Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce

As of next week I shall be unable to post any recipes for around ten days, so despite my rather crowded schedule I have decided to make the most of my time in the run up to my latest hiatus. Indeed, you must wish me luck in my concert this coming Saturday night – it is the 40th anniversary of Aberystwyth Philomusica and we are giving a concert with the world-renowned harpist Catrin Finch. You know, this is the first time in a while that I have indulged in bringing a little insight into my life onto this blog. It feels rather nice to share a little tit-bit now and again. Actually, on the subject of tit-bits, does anyone know why Americans call them tid-bits? It seems rather strange. Answers on a postcard chaps.

Does anyone else feel that sweet chilli sauce has become so popular it has all but entered the realm occupied by ketchup, mayonnaise and brown sauce? To be honest, up to this point I’d never been the biggest fan of sweet chilli sauce, but after making it the reason soon became clear. Homemade sweet chilli sauce simply has masses more flavour that the relatively insipid, oddly coloured tat one can purchase in one’s local supermarket. It’s also rather ironic that making one’s own sweet chilli sauce takes around the same length of time as it takes to visit one’s local shop – it really is that quick. Indeed, from beginning to end, this recipe probably took between ten and fifteen minutes – no time at all. It really is testament to how lazy the general populous has become when it comes to culinary preparation, i.e. cooking. Please buck the trend, as I have, and make your own sweet chilli sauce. I shall make it worth your while tomorrow, with yet another gastronomic wonder.

Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce

Makes 1 small bottle, the recipe is easily scalable

Ingredients:

• 250ml water

• 2 red chillies, seeds are optional depending on individual taste

• 2 cloves of garlic

• 3 tbsp sugar

• 2 tsp corn flour (starch)

• Salt

Method:

1. First, you’ll want to blend the water, chillies, garlic and sugar together in a food processor. Transfer the resultant mixture, which should be a little chunky, into a saucepan and cook gently for 3-4 minutes. Once the mixture has thickened a little season it and add the corn flour which should be mixed with a tiny little water to make a roux. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes before allowing to cool. Once cool transfer the sauce to a jar or bottle and refrigerate. If the sauce turns to a jelly simply add a little more water without heating.

Cost: Sweet chilli sauce, like most sauces, is rather over-priced in general. A bottle of this sauce, as made by the market leader, costs £1.29. One might think that price fairly reasonable, however this sauce when made at home should set one back a mere 15-20p for roughly the same amount. Everything is relative, my friends.

137 thoughts on “Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce

  1. cyanidelollipopdesigns

    It’s funny that you said something about tit/tid-bit, because my British friend and I were discussing this yesterday. He seems to think that Americans all brutalize the language with our awful accent, which is probably closer to the truth, where as my friend thinks that they are both all well and good and just preference. Tomato, potato, I suppose.

  2. Juls

    Oh Mr. Frugal. If I wasn’t in a happy relationship and I weren’t to know you were in a happy relationship, you’re exactly the type of man I might stalk and I mean that in the least creepy way possible. If it is at all possible to say in a non-creepy way.

    I think the tit/tid thing comes down to accents and what simply became easier to say in an American accent. I know in the filming of the re-make of “The Wicker Man” (NOT THE BEEEEEEES), they changed the name of the island from “Summersisle” to “Summerisle” because the American actors couldn’t easily pronounce the ‘s’ in the centre. I expect we, as British, have done it to other languages and are just as guilty, seeing as how our own language is such a hodge podge of origins and an etymologist’s dream.

    1. frugalfeeding

      Haha! Well, I’m not quite sure what to say – thanks, I think :D. That’s a rather interesting pint, though I think in this case it has to do with the word tit and how it might offend Americans… Though, one can’t be entirely sure.

  3. mrswebbinthekitchen

    Well, I have no answer as to how the phrase evolved, but certainly if an american heard a brit say “tit-bit” today, they would probably have to work hard to hold back a snicker, as we have turned the word “tit” into a crude word describing a part of the female body.

  4. Marina@cowboycountryvegetarian

    Thank you for the recipe. I was looking into different recipes last night for the sweet chili and I think I’ll try yours. It sound great. I am not an expert in the English language, but sure love the music language. I would love to go to the Catrin Finch live performance one day. Good luck!

  5. foodmuses

    Loved your reasoning! “It’s also rather ironic that making one’s own sweet chilli sauce takes around the same length of time as it takes to visit one’s local shop – it really is that quick.” Glad to have a recipe for this now!

  6. thebigfatnoodle

    Mate, you’re caving in, LOL! Now I’m intrigued though, what do you play??? Hmmm…:) BTW, great sauce too. I’m Chinese and have never bothered to make my own either, so now you’ve made me feel guilty and ashamed :P and PS – you keep going on about not being happy with your photographs but these are lovely… meantime, good luck with your concert, will be waiting to see what new tit bit you share next time :))

  7. k.m.

    I believe (if my memory is correct, though that’s a debatable status lately) that Bill Bryson, in his excellent book “The Mother Tongue,” explains that Americans in the earlier part of the previous century (or perhaps at the end of the one before that) changed quite a few words like tit-bit to tidbit, due to, essentially, prudery. The Puritans’ legacy lives on!

  8. emmycooks

    Every once in a while I have a little epiphany about something that I should be making myself instead of buying. Count this as today’s! Now that I think about it I am amazed that I have been buying the goopy crap from the store when I’m sure the flavor you can get yourself is both much brighter and infinitely adjustable to my particular taste. Thanks for the wake-up call. And good luck with your concert! (Also, I recently ordered that Bill Bryson book mentioned above and it is in the mail; I’ll report back if it sheds any linguistic light on the tid/tit/bit question.)

  9. Veronika

    Sweet chili sauce is lovely and thank you for posting the basic recipe – I think I will probably tinker with it some, as I like mine hotter and possibly add garlic… mmm.

    Now I need lunch!

  10. Cara

    Okay, I heart Thai food/sauces/beverages/tid-bits so much!! I cannot wait to make this and dump it on anything and everything. P.S. We want more Nick tid-bits! Like, what instrument do you play? Where are you going for those 10 days? If you could be any superhero, which one would you be and why? Answer. Go.

        1. frugalfeeding

          Why wouldn’t I be talking about boob bits. Just you wait until my next post, I shall raise a valid point. I mean it obvious is tit, but you Americans screw with the English language perpetually :D.

          1. Cara

            I love how you are THE only blogger that I find myself double and triple checking my grammar when leaving a comment. bahaha. Good point about the boobs. I was kinda thinking that same thing once I pushed “Reply”-Tit bits, it is! Are we really still talking about boobs? *snickering*

          2. Cara

            Wait, are you meaning to tell me that P*** is a bad word for but Tit isn’t??? We live in different worlds…*mine being the correct one*

          3. Cara

            Now you are just making things up! There is no such thing as a tit bird…must be difficult for the poor thing to fly–top heavy I would image :) Okay now it’s time for me to drown my cough in syrup they call medicine. Thanks for the laugh and making my lungs a little more closer to coming out of my throat.

    1. frugalfeeding

      No, it wouldn’t. Corn flour thickens it in a way that holds the pieces of garlic and chilli – if you did it another way they would merely appear on the surface. I suppose one could cook it down for a long time and see what happens – that would take a lot longer and be pretty much pointless since corn flour doesn’t alter its taste or affect it in any negative way whatsoever.

      1. thekalechronicles

        Sometimes I am imagining a purity of flavor achieved with using the fewest ingredients possible. Corn flour in the States is subjected to all sorts of pesticides, so it isn’t an ingredient I am keen to use when I can avoid it. I’m not crazy about corn syrup for the same reason. When chiles come in, I’ll perhaps try the sauce sans corn flour and report back to you.

        1. frugalfeeding

          I don’t think that’s necessarily an issue – the flavour is perfectly clear. Though, if pesticides are a cause for concern for you, and they sometimes are for me, then experiment away. Do report back.

          1. thekalechronicles

            Thank you, Nick. I will. I am going to plant chillies again this year (and net them right away so that nothing eats them) so I should have some to experiment with come summer.

  11. musingmar

    Tat? Love it! I read your blog for the recipes and the vocabulary. I’m going to find a way to use this one at the office tomorrow. Enjoy your time away from the blog!

    1. frugalfeeding

      Thanks! Perhaps I ought to employ some more word from my vocabulary next time – I’ve been getting rather lazy and have stopped using ridiculous combinations of words to describe things.

  12. Just A Smidgen

    Fantastic… a concert !!?? What do you play?? We are a community orchestra as well and I love it!! Just heading upstairs now to practice:) Who knew you could make your own chili sauce?? Awesome!

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  15. baconbiscuit212

    Ooooooh! That looks great!

    Here’s a personal tidbit as well: an old boyfriend of mine was from Aberystywth and every once and a while when little details pop up here and there in your blog, it reminds me of the sea and the town. Small world, right?

  16. Karista

    Frugal, I love that you shared a little about your life. Can’t wait to hear more…your music sounds fascinating. Love the chili sauce! Who knew it was so easy. Definitely on my to do list. Best of luck to you!

  17. mamafritz

    mmm…i love to put this on salmon and broil it in the oven really quickly. if i’d known how easy it was to make at home, i’d have been doing that all along! i think we say tid-bits because the other word has a whole other meaning over here. :)

  18. cakeboule

    Really how many comments! I almost gave up scrolling LOL. I did not even know tid bits was American I always thought it soundly quite British – learn something new every post on here!

  19. Desi Chick

    I think blogging etiquette demands that I come back and tell you that I made this sauce and it was wonderful (instead of just responding on another comment :) Thank you for this great, easy and money saving recipe!

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  21. Mandy Gray

    Answer to my prayers! I live in Ibiza where sweet chilli sauce is hard to come by and when you do find it the price is inflated. I had no corn flour so used plain and added a dash of apple viniger. This will never feature on my shopping list again now you’ve inspired me to make it myself, thank you. Mandy x

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