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Thai Sweet Chili Sauce for #SundaySupper

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce | Magnolia Days

What comes to mind with the word Tropical? The very first thing I always think of is coconut. It’s the classic vision of a coconut tree on a tiny island. I wonder how discovering the fruit first happened. If it was from where one had split open after falling from the tree. Or was it curiosity? Anyway, when the Tropical Food theme for Sunday Supper was announced you can bet where my mind went first. Then I decided to do something different and tackle another item on my to-cook list at the same time. That’s how Thai Sweet Chili Sauce finally happened in my kitchen.

I’m a major fan of Thai food. I cook it occasionally and go out for it quite often. A red curry sauce made with coconut milk (yep there’s the coconut) is what I get more than anything else. Put that sauce over vegetables and top it with crispy duck and I’m a happy gal. However, it was not at a Thai restaurant where I got my craving for sweet chili sauce. It actually happened at a steak place. My husband ordered sweet/hot wings and guess what sauce was on those wings? One taste and I knew exactly what it was.

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce | Magnolia Days

The adventure of making the sauce began. I have two Thai cookbooks and knew both would have recipes for this very popular sauce. You know what I found? Two very different recipes. Well, very different in the pepper part. One called for Thai peppers and the other dried red pepper flakes. I thought the Thai peppers would be a tad more authentic and so I decided to model my sauce after it. I made my list and headed to the store.

Three grocery stores later and no fresh Thai peppers. Not a single fresh hot red pepper of any kind. This meant a half hour drive to an Asian market. I knew for sure I would find some there. I was wrong, well, almost wrong. Thai pepper? Nope. Red finger pepper? Only one finger pepper in a giant pile was half green and half red. I grabbed it and put it in my basket. Red jalapeño peppers were in the next bin so I decided to get a bunch of those too. Then I headed to the dried pepper section and got a bag of red chili peppers.

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce | Magnolia Days

Next to the dried peppers were pre-made sauces. I read the ingredients of eight different brands of Thai sweet chili sauce. They all had the same common ingredients; sugar, peppers, garlic, and vinegar. I felt I was on the right track so I went home and started cooking. The result? It turned out marvelously. It’s syrupy, sweet, sour, hot, and spicy too. Use it as a dipping sauce or baste for grilling meat or seafood.

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce | Magnolia Days

My virtual trip to the tropics took me to Thailand. Scroll down to see a list of recipes either using tropical food or dishes found in tropical countries. Special thanks to Marlene of Nosh My Way and Cindy of Cindy’s Recipes and Writings for hosting this Sunday Supper event. For more Thai recipes, take a look at Thai Sticky Rice, Thai Noodle Salad with Shrimp, Spicy Thai Beef Salad, and Thai Shrimp Curry.

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce | Magnolia Days
4.75 from 4 votes

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce is a sweet, hot, and thick syrupy sauce for spring rolls, chicken, shrimp, vegetables and more. It's quick and easy to make too.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Renee


  • 2 seeded and minced dried chili peppers
  • 1 minced red finger chili
  • 1 seeded and minced red jalapeño pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, or until mixture has reduced to about 1 cup. It will thicken as it cools.
  2. Cool to room temperature. Chill leftovers in a sealed container up to 3 months. Bring leftovers to room temperature prior to serving.

Recipe Notes

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce is a sweet, hot, and thick syrupy sauce for spring rolls, chicken, shrimp, vegetables and more. It's quick and easy to make too.

Recipe adapted from one in the Easy Thai Cooking cookbook (Amazon affiliate link).

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce is thick, sweet, hot, sour, and spicy. It's a wonderful dip for egg rolls and vegetables or use it to baste grilled chicken, shrimp, and more.

Are you ready for a virtual culinary trip to the tropics? It’s easy to do with these recipes for tropical food by Sunday Supper tastemakers:

Appetizers and Tidbits


Condiments and Sauces

  • Mango Jam by Brunch with Joy
  • Thai Sweet Chili Sauce by Magnolia Days


Main Event

Delectable Delights

Tropical Recipes and Wine Pairings

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Recipe Rating

Teri@The Freshman Cook

Saturday 2nd of May 2015

Your sauce sounds amazing, and I bet it tastes great on everything!

Martin Redmond

Saturday 2nd of May 2015

Yummy! Your sweet chili sauce looks and sounds amazing Renee! Like you, I'm a big fan of Thai food. I love a sweet and spice chili sauce so this is right up my alley!

Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen

Thursday 30th of April 2015

Your trip to find red chile peppers sounds just like my trip to find the dried chiles I wanted for my homemade chorizo. 4 stores later and you make it work with what you've got! I will be giving your sweet chili sauce a try ASAP, it sounds fabulous!!

Joy | The Joyful Foodie

Wednesday 29th of April 2015

I love sweet chili sauce! We (Filipinos) have a very similar one that's a little less spicy than the Thai version, and I love to add it to everything for a little flavor kick. I never even thought about making my own! Can't wait to try this!

Tammi @Momma's Meals

Tuesday 28th of April 2015

This is on my list the next time we make Thai food!