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A close up of food on a table, with Sweet chili sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce

How to make the best homemade sweet chili sauce recipe. It is simple, quick, and easy to DIY and so tasty! It's sweet and spicy and you will love to put it on everything from chicken to shrimp to salmon and even french fries, kabobs, and stir fry!
4.75 from 4 votes
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Condiment, Gluten-free


  • 1 cups water divided
  • 1 cups rice vinegar
  • cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic or use 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • ¼ cups sambal oelek or use 2-3 whole red chile peppers, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  • Pour ¾ cup water and all of the vinegar into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. (Remaining water will be used later to mix with the cornstarch.) Stir in sugar, ginger, garlic, and ketchup; simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Stir sambal oelek or chili peppers into the sauce.
  • Mix cornstarch and remaining ¼ cup water until they form a slurry. Add this to the saucepan a little at a time until the sauce is the thickness you desire. (We use all of it so that the finished sauce is like a dip, but if you want a sauce you can pour, you would use less.) Stir until blended.
  • Pour sauce into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed, at least an hour.


We used sambal oelek for this dish. It is an Asian staple made from ground red chili peppers in a vinegar sauce. We have grown to love it ever since using it in a General Tso's Chicken recipe last year. I think it's the perfect pepper source for this sauce. I have heard that you can find this at some bigger grocery stores and at Asian groceries, but we just buy ours on Amazon. It's not too expensive and very easy to find without driving around.
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