Aug 032012


You know that sauce that you want to slather on everything? That’s this Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. It’s the perfect dip for freshly fried egg rolls and wontons. I also like to add a little bit when I’m making stir fry or cooking up some chicken.

One of my favorite dishes to eat with this sauce? Deep fried tofu. OHHHH, man. That’s some good stuff right there.

I am use to buying sweet chili sauce in a bottle but when I saw multiple recipes pop up on Pinterest about making it at home, I was so intrigued! Then I found Picture the Recipe’s version and read it. Wait…I don’t have to go find exotic red chilies AND I already have all of the ingredients in my pantry? Seemed to good to be true!! Well, friends, it wasn’t.

After a couple attempts, the sauce came out almost exactly like the bottle you can purchase at the store! Except this homemade version doesn’t include xanthan gum and other wierd stuff, ya know what I mean?

Recipe adapted from: Picture the Recipe

Homemade Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This sauce tastes a lot fresher than its bottled counterpart. Also, it’s a bit more spicy…but that’s what I LOVE about it. Bring on the heat! If you’re not so much into the heat, only use half of the red pepper flakes or omit the sriracha.
  • 3/4 cup of Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp finely minced garlic (about 5-6 garlic cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (or less)
  • 1 tbsp of cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp of cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Add 1/4 cup water, rice vinegar, and sugar to a pot over medium-high heat. When the mixtures starts to boil, add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Bring the boil down to a simmer and let it simmer for another couple of minutes. This will make sure all of the flavors get infused nicely.
  2. Add the sriracha.
  3. In a separate small bowl, mix the cornstarch and 1 TB cold water until the cornstarch is dissolved.
  4. Bring the sauce to a low boil again and add the cornstarch/water mixture and salt.
  5. The sauce will begin to thicken up immediately. Cook, while constantly stirring, until the mixture reaches desired thickness...about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Let the sauce cool and then dip away!


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  50 Responses to “Homemade (Thai) Sweet Chili Sauce”

  1. I made this tonight for some salad rolls and it was delicious!! Very spicy and fresh, will make this instead of buying it from now on :) Thanks!

  2. […] shrimp rolls are super easy. Plus, sriracha is involved. And you get to dip them in this Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. What’s not to […]

  3. I can’t wait to try this!!

  4. I so am going to make this, my question is…..can you can this and if not how long is it good in the refrigerator for? Thanks for sharing this!!!

    • Hey Andrea! So glad to hear you’re going to try out the recipe!! I’ve actually never tried canning it but I’ve left it in the fridge for over a month and it’s still been good. I hope this helps! Let me know how it turns out :-)

  5. I made this tonight for dipping fried tofu. Overall I enjoyed the recipe. I think i went a little overboard with the garlic! My only issue is the rice vinegar. Once I let the sauce cool it still had quite the strong smell of the rice vinegar. I’m not sure if it was the brand I used, I didn’t let it simmer enough or just my sense of smell but it seemed rather strong. This was my first time using rice vinegar so maybe its just me. Great recipe though!

    • Hey Justin!

      Thanks for the feedback, and I’m so glad you tried the recipe! The first time I made this recipe, I used way too much rice vinegar so that’s why the recipe calls for 1/4 cup. I really like it at this amount but I like rice vinegar so the flavor could be too strong for others. I’d suggest only adding about 1/8 of a cup if you try again. You can always add more if it’s not enough! :)

  6. Just made a double batch and put them directly into 2, half pint mason jars. Had a little taste before the lids went on and very delicious! I am guessing its only going to get hotter with age. Thanks for the recipe! I may be making this and sending them out as gifts for x-mas.

  7. I just made this for adding to my stir fry and was shocked when my garlic turned blue. Do you know how I can prevent this from happening in the future?

    • Hey Kristen!

      Blue garlic? Yikes! How strange, sorry about this! I’ve never heard of garlic turning blue before but I did a quick search and found this helpful article:

      It looks like maybe the acid in the vinegar is causing it to turn a weird color but the garlic should still be fine to consume. I’ve made this sauce multiple times and have never had any issues. I would suggest trying again with a different head of garlic or a different rice vinegar brand? Let me know if you decide to try again! :)

  8. Tried this two ways, one conventional and the other, well, a little different.

    First, used as a dipping sauce on rare salmon- delicious. And then our rambuncious friend put some of this sauce in a shot glass and added a raw oyster!! A new twist on a spicy oyster shooter. Great recipe made exactly as directed!

  9. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Made this sauce last week (reduced the rice vinegar and garlic due to taste) and it was phenomenal! Unfortunately, I ended up with an incredibly thick sauce because I got impatient waiting for it to thicken and added more cornstarch. Oops. Oh well, it was still enjoyed by everyone who tried it. This homemade sauce is so much better than store bought!

  10. I’m making this right now to use in place of soy sauce in chow mein tonight and dip won tons in.

    But…. even with the corn starch it didn’t seem to thicken… :(

    I did taste it though and it was delicious!

    • Hey Caroline,

      Bummer it didn’t thicken properly. How hot was the sauce when you added the cornstarch? I think if you add it at a higher heat the cornstarch will absorb better and then start to thicken the mixture when it starts to cool. You could also add a little more cornstarch at a time to get the desired consistency.

      Hope this helps. Thanks for commenting! :)

      • It wasn’t quite boiling. Maybe that was my problem. I did add some more, mixed with water again, when it was boiling, but it still didn’t help.

        I think I’ll try boiling it again and add the corn starch directly and see what happens :)
        Thanks for the tips!

        At least it tastes yummy ;)

        • You don’t need cornstarcch because if you have a decent amout of sugar it will thixken automatically and when it starts to cool of it will thicken even more.

    • Re-boiling corn starch-thickened sauces to tighten them up typically doesn’t work, it causes the sauce to break. The trick to getting the corn starch right is having the product right at a boil, and stir in the slurry slowly. You will feel the resistance in the spoon increace as you stir, this ensures the temperature stays at a boil so full thickening occurs. If you add it too fast and don’t bring the temperature all the way back to a boil, the sauce will fail to tighten, and you will be able to taste the cornstarch in the sauce.

  11. I made this recipe and it turned out great! I did add double the sriracha sauce (we like our sauce spicy) and I used cane sugar so my sauce is a little brown but it tastes AMAZING. I doubled the recipe and now I am currently canning one of the jars. Next time I make it I will just quadruple the recipe so I can do a bunch of jars!

    • Oh, doubling the sriracha sounds tasty! I like it spicy too but I know everyone is a little different so I didn’t want to make the recipe TOO spicy. I’m going to try doubling the hot sauce though–love it! Thanks for stopping by Beth!

    • Could you please tell me how to can this?! I am new to canning but love it and this sauce!

      This sauce is great, thank you for a wonderful recipe.

      • I can EVERYTHING! You would have to use a pressure canner and find the processing time for your area….Here in Missouri, because of our altitude, it would be 10 pounds of pressure and it would require at least a 10 minute processing as well. I plan to can a bunch this week….will let you know ow it turns out…that is…if I can find the blog again! LOL If you ever have any canning questions, feel free to shoot me an email…I have been canning for over 30 years! And used to teach classes at a local extension office.

  12. I’m going to make this recipe tonight but do not have rice vinegar on hand, in an effort to avoid the market tonight is it possible to substitute rice vinegar for red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or regular vinegar? I don’t know how this will affect the taste. Thanks!

    • Hey Lauren!

      Excited that you’re making this tonight! I’ve never tried substituting vinegars before but I do believe that this will change the taste. Rice vinegar is a little sweeter than the other types. If you’d have to substitute, I would go with…white wine vinegar? But that is sort of just a shot in the dark. If possible, I would run to the store and get some rice vinegar because its flavor really adds to this sauce. Hope this helps, and let me know how it turns out! :)

  13. I always thought Thai sweet chili sauce was some exotic Asian sauce/condiment that would require lots of unusual ingredients and that would be very difficult to duplicate at home. Let me say this: I just made this in my own kitchen with ingredients I had readily available, in a matter of just a few minutes, and it is WONDERFUL! Thank you so much for your recipe!

  14. I LOVE this recipe so much! I add a little extra pepper flakes since i like the spice, but I add this to everything and it’s amazing <3

  15. […] to make at home, requires only a few ingredients, and costs pennies. I made my own this time, using this recipe, but the price listed below is what I paid the last time I bought […]

  16. […] to make at home, requires only a few ingredients, and costs pennies. I made my own this time, using this recipe, but the price listed below is what I paid the last time I bought […]

  17. I like to make chicken stir fry dishes with sweet chili sauce; does anyone know if this recipe is still as delicious when making a lot of sauce? Has anyone tried using it as a sauce rather than a dip?

    • Hey Tyler!

      I think it would be reallllly delicious with chicken stir fry! I haven’t tried it with chicken but I’ve used it when stir frying tofu and I’d imagine that the outcome would be ablout the same.

      Let me know how it goes if you end up using it in your stir fry! Thanks for stopping by :)

  18. Made this for a recipe and it congealed completely when it cooled. Do you know what I did wrong and how to make it more of a sauce consistency?

    • Hey Elizabeth–bummer, so sorry to hear that it congealed! I make this recipe about twice a month and have never had this happen. :( Did you add extra corn starch? That might have done it. Or maybe the heat was too high. Let me know if you decide to give it another go!

  19. […] tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce  (I used store bought but this recipe looks […]

  20. Amazing! I will never buy a store bought again!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

  21. Thank you! I was dreading having to go to the store and decided to browse…. I found you and your delicious life-saving recipe! THANK YOU… you’ve helped me keep my 75% Scratch menu devotion going!

  22. This sauce is sooo good I’m going to marinate some Pork Butt steak and chicken wings in it and then bake them, I’ve done this before with the steak and the store bought Chili Sauce but this sauce is going to taste even better on them. tahnks for sharing.

  23. Very nice recipe. We didnt have rice vinegar, so I used sugar cane vinegar instead. Works quite well. Also, used 3/4 teaspoon of dried garlic flakes. Imo its just enough. The garlic taste doesnt rule the overall flavour

  24. […] dedication left me no choice but to improvise. After some Internet perusing, I found this recipe for sweet chili sauce and decided to go with it. It couldn’t be easier to put together; sugar, water, red pepper […]

  25. […] Chicken ( served over rice, topped with cilantro, lime, mango, pineapple, and Thai Sweet Chili sauce (  The chicken rice bowl seemed quite popular, and they ate up all […]

  26. I made this today, with one change. Since this recipe is home made, and as close to preservative free as one can get, I chose to not use the Sriracha, since, much as I love it, it contains xanthum gum. I really appreciate your sharing this recipe. It tastes delicious, and is soooo much cheaper then purchased.

  27. I make this sauce to dip our chicken in everytime we make our roasted garlic and peppers breaded chicken. I have made this recipe with and without the sriracha and it still tastes great, I even read the recipe wrong the 1st time I made this and used white vinegar and it still turned out tasty! This recipe makes the perfect amount and is soo easy to make, making it easy to make the day you need it.

  28. hi just like to ask can i use any hot pepper sauce or must i get Sriracha ?

  29. […] just light enough to make it taste Thai. I also found a recipe for homemade Sweet Chili Sauce from life tastes like food which I modified for Passover (and to make it less spicy). The coconut chicken and dipping sauce […]

  30. This was SO amazing! It’s so hard to find sauce recipes for sushi when you’re vegan, and this worked so wonderfully. I used about a third of the sugar in the recipe because I didn’t want as much, and it was still quite sweet–just an FYI to anyone who wants it a little less on the spicy side. Thank you so much!

  31. i was wondering if you could can this and processes it like jelly? would it have the shelf like like jell or jam? can you even cann it????

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