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September 5, 2012 at 4:10 PMComments: 2 Faves: 2

Sweet Chili Sauce: Your Food's New Best Friend

By Sue More Blogs by This Author

As a chef, I can tell you that this bad boy puts you well on your way to a mind-blowing meal! Aside from the flavor, sweet chili sauce is extremely convenient and easy to make. Without blending or prepping, one convenient jar or bottle adds multiple flavors to a dish.

What Is It?

Hot * Sweet * Tangy* Garlic * Vinegar

If you have never tasted sweet chili sauce, you're missing out. Usually found in Asian markets or ethnic food aisles, sweet chili sauce is a concoction of hot, sweet sauce with garlic, chilis, and vinegar. Although it is high in sugar content, it packs such a punch of flavor in small amounts that the added calories are miniscule. As a basic condiment in my house, chili sauce ranks right up there with ketchup, mayo, and hot sauce.

How to Use It:

Dipping * Glazing * Dressing

Originally a Thai or Malaysian condiment for dipping egg rolls or shrimp toast, sweet chili sauce now crosses cultural boundaries and has landed on many American and European tables as a condiment for anything your heart desires. It has such a pleasing balance of sweet, salty, hot and sour that folks have been known to even dip French fries and potato chips in it.  I once over heard a student during one of my cooking classes state, “I’d eat a rat if it was cooked with this stuff!"

Sweet Chilli Recipes

Red Pepper & Pea Asian Slaw * Asian Style Turkey Meatloaf* Panko Crusted Chicken Fingers

As with most of my recipes, I like to think outside of the box, to take ingredients that are atypical and combine them with common, healthy ingredients for a distinctive flavor that no one can put their finger on, but find absolutely irresistible.

In the following recipes I used the sticky quality of the chili sauce as a glaze on turkey meatloaf. I found the sweet, salty, and sour combo to be the perfect base for a cabbage slaw. Lastly, my panko crusted chicken fingers loved taking a bath in this super secret weapon.

How Do You Use Sweet Chili Sauce?

Since I've been so forthright in sharing my secrets with you, it’s your turn! Please write back and share the secret ingredients in your cooking that make your taste buds stand up and say "Wow!"

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2 Comments

  • Love sweet chili sauce! One of my secret weapons is tomato paste. It's perfect for infusing big tomato flavor when you don't want to add too much liquid to a dish, and it takes up very little cupboard space, so you have more room for other fun ingredients.

  • Sweet chili sauce is awesome as a dip for deep-fried spicy pickles.

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