s my very own recipe for a sweet and spicy chili sauce…

Sweet & Spicy Chili Sauce Recipe

3/4 cup of Sugar
1/2 cup Rice Vinegar (you can substitue with white vinegar, but it’s stronger)
1/4 cup of water
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp or less Siracha/ Hot sauce (optional)
1 tbsp of cornstarch
1 tbsp of cold water (to dissolve the cornstarch)
1/2 tbsp fish sauce (or 1/2 tsp salt if you don’t have any)

– Start with 3/4 cup of sugar in a small sauce pan.
– Add the rice vinegar and water to the sugar and turn the heat to a medium high. Bring the sugar solution to a boil while stirring, until the all the sugar is dissolved.
– Add the finely minced garlic and crushed red pepper.
– For some extra heat and color you can add some siracha or hot sauce to it. I like it to have a little zip to it after the initial sweet flavor. Let the sauce simmer bubble for a few minutes until it thickens slightly and all the flavors blend in.
– In the meantime, dissolve 1 tablespoon of corn startch in a tablespoon of cold water until there are no lumps in it.
– Turn the heat up to a rapid bubble and pour in the cornstarch slurry in the sauce and stir it well.
– You’ll notice the sauce thicken faster and you can turn the heat down again. Lastly, add 1/2 tbsp of fish sauce for some saltiness or a 1/2 tsp of regular salt and stir it in. Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool down.
– Serve as a dipping sauce, or toss a couple tablespoons in a stir fry for sweet and spicy dish! Bottled or in an air-tight container this sauce lasts a long time in the fridge.


  1. AJ says

    Made this and LOVED it! Thai Sweet Chili Sauce is my favorite condiment and now I can make my very own You ROCK! :)

    • Noreen says

      That’s great to hear AJ! I usually make a double batch and have it in my fridge for whenever I want. I love using a spoon or so in stir fry’s for a touch of sweetness. In my next orange chicken recipe it forms the base of my sauce. :-)

      • WB says

        I was making stir fried shrimp and thought I had a bottle of the store-bought sweet chili and garlic sauce. I didn’t, but rather than a last minute dash to the store I found this recipe and it was great. I added a bit more garlic and pepper because I like intense flavors, and added a bit more fish sauce as well, but this recipe is basically the same as what comes in those big bottles of chili sauce you buy at the store. I am now wondering if I should ever buy the sauce at the store or simply make the sauce at home. Great recipe.

        • Noreen says

          So glad you liked it. I tend to prefer the home-made version as it’s not as sweet and I know all the ingredients that are going in it vs the preservatives and sugar substitutes companies use! Plus like you did…it’s completely customizable to your taste…so if you want it hotter…add more chilli, if you like garlic add more…want it tart add more vinegar. How can you beat that? =)

  2. Elizabeth says

    Yum! Just made this to use for Thai Chicken Bites from laurenslatest.com. I’m thinking it’s gonna be very tasty!

  3. Barb says

    Made this today, just wanted to pass on that it was SO very good! I had no sriracha so I subbed sambal oelek, worked very well–kicking up the heat a bit!
    Thanks so much for this recipe, it is now our go to sauce!!!

  4. Michel says

    I was going to make this for my sweetie. He came over and I showed him the recipe and he made it himself. He L-O-V-E-D it! He loved it so much that he is visiting his son in Arizona and is going to make a double or triple batch there! He put in a little more heat than noted because he loves hot stuff. It was soooooooooo good. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  5. jenny moss says

    I’m so glad I came across this recipe…I love sweet chili sauce and agree the store bought kinds are too sweet!! Can’t wait to make this tomorrow!

  6. Melanie says

    I made this for the second time tonight to go with my chicken tenders. Absolutely love this stuff! Thanks for a perfect recipe.

  7. Lisa says

    So glad I made this sauce last night. It was perfect with lumpia! Very easy to make and way better than the stuff I used to purchase in the bottle. The flavors are far more pronounced. Never purchasing the bottled product again, especially since I usually always have the ingredients in my kitchen anyway.


  8. Charlotte says

    It’s rare to find a recipe that needs no tweaking. This is one of them! It’s perfect as is, simple and with ingredients I always have on hand. And as others have noted, you CAN tweak it if you need a little more heat. Thanks so much!

  9. says

    I used white vinegar, and fresh red chilies and the sauce was tasting very nicely. Also I added at least 4 garlic cloves, however I felt I should add a lot more. Garlic is a magic word in here, and it makes wonders to the sauce. I would love to use fresh red chilies in this recipe. How much should I use in your recipe?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>