This preservative-free, homemade Asian Chili Garlic Sauce is an all-around flavor-builder, perfect condiment, and savory marinade for your dishes. A special mix of spicy, zesty, tangy, and mildly sweet flavors that is made fragrant with lots of garlic.
I am not by any means a spicy junkie, but I do enjoy adding some fieriness to my dishes every now and then! It is said that if you add the right amount of spiciness to your food, it will boost your appetite. It's probably the reason why a bottle of chili garlic sauce is almost a staple in every Asian household.
Why make Chili Garlic Sauce?
Sure, you can always buy a bottle of this in any supermarket or grocery store out there. However, making it yourself from scratch has certain advantages too! First, it is so easy to make! It will not take you more than 15 minutes using 6 ingredients only! Making it yourself also allows you to control the level of spiciness that suits your taste. You can lessen the number of chilis to achieve the desirable punch you like. Add more sugar for sweetness or more vinegar for tanginess. You also save money by not buying those expensive ready-made ones. The ingredients used here are quite budget-friendly. Lastly, this recipe uses all-natural ingredients, so it's preservative-free.
Foxy Tips when making Chili Garlic Sauce
- You can always use a mixture of different chili peppers when making this. If you want to make it less spicy, mix it up with some red bell peppers.
- Another way to lessen the spiciness is to remove the seeds of the chili peppers.
- Every good chili sauce starts with good chili peppers. Always select good quality chilis by examining the skin. Discard those with dark spots and blemishes. The presence of mold inside may be indicated by soft and mushy chilies.
- If you do not have a food processor or blender, you can always do it manually by chopping or by using mortar and pestle.
- Put the stove fire to low or medium heat and continuously stir the mixture as it simmers to avoid sticking and burning to the pan.
- The longer you cook it, the spicier it becomes. So always do a taste test before removing from heat.
Usage of chili garlic sauce
This sauce is can be used in about everything! We normally enjoy it as a dip for dumplings and to spice up simple noodle soups. It can also be used as an additional marinade for meat for grilling or even for basting. It's also perfect for stir-fries or saucy dishes that need spicing up!
Use it for this dishes:
- Shrimp in Chili Crab sauce
- Fried Buffalo Wings
- Spicy Beef Ramen
- Hainanese Chicken
- Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce
You can store it in a jar in the fridge for up to 3 months. Dipping used utensils when getting chili sauce is taboo for it will just lead to spoilage. It is also helpful to label the container with the date when it was made.
Though both have essentially the same flavor, function, and appearance, there are still significant differences between the two. Chili paste has a thicker texture as it contains less moisture than chili sauce. Chili sauces usually have complex flavors like garlic and other ingredients while on chili paste, chili pepper is basically the focal ingredient.
You can choose from various types of chilies depending on the Scoville unit or level of spiciness you would like to attain. Birds’ eye chili or Thai chili is commonly used. Labuyo can also be used but they are spicier while jalapeno is milder in comparison with the other two.
Chili Garlic Sauce
- Wash peppers and cut out the green stems.
- Put the peppers, garlic, salt, sugar, and vinegar in a blender and blend on medium speed until finely chopped. If too dry, add 1-2 tablespoon of water to make it easier to blend.
- Transfer the mixture in a small pot or saucepan. Heat the pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tbsp of water and add this to the mixture once it starts to simmer. Cook until it thickens and then turn off the heat and let it cool down completely.
- It is ready to be served or it can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to 3 months.