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Chef John's Thai-Style Sweet Chili Sauce

Rated as 4.92 out of 5 Stars

"Here's my take on Thai-style sweet chili sauce, or Nam Jim. It's sort of a hybrid between the cooked and fresh versions. If you can't find Thai bird's eye chilies, use any other combination of fresh, preserved, and/or dried chilies. Things like jalapeno, red Fresno, or Serrano chilies work great, as does habanero. This sauce is great on grilled chicken and pork."
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20 m servings 65
Original recipe yields 8 servings (1 cup sauce)


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  1. Place 1/2 cup cold fresh water and vinegar in a saucepan. Whisk in Asian fish sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, sambal chili sauce, and cornstarch. Whisk until cornstarch disappears. Place over medium-high heat and bring up to a simmer stirring occasionally. As it bubbles, it will start to thicken up. Remove pan from heat.
  2. Whisk garlic and chili into hot mixture. Add fresh lime juice; whisk again. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature before checking for seasonings.
  3. If not using immediately, transfer to a glass jar with a lid. Refrigerate.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 65 calories; 0 16.4 0.4 0 310 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 9
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This is my new go-to Asian sauce. Can't wait to use the left-overs on some spring rolls. I used two habaneros and one serrano chili. This made it seriously hot, but we like it that way. It seeme...

Absolutely brilliant. The best I've ever made. I was not very sure about the importance of the fish sauce in this recipe that i've made it, I am. Its amazing that an Indian learning to co...

Really easy to make, and tasted so good!

Wonderful. Nice to have fresh ingredients and no preservatives

I substituted Sriracha for Sambal and just one dried arbol pepper instead of birds eye peppers (that's what I had). I also cut back a little on the brown sugar. Tasted surprisingly good!

The best Sweet Chili Sauce! The others Ive tried come out either too starchy (which separates) or not the same fullness in flavour.

I made this to go with the spicy shrimp cakes, went together perfectly. I used jalapeño, because that’s what I had on hand, otherwise followed the recipe.

Made sauce it was awesome. Didn’t have fish sauce so subbed 1 anchovie smashed with soy sauce. Delicious!!

Dang, this is now the go-to sauce in my house and others. I gave some to a friend of mine that is Vietnamese, and this is now her go to sauce. She supplies me with Vietnamese peppers and I make ...