This Thai sweet chili sauce recipe is the perfect mix of savory, sweet and spicy, great with shrimp, noodle dishes, egg rolls, or as a dipping sauce. Easy to make!
This is the recipe for Thai Sweet Chili Sauce you've been looking for, my friends. This version is the ideal mix of sweet and spicy, perfectly balanced to please your spicy food loving palates.
Thai sweet chili sauce is a sweet, sour and spicy chili sauce used to add punch and flavor to many dishes. In Thailand, it is called "nam jim gai" (sometimes spelled "nam chim kai").
While it originated in Thailand, it has spread around the world and has become hugely popular in the U.S. and western cooking. It's a mix of chili peppers with vinegar and other ingredients, then sweetened and often thickened.
You'll usually find it in bottles at the supermarket, or in restaurants paired with fried chicken or spring rolls, as the combination of sweet and sour perfectly compliments the salty qualities of fried foods.
However, you can use it in so many other ways.
Of course you can find sweet chili sauce in grocery stores, but homemade sweet chili sauce is so much better, especially when you can make it your own way.
Most recipes focus on the sweet and sour elements, though I like to up the overall spice factor just a bit, in order to achieve a better balance for those like me who enjoy spicy foods.
Let's talk about how to make Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, shall we?
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Ingredients
- Rice Vinegar. White vinegar is a good substitute.
- Sugar. You can use honey as a substitute.
- Hot Chili Flakes. Use dried/crushed red chilies for this recipe. Options include bird's eye chilies, spur chilies, Thai chilies, japones, chile de arbol, or others - or use fresh minced red chili peppers.
- Rice Wine.
- Sriracha. Or use sambal oelek as a substitute.
- Fish Sauce.
- Corn Starch. For thickening.
How to Make Thai Sweet Chili Sauce - the Recipe Method
Add to a Small Pot. Add all of the ingredients to a small pot.
Boil, then Simmer. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring, until it thickens. If you prefer a thicker sweet chili sauce, add in more of the corn starch slurry and simmer until it thickens up to your preference.
Cool and Refrigerate. Cool the sauce and enjoy as desired. Keep refrigerated.
Boom! Done! Your Thai sweet chili sauce is ready to go. How are you serving yours? Dipping sauce? Slathered over shrimp? I'd love to hear it! So easy to make, isn't it?
Serving Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- Fried Chicken Dipping Sauce. This sauce is most popular as a dipping sauce for chicken, particularly fried chicken or chicken wings. It's also great with other fried foods, like fried shrimp.
- Seafood Dipping Sauce. Thai chili sauce is perfect as a dipping sauce for shrimp and seafood.
- Dipping Sauce for Rolls. Sweet chili sauce is essential for fried egg rolls, but also try it on fresh spring rolls. So good!
- Noodles. Swirl Thai sweet chili sauce into a bowl of noodles, or use to enhance your stir fries.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Other Ingredients/Add Ins. Soy sauce is a popular addition to Thai sweet chili sauce, though I omit it in my own recipe. Give it a go, as it does compliment nicely. When serving, try adding crushed roasted peanuts or fresh chopped cucumber.
- Heat Factor. Mild-Medium. My version isn't an overly spicy version, with only a touch of heat. You can easily add in hotter chili flakes to achieve your perfect balance. Use bell peppers for a no-heat version.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my Thai Sweet Chili Sauce recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!
If you enjoy Thai recipes, I recommend the following cookbooks, which I used to adapt this recipe. Great cookbooks!
- Hot Thai Kitchen Cookbook, by Pailin Chongchitnant (affiliate link, my friends!) - "Demystifying Thai Cuisine with Authentic Recipes to Make at Home". It is filled with great recipes and I have learned quite a bit about Thai ingredients and the structure of building Thai curries.
- 101 Thai Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die: The Essential Recipes, Techniques and Ingredients of Thailand, by Jet Tila and Tad Weyland Fukomoto (affiliate link, my friends!)
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Easy Thai Peanut Sauce
- Thai Chili Paste (Nam Prik Pao)
- Thai Red Curry Paste
- See all of my Thai Recipes.
Try My Other Popular Sauce Recipes
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. 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.
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar use 2 tablespoons for less sweet
- 3 tablespoons hot chili flakes use dried/crushed - bird's eye chilies, Thai chilies, japones, chile de arbol, or others - or use fresh minced
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 1 tablespoon sriracha or sambal oelek
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water to make a slurry - double this for thicker sweet chili sauce
- Add all of the ingredients to a small pot.
- Heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring, until it thickens.
- Cool and enjoy. Keep refrigerated.