Have you ever eaten at a Thai restaurant and wondered what the thick red/yellow sauce with red flakes is? That's sweet chili sauce, and it's the perfect condiment for everything from dipping to marinades and more. In Thailand, this sauce is called nam chim kai. It adds a delicious sweet, spicy flavor to dishes.
Intrigued? Read on for more information about this tasty condiment. After reading through, you'll want to put this spicy sweet and sour sauce on everything (we promise)!
What Is Sweet Chili Sauce?
Thai sweet chili sauce is mainly used in Thailand, Malaysia, and America. The history of this sauce is unclear, though it's thought to have been created in Thailand for use in local restaurants. This sauce is used for various dishes, including marinades for grilled fish and chicken wings.
If you’ve eaten this sauce in a restaurant, you’ve most likely used it as a dipping sauce for egg rolls or spring rolls. It’s sweet, spicy, thick, and utterly delicious. Some western recipes pair it with more unexpected food - like cream cheese!
What Is Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Made Of?
Sweet chilli sauce is a condiment that varies slightly from brand to brand. Only one ingredient remains the same throughout the recipes – the chili peppers.
Generally, the ingredients also include sugar, salt, spices (like garlic powder), tomato paste, and chilis (or red pepper flakes). However, these ingredients are sometimes swapped out for other items like rice vinegar, fruits, vegetables, maple syrup, fish sauce, brown rice syrup, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, chili flakes, etc.
Why Is Thai Sweet Chili Sauce So Delicious?
There is no singular reason why this Asian sweet chili sauce is so delicious. Perhaps the main contributing factor is the perfect balance between sweet, tangy, and spicy. However, it's also very versatile and goes well with different types of protein (even tofu).
This condiment is also great because even though it has a slight kick, it's generally not too spicy for most people. So, essentially, it's the perfect combination of flavors, and you can, indeed, put it on everything.
What Can You Pair With Sweet Chili Sauce?
Looking for some inspiration for snacks and meals you can pair with this tasty sauce? Grab your authentic sweet chili sauce like the Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce, and let's dig into this pairing list! We only ask that you store sweet chili sauce in the fridge between uses so you can continue using it until the last drop.
If you’re feeling like creating a full meal – you can make the juiciest fried chicken with Kikkoman Karaage Japanese-Style Fried Chicken Mix. Grab drumsticks or thighs, coat them with whisked eggs and this fried chicken coating mix, and you'll have some heavenly, crispy fried chicken. Skip the barbecue sauce and grab your jar of Thai sweet chilli sauce for the ultimate dipping sauce.
These sweet, crunchy Kingodo Horohoro Yaki Rice Crackers are the perfect vessel for getting sweet chili sauce from a plate into your mouth! While the crackers are already slightly sweet, this sauce will boost the flavor and give them a nice subtle hint of heat.
Yes, you can combine this sauce with another sauce to create the perfect meshing of flavors! Slice your favorite veggies, beef (or other protein), and stir fry with the Ajinomoto Cook Do Beef & Pepper Stir Fry Sauce. Once done, add a spoonful of sweet chili sauce and mix well.
This Yamame Asadore Saba Mackerel Simmered in Water is perfect as-is, but it’s even better with a topping of sweet chili sauce! Add this canned fish to noodles or rice and add as much (or as little) sauce as you like. It’s a super easy lunch or meal idea that will keep you full and your tastebuds happy.
Yes – this versatile sauce is even a great pairing with cheese! Try dipping these Fritolay Japanese Doritos: Nacho Cheese into sweet Thai chili sauce for an epic combo. It will satisfy your sweet, spicy, cheesy cravings all in one bite!
Head to Bokksu Market for even more yummy snack and meal inspiration! This Asian grocery store features some of the most exclusive Asian grocery items from smaller vendors so that you can enjoy different snacks, meals, and sweet treats. Plus, you can order groceries online from Bokksu for a convenient shopping option.
By Krystina Quintana