You will find many ways in which to enjoy my homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce and you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to make. It is made from ingredients that are readily available and, as with all foods that we make ourselves, we can control the quality of the ingredients which we use. It is certain to become a staple condiment in your home!
Why we love this recipe:
If you like a condiment that adds a boost of flavour to many dishes, look no further, this is the recipe for you. Sweet Chilli Sauce is an essential condiment to many Asian recipes.
Here are some of the reasons that we love it:
- The flavours are a harmonious blend of sweet, spicy and tangy.
- It will suit people who follow a gluten-free or vegan diet.
- You will be delighted to discover how quick and easy it is to make your own Thai-style Sweet Chilli Sauce – it will take just a little over 30 minutes.
- All the ingredients are readily available; in fact, you may have many on hand.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Sugar – regular white sugar.
Water – I use filtered water.
Rice wine vinegar – is less acidic and milder than other vinegar.
Garlic – fresh garlic for flavour.
Long red chillies – also known as cayenne chillies. They generally have mild-gentle heat but can vary.
Cornflour/corn starch and cold water – combine to slightly thicken the chilli sauce.
Step by step instructions:
The long, red chillies are generally mild but can vary, so you may wish to wear disposable gloves.
- Finely chop the garlic and the chillies. Add the sugar, water, vinegar, garlic and finely chopped chillies to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then simmer rapidly on medium to high heat for 12 minutes.
- Mix the cornflour with cold water.
- Lower the heat, add the cornflour and water mixture to the chillies, stir well and simmer for about 3 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes then decant your Sweet Chilli Sauce into a sterilised jar or bottle.
Tips for success and FAQs:
When making your own pickles and preserves, always ensure you are sterilising the jars you will store them in. This is very simple to do:
- Choose glass jars with an airtight, metal lid and ensure they have been washed by hand in hot soapy water then rinsed well
- Preheat the oven to 130 Degrees C (270 F) and leave the jars for 15-20 minutes.
This is a relatively mild sauce. The cayenne chillies have great flavour and are often mild, but may vary. It should have a good balance of spicy and sweet.
If you would like a hot sauce, simply replace some of the chillies with a hot variety, such as Thai red chillies.
Yes, you could use white wine vinegar. Do not use distilled white vinegar; it is too strong.
Store in a sterilised glass jar/bottle, in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Our Sweet Chilli Sauce is delicious alongside many things, such as:
- Onion Patties
- Pea and Mint Fritters
- Tuna and Potato Patties
- Mini Bacon and Onion Pasties
- Tofu Sesame Toasts
- Thai Style Chicken and Noodle Meatballs
Not only is it fun to make your own Sweet Chill Sauce, but it is also easy to do. As with most things, nothing beats homemade. The ingredients are all natural; your sauce will not contain any unnecessary additives which you may find in some commercial varieties, and you will find many ways in which to enjoy it.
If you give this recipe a try, please let me know in the comments.
This post was originally published in August 2018. It has been updated with new photos and more information. The recipe remains the same.
Sweet Chilli Sauce
- 1 cup (225 g) white sugar
- 1 cup (250 ml) water See Note 1
- ½ cup (125 ml) rice wine vinegar See Note 2
- 3 cloves garlic – peeled and finely chopped
- 1 cup (115 g) long red chillies/cayenne peppers – finely chopped with seeds included – prepared weight See Note 3
- 1 tablespoon cornflour/corn starch See Notes 4 and 5
- 2 tablespoon cold water See Note 5
For accuracy, we recommend weighing your ingredients. This will produce the best results.
- The long, red chillies are generally mild, but they may vary, so as a precautionary measure, when chopping them you may choose to wear disposable gloves.
- Remove the stem end of the chillies and then slice them in half lengthways. Chop them finely by hand or use a small food processor but do not reduce them to a paste.
- In a small saucepan, place the sugar, 1 cup water, rice wine vinegar, finely chopped garlic and chillies. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then simmer rapidly on medium to high heat for 12 minutes.
- Mix the cornflour with the cold water. Lower the heat and re-stir the cornflour and water mixture as the cornflour tends to settle if prepared a little in advance.
- Add the cornflour and water to the chillies, stir well and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes before bottling. This helps to evenly distribute the chillies through the mixture.
- Decant into a sterilised jar or bottle. – See Note 5.When cool, store in the refrigerator for up to three months. When using, remove a portion of sauce from the jar and allow it to come to room temperature. Stir well before serving.
- It is essential to use filtered/un-chlorinated water when pickling or preserving. (You don’t want the bad taste of the water to affect the final product!)
- I have used rice wine vinegar, but you could use white wine vinegar. Do not use distilled white vinegar as it is too strong.
- The long red chilli is also known as cayenne/chilli pepper. After trimming the stalk, the chilli weight was 115 grams/4 ounces.
Use 1 tablespoon of cornflour if you like a thinner, pouring sauce or 1 ½ tablespoon cornflour if you prefer a thicker sauce.
- In Australia, the tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. Please adjust your measurement if necessary.
- To sterilise a jar, preheat your oven to 130 Degrees C (270F). Place a clean jar or bottle in the oven for at least 20 minutes, then remove and, while the jar is still hot, fill with the Sweet Chilli Sauce.
- Please note, the nutritional information is based on one cup of sauce. The nutritional information is an estimate only.
The nutritional information is an estimate only, and is derived from online calculators. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
Easy, worth trying. I doubled the recipe as my home grown chillies 🌶 are prolific. Didn’t change the recipe at all.
Hello Lyn, I am so pleased that you enjoyed the Sweet Chilli Sauce and appreciate your feedback. How fantastic that you were able to use your own homegrown chillies. 🙂
I doubled the recipe and it still came out really well. It tastes great! I added a little bit of salt for personal preference and used home grown jalapeños instead of cayenne peppers. I’ll definitely be keeping this recipe for sure.
Thank you for sharing, Nicole – so pleased to hear that 🙂
love this, i have a glut of birds eye chillies would ths work with those or would you suggest something else
You can certainly use the birds eye chillies here.
You could also try this recipe: Preserved Chillies in Oil
Hi hiw long can this sauce be stored for. And should it be kept in fridge
It will last for 2-3 months in the fridge.
Utterly delicious!!! I have made bottles of this for friends and family as Christmas gifts 👏
That is such a great gift idea – I am so glad you like the chilli sauce 🙂
Heidi | The Frugal Girls
I love your fabulous homemade sweet chili sauce. This would be so amazing on some cubed chicken breast and served over rice. Yum!!
Aww, thank you, Heidi! I am so happy you enjoy it.
Definitely like your serving suggestion too – Yum!
This is so much better than the store bought sweet chili sauce and it’s so easy to make! My kids always ask for this when eating chicken tenders or nuggets. I get the mild red chilis for them but make another batch with hot chilis for myself since I love it spicy!
I am delighted to hear that you and your family enjoy the Sweet Chilli Sauce and just love that you make a milder batch to suit your children. So nice! 🙂
Can this be canned
Hi Katrina! We haven’t tried canning this. This will last for several months, as is.
We prefer to make it in smaller batches for maximum flavour.
Let me know if you try it. Kind regards, Alex
I hosted a dinner party with some friends and we challenged ourselves to make everything from scratch. I honestly had no idea that homemade would taste so much better but I can guarantee I will never buy store bought again!
Hi Amy, I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed the Sweet Chilli Sauce. Thank you so much for letting me know. 🙂
Is cornflour the sMe as cornstarch?
Hi Joan, yes, cornflour and cornstarch can be used interchangeably – they are very similar and will produce the same result. Best wishes, Alex. 🙂
Totally love this recipe, the sauce makes simple dishes special. I tried it and the kids love it too. Thank u so much for sharing. I’ll never have to spend money buying sweet chilli sauce from the supermarket again 😉
Hi Ann-Marie, I am so happy to hear that you enjoy the Sweet Chilli Sauce. Thank you so much for letting me know. 🙂