Sweet Chilli Sauce Recipe


  • 1 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-5 long red chilies (adjust for heat preference, seeds removed for milder sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (for a richer chili flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or substitute fish sauce or salt)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cold water


  • Prep the aromatics: Mince the garlic and finely chop the red chilies. For less heat, remove the seeds and ribs from the chilies before chopping.
  • Combine the base: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, red chilies, sambal oelek, and soy sauce.
  • Simmer and thicken: Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for about 10-12 minutes, or until slightly thickened and the flavors have melded.
  • Create the slurry: In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water until smooth.
  • Thicken the sauce: Gradually whisk the cornstarch slurry into the simmering sauce. Continue to stir constantly over low heat until the sauce thickens and becomes glossy, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Cool and adjust: Remove the pan from heat and let the sauce cool slightly. Taste and adjust the balance of sweet, spicy, and salty flavors to your liking. If needed, add more sugar, chilies, or soy/fish sauce.
  • Strain (optional): For a smoother sauce, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve. This is optional but can remove any chili seeds or larger bits of garlic.
  • Store: Pour the cooled sauce into an airtight jar or bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.


  • Heat level: Adjust the amount of chili peppers and the inclusion/exclusion of seeds for your desired heat level.
  • Garlic intensity: If you love garlic, feel free to add a bit more.
  • Vinegar substitute: White wine vinegar can be used in place of rice vinegar.
  • Uses: Great as a dipping sauce, marinade for chicken or tofu, glaze for salmon, or as an ingredient in stir-fries.

Enjoy your homemade sweet chili sauce!


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