This homemade Thai sweet chili dipping sauce, or Nam Jim Gai, is one of the easiest sauces to whip up for party appetizers. Its simple recipe calls for only seven ingredients, including water! Ready for dipping in 20 minutes!
Pair this popular Thai dipping sauce with Thailand's famous street food, Gai Yang Thai grilled chicken. They are made for each other like a match made in heaven!
Make these recipes for dipping in the Thai sweet dipping sauce, Thai corn fritters, and Shrimp cakes. Another recipe that this sauce pairs well is the tasty Vietnamese spring rolls recipe. Give these recipes a try. You’ll love it!
- What Is homemade Thai sweet chili dipping sauce?
- Why This Recipe Works
- What Goes Into This Thai sweet chili sauce recipe
- How To Make This homemade sweet chili sauce
- Helpful Kitchen notes And Expert Tips
- Helpful Kitchen Tools to make this Thai sweet chili sauce
- Related Recipes More Thai Recipes You’ll Love!
- Homemade Thai Sweet Chili dipping Sauce
What Is homemade Thai sweet chili dipping sauce?
This chili garlic sauce is a tangy, savory, spicy sauce for dipping grilled meat or appetizers. The Thai name Nam Jim Gai (น้ำจิ้มไก่) means Chicken dipping sauce because, in Thailand, you’d see this sauce accompanied by the famous Thai chicken wings. This Gai Yang chicken recipe is a baked version of the Gai Yang. Super delicious!
However, we won't give the chicken wings exclusive rights to spicy sweet chili sauce. It’s excellent with all sorts of grilling bbq food, Thai spring rolls, egg rolls, shrimp cakes, fish cakes, crab rangoon, fried calamari, chicken nuggets, and so much more. It's a great dipping sauce perfect for finger foods.
This Asian sweet chili sauce is a classic condiment used across many Asian cuisines because it is versatile.
Why This Recipe Works
- You only need seven ingredients for this recipe! Water included. You'll be able to find all of these ingredients in your local grocery stores. It can’t get easier than that!
- It's an easy recipe. It takes only 20 minutes to make this chili dipping sauce.
- It keeps in the refrigerator for a long time—up to 4 weeks in a glass jar.
- The sauce is versatile and can be used for various recipes. It's like an all-purpose sauce for all things finger foods.
What Goes Into This Thai sweet chili sauce recipe
- Fresh chilis. Use red chili peppers. You can use dried chili, red chili flakes, red jalapenos, and Serrano. Use any fresh red chilies you find.
- Garlic. Use fresh garlic rather than garlic paste.
- Vinegar. This recipe uses distilled white vinegar. Rice wine vinegar is a great option.
- Sugar. White sugar is best for this recipe.
- Salt. It needs a tiny amount to help balance the sweetness and sourness of sugar and vinegar. You can use fish sauce instead if salt is somehow not available.
- Taciopa Starch. For thickening of the sauce. Use corn or potato starch and regular flour as substitutes.
- Water. You'll need 1 cup of sauce and 2 tablespoons of water to make the tapioca slurry. (or whatever starch you use.)
How To Make This homemade sweet chili sauce
Step 1. Add fresh chili and garlic to a spice grinder and blitz for a few seconds only. Leave some of the chunks intact for texture.
Step 2. Make the tapioca slurry. Add 1 tablespoon of starch with 2 tablespoons of water, mix until dissolved, and set aside.
Step 3. Add the remaining ingredients to a saucepan (not the slurry yet). Bring the sauce to a gentle boil on medium-high heat and stir often. It takes about 4-5 minutes.
Step 4. Lower the temperature to medium heat and add the tapioca slurry. Stir in well and cook until the sauce thickens. It takes about 3-4 minutes. If it doesn't thicken enough for you, add a little extra cornstarch mixture and stir well. It will thicken as it sits too.
Step 5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool. You now have yourself an authentic sweet chili sauce! Add thinly sliced carrots and cilantro to garnish for extra crunch and flavor. Enjoy your favorite appetizers!
Helpful Kitchen notes And Expert Tips
- If you can’t handle the heat but want more of the red color in the sauce, add sliced red bell peppers.
- Adjust the number of chilis as needed for different spice levels. Add more or less Thai red chilies to make this spicy sauce work for you.
- If you don’t have a spice grinder, use a mortar and pestle to crush the chilis and garlic until they are roughly pounded but not paste-like.
- If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, chop the chili and garlic into small pieces.
- You can use a food processor, too, by adding everything minus the tapioca slurry and blending only very quickly. Leaving the garlic and chilis somewhat in chunks.
Helpful Kitchen Tools to make this Thai sweet chili sauce
Thai sweet chili sauce, or Nam Chim Kai, is made of fresh chilis, garlic, sugar, vinegar, water, salt, and thickening starch like tapioca, cornstarch, or flour.
You can use Sriracha, chili garlic sauce, or Sambal Oelek, but they are not as sweet and will not have the same flavors. You will get the spicy flavors but not the thick, sweet taste of Thai sweet dipping sauce.
There are many Thai chili sauce recipes in Thai cuisine. The sweet chili sauce is the sauce (this recipe) used for dipping grilled chicken, egg rolls, spring rolls, and shrimp cakes.
The store-bought bottle of this sauce is only a little bit spicy. It has a very mild hot sauce taste with a mostly sweet flavor. You can add more chilis for the homemade version to make it spicier.
Related Recipes More Thai Recipes You’ll Love!
- Thai corn fritters
- Shrimp cakes
- Vietnamese spring rolls recipe
- Easy chicken satay recipe
- Gai Yang chicken recipe
- 13 Essential Sauces for Thai cooking
- Herbs in Thai cooking
- Spices in Thai cooking
- Nam Prik Pla