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.
Thank you for sharing the recipe of my favorite sauce! It was easy to prepare and the flavor was excellent! I’m certainly going to prepare this more often!
I am so happy to hear that the sauce worked so well for you. Thanks for taking the time to let me know 🙂
I love how easy this was to prepare! My husband was thrilled! Thank you!
Thank you, Nora!
So pleased you enjoyed the recipe 🙂
Hi. Can I put apricot jam to turn it into a chillie chutney? Look forward to hearing from you .
I have never tried that before, so couldn’t say. I would wonder if it would be too sweet?
If you do give it a try, I’d love to hear how you get on.
If you are interested, I do have a delicious Peach Chutney Recipe (linked) you could try 🙂
Brilliant recipe, thank you. I modified slightly by adding a little ginger.
My only issue is that it is slightly cloudy, I think due to the corn flour mix. I realise this is essential to give it the thickness but is there any way to minimise that? I used filtered water as well in both parts.
Thanks so much – I am happy you enjoyed the recipe.
With respect to the mixture being cloudy – it shouldn’t be too cloudy.. can I check, is this when it is at room temperature or after it has been in the fridge? Ours is a little cloudy when it is chilled, but once it has reached room temperature again, it clears up.
I am just wondering if cooking for an extra 1-2 minutes might make all the difference here too.
We are making a batch over the weekend – I am going to give it a try with arrowroot instead, and will let you know how it goes.
Many thanks, Alex
Hi again, Chris!
Just confirming that we made a batch with arrowroot – it looks a little clearer. Same quantity as per the cornflour – you may wish to try that next time 🙂
Kind regards, Alex
Using potato starch instead tends to result in being clearer.
Use potato starch instead of cornstarch for a clear jelly.
I am designing a dessert chili sauce for use e.g. with mangoes & creme fraiche, so I am leaving out the garlic & using maraschino cherries instead. This recipe looks to be a good basic chili sauce without complicated spice or tom. puree additions. Thanks for the tip on Oz tablespoons, I didn’t know that!
Hi Luce, your dessert chilli sauce sounds fantastic. What a great idea! I do hope that you enjoy it. 🙂
Fantastic and easy. I added some ginger too and some chilli powder for a bigger kick.. Never buying sweet chilli sauce again! Thanks!
Hi Nicola, I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed the Sweet Chilli Sauce and adapted it slightly to your taste. Thank you for your feedback. 🙂
Morning, can I re-boil as my sauce is too runny, thank you
Have you let the sauce cool yet? It will thicken as it cools.
If you have, and you’d still prefer the sauce to be thicker, you can reboil and add a little more cornflour and water mixture.
So easy to make and the recipe is easy to follow with helpful tips thrown in.
Hello Debra, thank you for your lovely comments on the Sweet Chilli Sauce. I am so pleased that you enjoyed it. 🙂
I’ve just made it, smells amazing! I was wanting to store it in the pantry (as I tripled the recipe and have heaps) is it store in the pantry and will last 3 months in the fridge once opened or it has to be refrigerated.
That’s great to hear!
This recipe is to be kept in the fridge and will last for three months.
Kind regards, Alex
Do you know if low cal sweetener works in this sweet chilli sauce recipe?
Hi Lynda, I haven’t tried making the Sweet Chilli Sauce with an alternative sweetener. It may be worth searching for a specific recipe. However, as sugar does help preserve the Sauce, one with an alternative sweetener may not keep as long. I hope this helps. Best wishes, Alex
I made the sauce last night….we had it with our dinner delish! I put it in the fridge and noticed it has turned cloudy! What did I do wrong?
Hi Anna, I do apologise for the delay in writing back to you. Firstly, I am so glad that you enjoyed the taste of the sauce! I have been wondering if the cloudiness was perhaps due to boiling the sauce a little too long or if it would disappear when the Sweet Chilli returned to room temperature? Something else which may be helpful for a future batch is the amount of chilli. As chillies vary in size it is recommended that you use the weight shown in the recipe notes. For the volume measurement, I prepared some last night and it was 1 cup of chopped chilli. I hope that helps – please feel free to reach out with any questions. Kind regards, Alex
You can use sweet chili sauce on so many various recipes. I love how easy this is and how you give clear instructions.
Hello Genevieve, I am so pleased that you enjoy our Sweet Chilli Sauce. It really is a useful, versatile condiment. 🙂
Hi. Can you use rice vinegar vs rice wine vinegar, and chilli flakes vs fresh chillies?
Hello Preet, rice wine vinegar is actually just another name for rice vinegar. This recipe has been developed for fresh chillies. I have not tried using dried chillies so cannot advise you on that. It would be best to look for a recipe that is written especially for dried chillies. I hope this helps. Best wishes, Alex 🙂