So I was thinking of what to write for my blog in April. The weather is nice and the outdoors activities are abundant. So are dogs running around, and fresh produce. One of the things I try to do every year is to grow my own vegetables. Given how small my space is, I only mange to grow some herbs and chilies. Normally I’d grow some spring onions from shallot bulbs. They are amazingly fragrant compared to the onions I get at the grocery stores. I also have some basil, some thyme and rosemary as staples. The chilies are additional when I have time for them. However, since I get access to fresh chilies, I tend to make chili sauce out of them. The basis for making any preserves is that you have to get the freshest produce you can get your hands on, without any bruises. This will guarantee the long storage time after you turn them into jams, jellies, or pickles, or whatever… Chili sauce is not exception. The fresh chilies give the best aroma to the sauce and incredible heat that nothing can replace. I like really really hot sauce, which in turn turns Sriracha into a joke for me (sorry Sriracha fans). So if you are looking for something that’s much more intense and doesn’t have the weird sour taste, read along!
This recipe that I’m about to share didn’t originate from one of my crazy ideas. I learned about this recipe from a friend from Vietnam She is actually my childhood friend, very very close friend, and also my neighbor. That’s right we hang out with our neighbors in Vietnam guys! So my friend was talking about making DYI food at home, like jello, like gummies, and also sauces. The recipe is relatively simple, but I added my own twist to it as always. HOWEVER, I do stress that when you first trying out new recipes you must follow the recipe religiously in order to have the best judgement, before you move on and adjust the recipe yourself. Only when you have an absolute idea of what you are doing and how it would affect the final product can you ever add your own twist. Let’s be fair here. People, more often than not, try out recipes and decide to adjust the portion of one or more ingredients that they “think” would make the dish better, then end up ruining the entire dish. They then blame the recipe for being incomplete or badly made. This to me is pure arrogance and stupidity. I do test out the original recipes before I decide to change it to my own taste. What you’re about to read is still a very rough sketch of the chili sauce recipe. I usually don’t record what I put in and how much of each of them, so please try out and adjust to your own liking. Please kindly share back if you found your ultimate chili sauce recipe. I’d love to learn from you and try your recipe.j As you have noticed I have not had any decent photo of my chili sauce, because it was so simple and imaginable that I didn’t really care to take a photo for one (oops!). So let’s start?
Homemade Chili Sauce
Preparation time: 2 hours
Servings: erhmmmm I’m clueless on this one. This can fill about 500ml mason jar
- 1 cup of habanero chilies, de-seeded
- 1 handful of garlic cloves, peeled
- 5 shallots, peeled
- 2 cups of water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar or mirin
- Salt to taste
- In a pot, combine chilies, garlic, shallots and water. Set to boil and leave the mixture boiling for a bout 45 mins to 1 hour until everything is soft. Let cool down.
- In a blender, blend the chili mixture into a fine smoothie. Over a fine sieve, filter the chili smoothie and sieve into a fine sauce. Add the vinegar and boil the sauce over high heat until bubbling. Set the heat down medium to simmer.
- In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and cold water, slowly add to the chili sauce until thickens. Season very lightly with salt. Take off the heat and let cool.
- Transfer the chili sauce to a clean jar and keep in your fridge
- First of all you do need to refrigerate this sauce as it contains seasoning and vinegar, which might cause the sauce to go bad under normal temperature.
- Secondly, I like habanero as it is hot and has a nice fragrance to it. You can totally substitute this to bird’s eye chilies, or jalapeno, or any kind of chili you want. De-seeding them helps a lot when it comes to blending steps. Make sure you wear gloves to avoid heating your hands up.
- Do not over-salt your sauce. Just add enough to avoid it being bland. You are going to add this to your food, which already has great seasoning, so you don’t need this to be seasoned.
- Besides cornstarch, you can use tapioca starch, or any kind of starch to thicken the sauce. You can also try gelatin to turn it into chili jelly.