Homemade Thai Sweet Chili Sauce recipe uses 6 simple ingredients and takes just 10 minutes to prepare. It’s a flavorful healthy sauce that contains just a fraction of the sugar in store bought options!
Table of Contents
- What Is Thai Sweet Chili Sauce?
- How to Make Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- Can I Use A Sugar Free Substitute for Making This Sauce?
- Can I Use Fresh Red Chillies?
- How to Add an Umami Taste?
- How Do I Use Thai Sweet Chili Sauce?
- How Long Can It Be Stored?
- More Must Try Thai Inspired Recipes
- Healthy Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe Recipe
I’m no stranger to making homemade sauces and dressings like this peanut sauce or Asian salad dressing. They take minutes to prepare, contain no preservatives, and can be made far healthier than their store bought alternatives.
For example, this Thai sweet chili sauce recipe contains no refined sugar and is heat adjustable for a tastier and healthier version of your favorite Thai chili sauce.
It’s sweet and sour, tangy, with a kick of heat, and makes for a delicious condiment or dipping sauce. Now you can learn how to make Thai sweet chili sauce at home with just a few all natural, affordable ingredients and just 10 minutes of prep time!
What Is Thai Sweet Chili Sauce?
Also referred to as Asian sweet chili sauce, Thai chili sauce or nam chim kai in Thailand, it means “dipping sauce for chicken” and pairs perfectly with almond crusted chicken or crispy coconut chicken.
Sweet chili sauce commonly may contain red chili paste (or sambal oelek), rice wine vinegar, sugar, and sometimes ginger and fish sauce. My version is a simplified version with easy to find ingredients plus it’s refined sugar free, gluten free and vegan.
Maybe I’m a little biased, but I honestly think this is the only Thai sweet chili sauce recipe you’ll ever need. It’s the best!
One of the best parts about this homemade Thai chili sauce recipe is that all ingredients listed below are affordable and easy to buy organic if desired.
- Maple syrup: This chili sauce recipe relies on maple syrup rather than using tons of refined white sugar. You could alternatively use honey, agave, or brown rice syrup, but each will affect the flavor and sweetness.
- Vinegar: Rice vinegar is naturally milder and on the sweeter side, so it works perfectly.
- Garlic: I use just one clove of garlic, but feel free to adjust the amount to personal preferences.
- Red pepper flakes: I used regular red pepper flakes but feel free to swap this out with other chili varieties.
- Cornstarch: Needed to thicken the sauce. You could also potentially use arrowroot powder or tapioca starch, though I haven’t tried.
- Water: To thin the sauce, adjust to preference.
- Salt: To enhance taste.
How to Make Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
Only a few easy steps and this healthy Thai sweet chili sauce is ready to use!
- Add the ingredients to a pan: Add all the Asian sweet chili sauce ingredients to a pan and whisk until well combined.
- Thicken and reduce: Bring the chili Thai mixture to a boil over medium heat, reduce to low, and simmer for 7-10 minutes, or until thickened. Then, use immediately, transferring any leftovers to a clean glass jar.
Before transferring to a jar, give your Thai sweet chili sauce a quick taste test and adjust any elements if needed. For example, more chili for heat, more maple for sweetness, or a little more vinegar for tang.
Can I Use A Sugar Free Substitute for Making This Sauce?
Yes, you could make this with a sugar free alternative like granulated erythritol, but it won’t be quite as sticky. You could also try a liquid monk fruit or a sugar free syrup alternative. The flavor might differ.
Can I Use Fresh Red Chillies?
Yes, especially if you desire your Thai sweet chili sauce to be a more red color similar to those found in store bought bottles. Use Thai red chillies if you can find them and be aware they are more spicy so you may want to remove the seeds before you process them into a paste.
Alternately, you could use sambal oelek which is a pickled chili paste. You may find you need to use less rice vinegar with this option.
I find that using a combination of red pepper flakes and rice vinegar is comparable to both of these, plus I always have them on hand!
How to Add an Umami Taste?
With it’s sweet and spicy ingredients, balancing Thai sweet chili sauce with umami flavor adds depth of flavor. While this sauce does already have garlic (another umami ingredient) you could add 1-2 teaspoons soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten free option) that will add additional savory taste.
Simply swap out the type of dried chili flakes used (Chinese or Korean chili flakes are usually very mild) and the amount used. Note that the less you use, the less of a gorgeous orange/red color the sauce will be.
You also might be able neutralize the spice slightly with the addition of extra sweetener.
I recommend using other milder, sweeter options like white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Yes you can, but note that it’s sweeter than maple syrup and has a stronger flavor, so less would be needed.
You can add 1-2 teaspoons grated ginger for more depth of flavor and slight heat or 2-3 teaspoons fish sauce.
How Do I Use Thai Sweet Chili Sauce?
When I say that the food serving options for this sweet chili sauce are endless, I mean it. Here are just a few of the ways I like to enjoy it.
- As a sauce for cabbage stir fry.
- As a dip for healthy fried chicken.
- A dip for canned salmon cakes.
- With a meatless meal like fried tofu or air fryer tofu.
- A condiment for healthy salmon burgers.
- To make salad dressing in this Thai cucumber salad.
Let me know in the comments your favorite way of enjoying this homemade sweet chili sauce!
How Long Can It Be Stored?
You can store Thai sweet chili sauce in the fridge for between 2-3 weeks. It may thicken, just reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. You may need to add a splash of water to reach desired consistency.
I recommend freezing the sauce in smaller ‘portioned’ amounts in a silicone ice-cube tray for 2-3 months. The sauce won’t freeze solid, which is why it’s best to use a silicone tray for easy removal.
More Must Try Thai Inspired Recipes
- Thai chicken curry
- Thai turkey meatballs
- Thai chicken salad
- Thai cauliflower rice
- Pad Thai zucchini noodles
- Thai chicken butternut squash soup
- Instant Pot Thai chicken soup
Healthy Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe
- In a small saucepan, add maple syrup, water, vinegar, cornstarch, garlic, salt, red pepper chili flakes and whisk until combined.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 7-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
- Store: Refrigerate for up to a few weeks.
- Freeze: Freeze in smaller ‘portioned’ amounts in a silicone ice cube tray for 2-3 months.
- Sweetener: Honey, brown rice syrup, or agave may work, but taste may be sweeter.
- For umami taste: Add 1 – 2 tsp soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free).
- Deeper red color: Use fresh red Thai chillies that have been deseeded and made into a paste. Alternately, use sambal oelek (pickled chili paste).