This is an all-purpose, homemade chili-garlic sauce recipe, much like the Asian Huy Fong chili garlic sauce, but freshly made, without preservatives. Super easy to make, and can be used in many recipes.
Walking through your typical grocery store, most likely you aren't going to find many chili-garlic sauces available to you. You'll probably find "Huy Fong" chili garlic sauce in the Asian aisle, maybe one other competing brand, but that's about it.
Unless you're in a specialty store, your choices are fairly limited, and specialty stores are few and far between unless you're living within a fair sized city.
Chili-Garlic Sauce is something I use regularly. Unlike Sriracha, it is a freshly made sauce, unfermented, and is meant more for cooking rather than a condiment, though it can be used for both purposes. In fact, if you're out of chili-garlic sauce, you CAN use Sriracha as a substitute, but it isn't quite the same in texture and flavor.
Check out my Homemade Sriracha Hot Sauce Recipe (both fermented and unfermented versions).
Sometimes you want one over the other. Lucky for us, we know how to make our own chili-garlic sauce at home on our own. Well, at least NOW we all do!
Because here is the recipe.
The recipe is simple enough. It uses only 4 main ingredients, aside from salt and pepper - chili peppers, garlic, sugar and vinegar. Let's make some!
How to Make Chili-Garlic Sauce
First, select and measure out your chili peppers by weight. Four ounces is good. You can choose any type of pepper to make a good chili-garlic paste, though Thai chiles are traditional in some regions. Red, fresh, vibrant peppers are ideal. Consider cayennes, red jalapenos, red serranos, or Fresno peppers to make this sauce.
Add the peppers to a food processor along with 4 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, and a bit of salt and pepper.
Next, process to form your sauce. Pour all of the ingredients into a pot and simmer them for about 10 minutes to meld the flavors.
Finally, cool and adjust with a bit more salt and pepper to your personal tastes. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge until ready to use.
Video Recipe - Chili-Garlic Sauce
Recipe Making Tips
It is best to use the freshest chili peppers available to you, so be sure to check the peppers for blemishes or spots. You can, however, make this with frozen chili peppers as well. Just be sure to thaw them out and dry them a bit with a paper towel before processing.
If you have a larger food processor, it is best to make a larger batch so the ingredients can be properly processed.
Adjusting the Heat Level
I often make this with medium-hot level chili peppers, though realistically you can make this recipe with any type of pepper. Use sweet peppers for a no-heat version that can still be used in many, many recipes.
Go with ghost peppers or above - see my list of superhot chili peppers - for a seriously HOT version. Best case is to use a good variety for both heat and flavor.
What Can I Make with Chili-Garlic Sauce?
Chili-Garlic Sauce typically lends itself to Asian-inspired recipes, though you can use it in numerous dishes. Here are some recipes to get you started.
- Chili-Garlic Shrimp with Thai Lime Rice
- Sweet and Spicy Asian Noodle Bowl with Habanero Peppers
- Grilled Salmon
- Chicken Ramen
Try These Other Popular Sauce Recipes
- Sweet Garlic Chili Sauce
- Sweet Pepper Chili Sauce
- Garlic-Habanero Hot Sauce
- Chili Sauce
- General Tso Sauce
If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you'll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don't forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I'll be sure to share! Thanks! -- Mike H.
Homemade Chili-Garlic Sauce – Recipe
- 4 ounces spicy chili peppers – This works for any pepper of choosing. I used a bunch of Fresno peppers. Use a variety.
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a small pot and heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Cool and adjust the flavor with salt and pepper to your tastes.
- Store in a sealable jar in the refrigerator.
This recipe was updated on 7/21/18 to include a video and updated photos. Originally published on 5/31/2017.