Spicy Sweet Chilli Sauce

Course: Appetizer, Sauces & Dips
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Chili Garlic, Condiments, Sauce Recipes, Sweet Chili Sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling time: 1 hour
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 32 tbsp
Calories: 18kcal
Author: Dini from The Flavor Bender
The Easiest and Best Sweet Chili Sauce -  easy to make, and easy to adapt and most importantly absolutely delicious! Learn how to make this authentic Asian sweet chili sauce with step by step instructions. Great for canning too. 
EASY - Great recipe for beginners. Simple and fast recipe.
US based cup, teaspoon, tablespoon measurements. Common Measurement Conversions
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  • ½ cup rice vinegar unseasonsed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 oz white sugar (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce gluten free soy sauce or salt if you'd like to keep the recipe gluten free or soy free, OR 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper optional - halve it or leave it out if you like it less spicy
  • 2.8 oz sambal oelek a generous 2 1/2 tbsp (please see recipe notes)
  • 4 tsp cornflour / cornstarch (see recipe notes)
  • 2 tbsp water


  • Add the vinegar, water, sugar, garlic cloves, soy sauce, and cayenne pepper (if using) in to a non-stick pan. If you're using dried chili instead of sambal oelek, add it to the pan at the same time. 
  • Heat over medium heat while stirring, to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes. 
  • Add the sambal oelek and mix through. Let it cook for a few minutes until it's slightly thickened (2- 5 minutes)
  • Mix the cornstarch and water into a smooth slurry and add this to the sauce as well.
  • While stirring frequently (to prevent the sauce from burning at the bottom), simmer the sauce for a further 2 - 5 minutes or until it reaches a desired thickness. Remember, the sauce thickens as it cools as well. If it thickens too much, add a little extra water to thin it out. If you're using Clear Jel, the sauce will thicken mostly only as it cools down. 
  • Pour into glass jars with air-tight lids (OR heated and sterilized jars to store for longer).
  • Cool to room temperature and store in the fridge.


Sambal oelek substitutions
  • 2 tbsp dried chili flakes + 1 tbsp extra rice wine vinegar
  • Finely chopped red chili (red jalapeno or Thai red chili - please read blog post for details)
Cornstarch substitutions
  • For canning, use 5 ½ tsp of Clear Jel, dissolved in 3 tbsp water.
Please read the blog post for more ideas on substitutions for other ingredients. 


Calories: 18kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 12mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 1mg